One of the Golden State Warriors’ former champions is now back with them.
The Warriors announced on Thursday that veteran big man Zaza Pachulia has returned to the team as a consultant, where he will be helping out on both the business side and the basketball side.
The 35-year-old just completed a 16-year career and appeared in 68 games for the Detroit Pistons last season. He played with the Warriors for two seasons from 2016 to 2018, winning titles with them in both seasons.
Did former Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia troll Klay Thompson on Twitter Thursday night? It seems that way.
Thompson has been struggling with his shot and actually seems to be pretty frustrated with questions about it. In Thursday night’s overtime loss against Portland, Klay went 6/19 from the field and 1/4 at the line. He was particularly cold during a stretch in the third quarter, which is when Pachulia sent the following tweet about a hack-a-Klay strategy.
Who knows to what extent Pachulia was messing around, but there’s little doubt about whether the Warriors miss a player like Zaza. The Warriors are without Damian Jones and still waiting for DeMarcus Cousins to get healthy. They have used Draymond Green at center. They probably wish they had the veteran center back around now.
The fun may over in Golden State for a pair of veteran big men.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on Saturday that versatile stretch forward Jonas Jerebko plans to sign with the Warriors upon clearing waivers.
Forward Jonas Jerebko plans to sign with the Golden State Warriors upon clearing waivers on Monday, league sources tell ESPN. Jerebko has a $4.2M salary that would need to be guaranteed if he's claimed.
Anthony Slater of The Athletic then revealed that Jerebko’s expected arrival virtually guarantees that Zaza Pachulia and David West will not be back.
It was assumed, but the expected agreement with Jonas Jerebko basically puts an end to any thoughts of a reunion with Zaza Pachulia and David West. Roster at 13. McCaw (or another guard/wing) will make 14. That's where they plan to cap roster.
While JaVale McGee signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, the Warriors already brought back Kevon Looney on a one-year minimum deal and, of course, signed DeMarcus Cousins to their one-year midlevel exception.
Pachulia and West were seeing little playing time anyway, and they probably won’t be hanging their heads too much. After all, they got two championship rings each and a fair amount of notoriety out of the ride.
Zaza Pachulia played only five minutes in Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Houston Rockets, but it sure looks like he made the most of it.
During the Golden State Warriors’ 127-105 defeat in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, Pachulia was involved in what appeared to be yet another questionable incident. The veteran big entered the game in garbage time and got switched onto Rockets star James Harden on the perimeter during one sequence. Harden stepped back for a three, and Pachulia, as he closed out, seemed to take an extra shuffle towards the MVP frontrunner’s landing feet.
Pachulia did not ultimately make any contact, and since the game was already decided, Harden checked out of the contest for the evening just seconds later. Thus, the episode flew largely under the radar. However, Pachulia, of course, has a controversial history when it comes to endangering superstars, so it is probably fair game to scrutinize him a bit for this latest incident.
Almost a year has passed since his incident with Kawhi Leonard last postseason, but Zaza Pachulia is still Public Enemy No. 1 in San Antonio.
Pachulia’s Golden State Warriors played the Spurs in San Antonio on Monday, and the seven-footer was given quite the brutal treatment by the home crowd. The Mercury News’ Mark Medina detailed how Spurs fans showered Pachulia with far more than the usual boos, jeering him when he touched the ball and even going so far as to laugh and applaud at his in-game missteps.
Zaza Pachulia gets called for a foul, and Spurs fans erupt in approval as if it were retribution for the Kawhi closeout
As hinted at above, Pachulia has been reviled by the San Antonio faithful ever since he appeared to step underneath Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last year’s Western Conference Finals. It also doesn’t help that Leonard has yet to return to form ever since, be it from that injury or from various others.
Granted, the Spurs got the 89-75 victory over the short-handed Warriors on Monday, and Pachulia finished with a mere six points and three rebounds. That might not be enough to appease the local fans though, as they probably would have preferred for Pachulia to never have been let back into the city.
Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia will not be disciplined by the NBA for his fall on Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook accused Pachulia of landing on him with intent to injure, which Pachulia has denied. The NBA, it seems, has sided with his view of things.
For those hoping/wondering/expecting the NBA to discipline Zaza Pachulia in the wake of Saturday's incident with Russell Westbrook, I can report the NBA will not be taking any action against him. Pachulia and the Warriors play the Knicks at MSG tonight.
Ultimately, the NBA likely determined that there was nothing clear enough about the incident to justify taking action. That will come as a major disappointment to some players, who are clearly fed up with Pachulia’s actions.
Zaza Pachulia’s misdeeds are drawing near-universal rebuke around the NBA.
In a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, the Golden State Warriors center again became the subject of controversy after he appeared to intentionally fall on the legs of Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook.
What reason does Zaza have to fall over here? This screams dirty to me. No reason to fall on Russ’ legs here at all. pic.twitter.com/xMMwPx0wTL
For his part, Pachulia scoffed at claims of him being a dirty player despite many, including Westbrook, saying just that after Friday’s game. The veteran big man’s history over the years more than speaks for itself though, and there really seems to be no reason to offer him the benefit of the doubt anymore.
“Obviously it was intentional. Nobody touch me, he fell over my leg, tried to hurt me … that’s how it go,” Westbrook said of the play.
Asked if he thought Pachulia was a dirty player, Westbrook said, “Yeah, for sure.”
Westbrook’s Thunder teammate, Paul George, agreed that Pachulia fell on Westbrook intentionally.
Paul George on Pachulia falling into Westbrook: "You know Zaza. You know his history. You know nobody pushed him. He aimed where he was gonna fall. That’s Zaza making a Zaza play. He’s on the end of hurting a lot of guys."
Kevin Durant had an … interesting… Twitter feed years ago. As we were reminded when Durant went on a tweet storm responding to his haters after the Warriors won the title last month, “Iceberg Slim” — who has a reputation for being soft-spoken and shy — is anything but that when it comes to social media. The man puts himself out there.
From shooting his shot at celebrities to making random observations about gut issues, K.D. was an active tweeter in the early 2010s. A sampling of his tweets:
Yes, the superstar’s feed was #random indeed, and the sports world would be more entertaining if he returned to tweeting regularly. In a hilarious spin on “Mean Tweets,” SLAM had current NBA players read Durant’s old tweets during red carpet interviews at the ESPYS. Watch the incredible video below:
One of the funnier moments occurs at the 1:00 mark, when Pistons forward Andre Drummond reads a tweet from Durant directed at Amber Rose. Another funny one comes shortly thereafter, when Warriors teammate Zaza Pachulia reads a tweet about Durant soaking his feet in hot grits.
At the 2:10 mark, Durant’s mother, Wanda, even gets in on the fun. Between this and the Peyton Manning joke, it may seem like Durant took a beating at the ESPYS — but it was all in good fun, and Durant was reportedly in on Manning’s monologue joke.