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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Articles tagged: Golden State Warriors

Warriors owner shares his 1 goal for franchise

Joe Lacob smiling

April 28, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob smiles against the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The current Golden State Warriors team is already one of the best in sports history, but owner Joe Lacob is not going to be satisfied if they fail to maintain that level of excellence once their core has moved on.

During an appearance on the “Point Forward” podcast this week, Lacob spoke about how important winning is to him. He said he is “maniacal” about it and is hoping to emulate the type of success that the late Jerry Buss had with the Los Angles Lakers for decades.

“The truth of the matter is I’m about only one thing the rest of my life, and that’s winning championships,” Lacob said. “I am maniacal. It’s all I care about. That’s it. We’ve done really well. We’ve won four in eight years, which is incredible. We’ve made six NBA Finals in eight years.

“There was somebody else that did this as an owner, Jerry Buss. I look up to him — 33 years of ownership, 16 Finals. That 50 percent rate … I don’t know if we can continue that, but we’re sure as hell gonna try. That’s my goal.”

You can hear Lacob’s comments below:

The Warriors have paid record amounts in luxury tax and have not shown any sign of slowing down. Even after they proved once again that they can win a championship without Kevin Durant, they still have not closed the door on bringing back the two-time NBA Finals MVP. Though, there is one reason Lacob may not be in favor of that move.

Stephen Curry is Golden State’s most important player. While he is still playing at an elite level, he will turn 35 next season. If the Warriors are going to continue to contend for championships after he’s gone, they will need to find another young superstar at some point.

Steph Curry’s reported stance on Kevin Durant trade revealed

Stephen Curry during a playoff game

Jun 13, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gestures after defeating the Boston Celtics in game five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors continue to be mentioned as a potential suitor for Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry is apparently very open to reuniting with his former teammate.

According to Rich Bucher of FOX Sports, Curry has reached out to Durant multiple times this offseason to talk about the possibility of playing together again.

Bucher discussed the idea on Thursday’s edition of “First Things First” on FOX Sports 1.

“I was in Las Vegas last week for Summer League, and someone from KD’s camp told me that Steph Curry was among the stars around the league who had reached out to KD to find out exactly what he was thinking,” Bucher said. “The point being made that Steph was not opposed to KD, in spite of the way things ended, to KD coming back to the Warriors.

Bucher said Curry is motivated in part by wanting to win a fifth title so he would have one more championship than LeBron James.

“There’s a lot of hoops to jump through, but the point being made is Steph is looking for, ‘What’s going to make me better? What’s going to make us better?'” the NBA insider added. “There’s no concern about the way things ended. There’s no conflict with KD as far as Steph is concerned. He’s just looking for the best way possible to potentially win a fifth championship.”

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently pointed out that Curry has the ability to put the Durant rumors to rest, but the two-time NBA MVP has not done that.

There is at least one significant hurdle standing in the way of Durant returning to Golden State. Even if the Warriors got past that, they would still have to give up a ton of assets. They just proved — once again — that they don’t need Durant to win a title. It is hard to imagine the deal coming together.

Klay Thompson calls out NBA media ‘experts’

Klay Thompson with a headband

Jun 5, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) warms up before game two of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors won their fourth NBA title in the last eight years over one month ago, and Klay Thompson is still sticking it to the team’s doubters.

Thompson went live on Instagram Wednesday while appearing to be driving a car. He called out NBA media experts for being skeptical about the Warriors’ ability to win another NBA championship.

“Anyone who has the ‘expert’ under TV analysis of their respective sport, but never really did the damn thing, you can’t trust them,” Thompson said. “You can’t trust their opinion, you can’t trust their expertise, because they literally said we were dead in the water, and what did we do? Win the championship. I know it hurt them bad.”

Steph Curry tweeted a great response to the video, which was shared by Bleacher Report.

“Hahahahahahahaha that’s my dawg!!!” Curry wrote.

The Warriors seemed to have a chip on their shoulder last season, although they were not massive underdogs. They had the fourth-best preseason odds to win the NBA Finals, only behind the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.

But the Warriors had gone through plenty of hard times over the past few years. Golden State had the worst record in the Western Conference (15-50) during the 2019-2020 season, and did not advance past the postseason play-in games the following year after finishing with a 39-33 record. Thompson had not played since tearing his ACL during the NBA Finals in 2019 (and later his Achilles), and Curry missed most of the 2019-2020 season after hand surgery. There was no guarantee that the Warriors would win another ring.

Kevin Durant facing 1 hurdle in potential return to Warriors?

Kevin Durant dribbles

Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) in action against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Kevin Durant. But there might be a hurdle in his possible return to the Dubs.

Ric Bucher wrote a column for FOX Sports that was published on Tuesday regarding the KD trade situation. Bucher says that Steph Curry has been actively recruiting Durant to return to Golden State. However, Bucher says it’s team owner Joe Lacob who would need to be swayed to add Durant.

“Other league sources indicated that Warriors owner Joe Lacob would have to be convinced to bring Durant back because their split was less than amicable,” Bucher wrote.

Lacob said in 2020 he considered himself to be close to Durant. But the Warriors owner did not understand why KD wanted to leave.

Whether or not the Warriors want Durant to return, KD actually choosing to go back to Golden State seems extremely unrealistic. Durant already had his time with the Warriors. He went there to win a few championship rings, thinking that would help his legacy. Not only did the rings not enhance his legacy the way he thought it would, but the Warriors winning without him in 2022 only made him look bad.

There’s a reason why Durant’s top choices for a trade are Phoenix or Miami: he wants to beat the Warriors, not rejoin them.

Steph Curry has notable stance on Kevin Durant trade?

Stephen Curry during a playoff game

Jun 13, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) gestures after defeating the Boston Celtics in game five of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The possibility of Kevin Durant returning to the Golden State Warriors may seem farfetched, but there are people in NBA circles who believe it could actually happen. Is Stephen Curry one of them?

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on “Get Up” Monday that it is noteworthy that Curry has yet to shoot down the Durant rumors. The same goes for Warriors owner Joe Lacob.

“I think this says a lot about the Warriors organization that they would be coming off a championship and Steph Curry coming off a crowning moment in his career and he wouldn’t slam the door shut on this,” Windhorst said. “Steph Curry’s got the kind of clout where he can shut this down, but he’s not. Joe Lacob is not.”

Windhorst noted that Lacob did say he does not want to exceed $400 million with his payroll, which would likely have to happen if Durant rejoined the team.

Curry may have “clout,” but he is not the primary decision-maker for the Warriors. He is not really in a position to say whether he thinks his team bringing back Durant is realistic. There are probably ways he could throw cold water on the talk, though, which is likely what Windhorst was referring to.

The Brooklyn Nets are said to be seeking an unprecedented return in any potential Durant trade. It would make little sense for Golden State to pay a huge price for Durant after they just proved (once again) that they can win without him. We wouldn’t read too far into Curry’s silence.

Ja Morant explains his anti-Warriors ‘real estate’ tweet

Ja Morant looking on

Jan 26, 2022; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant had a bit of a social media sparring match with some of the Golden State Warriors after the NBA Finals, and Morant is explaining why he had to say something about Golden State despite the Warriors’ title.

Warriors guard Klay Thompson called out Memphis forward Jaren Jackson Jr. in the aftermath of Golden State’s win. That prompted a response from Morant suggesting the Grizzlies were taking up “a lot of real estate” in the Warriors’ heads.

In an interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, Morant said he could not understand why the Warriors were talking about Memphis players after winning another NBA title.

“If I won a championship, I wouldn’t think about no other team or what somebody said months ago,” Morant said. “I’m gonna be celebrating a championship. I’m gonna be happy with my teammates. You see after they won the championship, everything was Grizzlies. Playing ‘Whoop That Trick’ on their parade, showing it in the club, talking about Jaren, this and that.”

Morant added that the tone of the public comments did not match what the two teams said to each other privately.

“Those guys can tell you, even after we lost on the series, I told them, ‘I feel like it’s time for y’all to get another ring.’ And they said the same. ‘Y’all be back, we’ll see y’all again, it’s going to be a lot of fun for years to come.'”

For now, Draymond Green seemingly had the last word on the mini-feud. This is probably not the last we’ll hear about these two teams and their budding rivalry, however. They had a very competitive playoff series, and the young Grizzlies appear poised to take further steps forward next season.

Report: Some with Warriors were unhappy with 1 offseason move

Steve Kerr in a blue warmup jacket

Mar 20, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr encourages his players during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors were unable to retain all of their key pieces after they won another championship, and their decision to let one player in particular walk was clearly not a unanimous one.

Gary Payton II signed a three-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers at the start of free agency. The Warriors were expected to lose some players this summer, but the veteran guard was not one of them. What was particularly surprising was that Golden State chose not to give Payton $9 million per season, though he would have cost them a lot more because of their luxury tax situation.

According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, several in the Warriors organization were “stung” when Payton signed with Portland. Payton was viewed as a valuable member of Golden State’s championship core. For a team that has essentially ignored the luxury tax in recent years, not re-signing Payton was somewhat unprecedented.

The 29-year-old Payton scored 7.1 points per game during the regular season last year. He also played significant minutes off the bench in the playoffs and is a great defensive player. You can understand why he will be missed, but his departure should not be make-or-break for the Warriors.

Report reveals likelihood of Kevin Durant returning to Warriors

Kevin Durant in street clothes

Feb 3, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) smiles during a time out during the second quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have suddenly become a team to watch in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, but is a reunion a real possibility?

According to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic, Durant has been in communication with his former Warriors teammates. The conversations were not necessarily centered around a potential reunion, but the players did touch on the “stunning nature of it even being possible.”

While Durant returning to the Warriors may be possible, multiple sources within the organization told Thompson that it is “highly unlikely.”

The Warriors just proved (again) that they do not need Durant to win championships. It makes little sense for them to give up a massive package in a trade for the two-time NBA Finals MVP, even if the Brooklyn Nets would be interested in what Golden State can offer.

Durant faced a lot of criticism for taking the so-called easy way out when he left the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Warriors, who were already a championship team without him. He has been mocked over it ever since and even felt the need to respond to one such troll during this year’s playoffs.

Durant then had a highly publicized feud with Draymond Green before he left Golden State. Some of those issues reportedly stemmed from Green telling Durant that the Warriors won without him and don’t need him. Even if all of that is water under the bridge, Golden State has no real reason to pay the price the Nets are seeking for Durant.

Kevin Durant could return to former team?

Kevin Durant looks up

Apr 23, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) looks up at the scoreboard in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets are expected to field phone calls about Kevin Durant from almost every team in the NBA. One of them may even come from the team he was with before he arrived in Brooklyn.

Marc J. Spears said on ESPN Radio Sunday that the one team he has his eye on in the Durant trade sweepstakes is the Golden State Warriors. He believes the Warriors can build a very appealing package for Brooklyn that includes Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Andrew Kuminga and former No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman. Any potential deal would also likely include draft picks and/or pick swaps.

Spears believes the Nets would be “very happy” with a package like that. He also thinks Durant would be open to the idea of returning to the Warriors.

“For Kevin Durant, they’re very familiar with him and vice-versa. He knows where to live in San Francisco. He knows how the offense works. He knows he can win a championship there,” Spears said. “Yeah, him and (head coach) Steve Kerr would probably have to figure some things out. But with each passing day that this carries on, I’ve heard the Warriors have interest. … To me the Golden State option is the best option.”

You can hear Spears’ full rationale below:

That is certainly a juicy proposition. Durant faced a lot of criticism for taking the so-called easy way out when he left the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Warriors, who were already a championship team without him. He has been mocked over it ever since and even felt the need to respond to one such troll during this year’s playoffs.

Durant then had a highly publicized feud with Draymond Green before he left Golden State. Some of those issues reportedly stemmed from Green telling Durant that the Warriors won without him and don’t need him. Though the two have since smoothed things over, Green appeared to take a swipe at his former teammate after the NBA Finals.

The idea of Durant returning to the Warriors after all that seems farfetched, especially now that Golden State won yet another title without him. That does not mean it is impossible.

Warriors land ex-NCAA Tournament hero

Steve Kerr in a blue warmup jacket

Mar 20, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr encourages his players during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors are adding another champion to their roster after winning a championship themselves.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Friday that the Warriors have agreed to a two-year, $9.3 million contract with free agent guard Donte DiVincenzo. The deal comes with a player option in the second year.

DiVincenzo, 25, averaged 9.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game this past season between the Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks. He is famous for being part of two NCAA title-winning teams at Villanova in 2016 and 2018, including as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player during the latter run. DiVincenzo also won an NBA title with the Bucks in 2021.

The former first-rounder DiVincenzo is a defense and hustle player who gets plenty of rebounds for his size (6-foot-5) and can drop in a three every now and then as well. He is a nifty pickup for the defending champion Warriors, especially after they lost this player in free agency just hours prior.