Unbeknownst to some of the more casual, bandwagon-y elements of the fan base, the Warriors are actually triple champions as of late. There's the World Championship for the senior squad, an impressive national championship for the Santa Cruz junior squad, and (stretching a bit) the 2013 NBA Summer League championship.
NBA Summer league will be held in three locations this season: Orlando, Las Vegas, and Salt Lake City. While Las Vegas remains the largest meet with 24 teams (including a D-League select squad), Utah consists of four teams that will additionally play in the Las Vegas grouping: San Antonio, Boston, Philadelphia and Utah.
Each year, NBA coaches, general managers, insiders and fringe prospects meet at Summer league to test out their new draft toys. For some teams, summer league is not much more than that. But from the start, the Golden State Warriors have used Summer League to great effect, culling players and prospects from the ranks of the undrafted who make up the bulk of any summer league roster. In recent years, the Warriors have added Justin Holiday, Kent Bazemore and James Michael McAdoo to the senior squad based on summer league performance. Additionally, key players Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes all cut their teeth in the desert for the tryout squad.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr took the 2014 summer games more seriously than most, insisting on coaching the team himself in order to prepare for his coaching debut (looks like that turned out okay). This year, he'll pass the mantle to promising assistant coach Luke Walton to head the summer squad.
Las Vegas NBA Summer league consists of five preliminary games, starting tonight. The best teams will play on in a tournament to win the league title (a maximum of eight games). In addition to their 2013 championship, the Warriors also ran 7-0 in 2012, winning the de facto league championship.
The summer league tournament has historically bode well for Golden State, with the standouts consistently contributing to what became a surprisingly successful senior team. This season, there is more talent than ever, with several big names dotting the squad. Standout Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft, a Santa Cruz veteran, heads the list. He's joined by former Kentucky standout Doron Lamb; 2015 first round draft pick Kevon Looney (of UCLA); and D-League stars James Michael McAdoo and Ognjen Kuzmic. Read more about the roster in Conrad Chow's breakdown here.
The action tips off tonight, as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors meet following their entertaining Finals series. You can find the game on NBA TV at 7:30pm PST tonight. The Warriors will then play the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday the 12th (5:30pm PST), followed by the Sacramento Kings on Monday the 13th (3:30pm PST), with both games on CSN Bay Area. Following games are to be determined.