Marreese Speights loves interim coach Luke Walton.
And as Diamond Leung reports, the 35 year-old coach is receiving love and praise from a number of his current players, namely his three former teammates - Mo Speights, Shaun Livingston, and Andre Igoudala.
"He ain't really going to yell at nobody. He's going to talk to us like men like we all are. He makes sure he communicates with us real good, and we listen to him. We respect him."
- Marreese Speights
Steve Kerr will be received with open arms when that time comes. Until then, the Warriors will have vested equal parts of trust in both men, and the team will once again have that two-headed coaching dragon they did last year in Kerr & Gentry. The reinvention of the coaching staff's depth is preceded by the positivity of its players.
Harrison Barnes day-to-day after knee sprain
Interim coach Luke Walton says that Harrison Barnes is considered day-to-day after suffering a knee sprain against the Denver Nuggets.
Walton, the youngest standing head coach in the NBA, was a former teammate of Andre Igoudala at Arizona. The two Wildcats and fellow team mentors will endeavor together to hit the ground running. Andre has been the team's vocal leader and remains a team captain. The groundwork for longevity is being set right now. An extra blanket of strength is added with every passing day that the Warriors look to support Walton in his leadership.
Shaun Livingston was a teammate of Walton's during the 2012-13 Cleveland Cavaliers season. The Cavs only saw 24 victories that year, and Livingston's career was clinging onto a log after his ability had been gutted by a devastating injury.
Walton, on the other hand, had won two championships and was set to finish his career in Cleveland, while Shaun fought to save his own. A 24-win landscape is a bleak place to do either. One could imagine that there were handfuls of moments for each player to encourage the other. That sort of bond glues the attention and positivity together today, as teammates and all players in the league can look to Livingston's story as one of the greatest successes to ever grace the NBA.
Speights was also a teammate on that very same Cavs team. When asked what it's like to come full-circle with Walton, Mo gave his chesire cat smile and said:
"It's really fun. You've got your friend coaching you."
Walton responded to the positive feedback from his players.
"It's great because I have a very open relationship with them, and they'll give me feedback on practice. If they think there's something we need to work on that maybe as a staff forgot to, we feel comfortable in talking like that."
Photo via Slam Online.
Draymond and Curry swat back
Draymond can't wait to get things rolling October 27th, against the Pelicans. He's tired of the whiney collaboration aimed to taint the Warriors' triumph. Green issued an ambiguous invite to the gathering of worthies, serving up this classic interview via CSNbayarea before Tuesday night's preseason game against the Denver Nuggets.
If they saying that, they aren't the champs. It's simple. Greg Popovich didn't say that. That's one organization I really respect. And you haven't heard anybody in their camp say that. You haven't' heard anyone from OKC say that. Some of the organizations I really respect. If they're saying that, then there's some bitterness and saltiness going around. They obviously aren't the champs. So who cares what they say. Maybe they can chase one this year, along with us. It's bad, man. I would feel bad about myself doing that. That is just crazy to me. But that just lets you know how many people didn't want to see us win. People hate change.
People don't accept change well. They're used to golden state just floating around the bottom of the league, and won't accept change. It's funny. It's like a bitter female. Have you ever dealt with a bitter female that's just scorned? God, that's just rough. When you're dealing with a bitter female who's just scorned - Thats one of the worst things in the world."
- Draymond Green
If that wasn't enough to shut up the resentful gang-up, Stephen Curry gave his own brush-off with a healthy dose of sarcasm.
I want to just say, I apologize for us being healthy. I apologize for us playing who's in front of us. I apologize for all the accolades we've received as a team and individually. I'm very, truly sorry. We'll rectify that situation this year. I try to have fun with it.
- Stephen Curry
Somewhere along the way of last year's 67- win season, the Clippers/Warriors rivalry took a back seat to the Golden State's success. It largely had to do with LAC losing decisively three of their four meetings to the Warriors. It will be great for the bitterness that lived between Mark Jackson and Doc Rivers rear it's ugly head again once again.
It looks like LAC may have improved enough to gain that kind of competitive game. San Antonio and the Thunder may be the biggest mountains to climb, but no doubt, when game day comes around with either the LAC or Rockets emblem marked on the stub, players and fans alike will want blood.