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Links: Warriors media day, NBA preseason predictions

As Warriors training camp began, the toupee-in-chief picked the wrong team to mess with.

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NBA: Golden State Warriors-Media Day
Head coach Steve Kerr addresses the media at Media Day
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Whew. What a weekend!

If you’re still catching your breath, don’t worry: you’re not alone. What we expected to be a relaxing weekend of the Golden State Warriors starting training camp turned into a debate between literate, eloquent, thoughtful adults in the Bay Area, and a finger-pointing toddler on Capitol Hill.

Ultimately, Trump left the Warriors at the altar, but the Dubs were already in Bora Bora, enjoying the honeymoon for the wedding they never intended to attend. It was masterful work by Golden State, and yet another flub by Donald Trump.

Add in Trump’s wildly inappropriate statement about Colin Kaepernick, and the peaceful protests that ensued in both NFL and MLB games, and it was a very bizarre weekend. But as Kevin Durant said, “I’m not a real big politics guy, but I know right from wrong.”

Our team covered the surreal events brilliantly, and if you’re just catching up, might I recommend Nate’s article on the Warriors’ statement, and Hugo’s piece on the President’s war against black people in sports.

The highlight of the weekend though, came from Steve Kerr. It seems unfair that a master of jump shots and coaching should also be a master wordsmith, but that’s exactly what the Dubs’ coach is. In an article for Sports Illustrated (as told to Chris Ballard), Kerr waxed beautifully about the division caused by Donald Trump.

If you’re in a hurry, read this snippet from the article. If you’re not in a hurry, drop everything and read Kerr’s thoughtful, poignant, and powerful words.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet President Reagan, both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama. I didn’t agree with all of them, but it was easy to set politics aside because each possessed an inherent respect for the office, as well as the humility that comes with being a public servant in an incredibly position of power, representing 300 million people. And that’s the problem now. In his tweet to Steph, Trump talked about honoring the White House but, really, isn’t it you who must honor the White House, Mr. President? And the way to do that is through compassion and dignity and being above the fray. Not causing the fray.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it many, many times again: Popovich/Kerr 2020.

Dray gets the last laugh

Much has been made of Kevin Durant’s social media slip-up. And while the majority of the Warriors have downplayed the incident, and moved on, Draymond Green took a slightly different angle.

Green – who you’ll remember had his own social media slip-out. . . . err . . . slip-up – recalled Durant laughing at him last summer. Naturally, the always playful and competitive Green relished the opportunity to even the score.

Never change, Dray.

Media day wrap-up

Media Day was Friday, and while the Warriors offered a live stream of some of the festivities, much went on that fans didn’t get to see. Marcus Thompson II and Anthony Slater recapped some of the most important moments for The Athletic, including this tidbit from MTII:

Stephen Curry wasn’t smiling for this part. His sarcasm was guiding this answer as he offered up a solution to the shoe rivalry between he and Kevin Durant.

“I guess maybe in practice we should just play in our socks and call it a day,” Curry said during his interview session at Warriors’ Media Day.

“That would probably be the best way to make sure there’s no drama when practice starts, you know what I’m saying? So we might do that. Unbranded socks.”

D-Wade is officially on the market

After much speculation, the Chicago Bulls finally bought out the final year of Dwyane Wade’s contract. While the timing is a bit odd, the move certainly is not.

Now a free agent who is already guaranteed a lot of money from his old team, Wade can sign anywhere he wants for the minimum. And the teams he reportedly is interested in are pretty predictable: his original team, the Miami Heat; every veteran’s choice, the San Antonio Spurs; and two star-studded teams featuring his best friends, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The question on so many people’s minds will be this: does Wade move the needle at all against the Warriors? The answer on this mind is: no, not at all.

Breaking news: The Warriors are good

ESPN just released their preseason Basketball Power Index (BPI) rankings, and if you needed a reminder that the Dubs are in a different stratosphere, this is it.

The BPI rankings (which are based on 10,000 simulated seasons) give the Warriors 63.1 wins, nine more than the next-best team (the Boston Celtics), and nearly ten more than the next-best West team (the Houston Rockets).

63.1 wins may seem low, but projections tend to undervalue the best teams, and overvalue the lower ones. This is primarily because they’re based solely on the accumulation of player ratings, and don’t factor in the ability for those players to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. They also don’t account for tanking by the poor teams.

Of course, whether the Dubs win 63 games or 73 games, the point is the same either way: they’re really, really good.

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