Monday was the 2016-2017 Warriors Media Day and there was a lot to take in. Of course, what we were all waiting for was seeing one of the newest Warriors in uniform for the first time.
No, not Patrick McCaw. Though that is an excellent picture. No, we were all there for the man of the hour, the man of the summer: Kevin Durant. And THIS was the picture we’ve been waiting months for:
Durant spoke with Ros Gold-Onwude about the transition and how he sees himself fitting in on defense:
The majority of the Q&A sessions centered on a short list of topics, addressed below:
National Anthem Protests
A common theme in the questions the players were asked was about the National Anthem protests currently going on in other sports. Players such as Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson all expressed respect for what Colin Kaepernick is doing and why he is doing it. However, they each stated they are unlikely to follow suit, for differing reasons.
Thompson praised Kaepernick’s motivations, calling him honorable for taking a stand for something he truly believes in with good intentions, not just for attention, but that his time at the Olympics heightened the respect he has for the flag and the anthem and how he views being an American and the opportunities that has provided.
Meanwhile, Green noted that he feels like it’s everyone’s right as humans to speak their mind and he respects Kaepernick for taking a stand, despite the risks involved. But he notes that he feels it is beyond the point of kneeling, expressing that he felt the point had been made as much as it can be in that form and that it’s time to do something about it, adding:
“Somebody wants to criticize what Colin is doing, but they won’t criticize what’s going on.”
The full content of Green’s remarks can be found here and are worth taking a look at.
Curry says he respects Kaepernick’s stance and would love to talk to him more about it. He hopes that people will focus on the message, not the messenger, when it comes to athletes speaking out on social issues, a sentiment shared by Durant.
Curry also said he respects the right of the protesters in Charlotte, acknowledging the tense atmosphere due to recent events. But he laments that there was violence, stated that that is not what Charlotte is about.
Chasing The Record, Finals Loss, and Roster Moves
Green was outspoken about not being particularly interested in chasing the record again, noting that it was very taxing on them. He said they’re playing for another run at the trophy and need to focus on that.
He said he felt like the roster moves between last season and this season are a good thing, noting that he wasn’t sure if they could have continued to improve with last year’s team because things start to get stale and stop working after a while, adding, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.”
When asked his thoughts on the Finals loss, Green said he doesn’t see it as extra motivation for the team because the goal every year is to win a championship, noting that whether you miss it by a hair or miss out on the playoffs altogether, you still fell short of your goal. That goal hasn’t changed; they want another title. So no extra motivation needed. He said that the loss was just painful.
Thompson weighed in, noting that they have been on both sides of the Finals now and though the loss was awful, it lit a fire that will burn in them until they win another championship.
Outlook On The New Season
Thompson says that they embrace the thought of playing with a target on their backs. Andre Iguodala was asked how he felt about them losing the Finals, but getting Durant, to which Iguodala replied: “We got a monster on our team now,” noting that the Finals revealed holes that he believes they’ve improved upon in the off-season.
Thompson also cleared up his statement about not sacrificing anything with the addition of Durant. He stated that even if his stats go down, he doesn’t think of that as a sacrifice when you consider what the team gained in players like Durant, Zaza Pachulia and David West.
Curry noted that he made some adjustments to his routine with new conditioning drills aimed at keeping him healthy this season.
Notes & Quotes
- Curry doesn’t regret his decision not to play in the Olympics. He said as someone who loves to compete, it was hard to watch Team USA at first because he knew how much it meant to them and how proud they must be. But he knew he made the right choice.
- Shawn Livingston modeled the new Crossover jersey and it looks great.
- David West said the Warriors reached out to his agent almost immediately after the Spurs lost to the Thunder in the playoffs.
- This could be a problem for some commentators at CSN Bay Area:
I asked Kevin Durant if there's a nickname he doesn't like? He responded, "Yes. Durantula."— Henry Wofford (@HenryWoffordCSN) September 26, 2016
- Harrison Barnes stated at the Mavericks’ Media Day that he will not watch any Warriors games this season.
- Curry’s thoughts on the possibility of a third straight MVP title and where his head is at:
- Livingston noted that of all the many teammates he’s had over the years on multiple teams, his best teammate was Kevin Garnett.
- And, finally, I think Joe Lacob speaks for us all on this one:
Overhead just now: Joe Lacob to Kevin Durant, "I like you in that uniform". #GSWMediaDay— Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) September 26, 2016