After another short offseason that felt all too long for Warriors fanatics, the team came back to work on Monday for the first time since they swept the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There is a lot to unpack from the day, and more coverage will likely continue to drift out as various reporters work through the sound bytes and call out interesting quotes. Here at Golden State of Mind, we’ve already been peppering you with some of the highlights, from Klay Thompson’s no-nonsense assurance that he wants to play his entire career in Golden State, to Kevin Durant’s more demure resolution to just enjoy the season.
But on the off chance you are like me and want to feverishly consume every tidbit of Warriors news like the cookie monster scraping out the cracks between the couch cushions with his tongue, here are an assortment of links and short blurbs that you may have missed.
Stephen Curry - full interview
The theme with Stephen Curry was that each season is different, he spoke often about injuries and lack of focus. He’s the leader of this team, so some of the quips are relevant to the team at large - but he also talks at length about his injuries last season and subsequent recuperation.
Also, in case you missed it, here’s Durant appreciating Curry’s tones physique after an offseason of work.
KD x Steph. #NBAMediaDay #DubNation pic.twitter.com/rLl7cbEkXe— NBA (@NBA) September 24, 2018
Klay Thompson - Full Interview
Thompson has got to be one of the most entertaining players - which is kind of ironic given how the perception of him earlier in his career was that he was some sort of basketball automaton.
Thompson returned from the Summer with a new look (now sporting a goatee that could make Steph Curry jealous), but the same zen attitude that has made him a fan favorite. We mentioned it above, but be sure to check out Thompson’s strong pledge of assurance of his desire to spend his entire career with the Warriors, saying “When guys go into free agency, they’re looking for situations like mine. I’m content.”
Me too Klay, me too, man.
Kevin Durant - Full Interview
Kevin Durant is this team’s turbo booster. While the Warriors are plenty good enough without him (as evidenced by our first Championship, and a 73-win season), his presence puts this team into the “throw up your hands in frustration and wait till next season” level of dominance. So of course all eyes - both internal and external - are focused on his next move.
But Durant didn’t come out with the level of assurance he did last season. Rather than talking about how sure he was that he’d return, Durant talked about “staying in the moment” - which was one of the main themes on the day. Regardless. don’t expect the free agency questions to go away, or for Durant to provide any sort of definitive answers.
Draymond Green - Full Interview
Although he doesn’t have any looming free agency questions, Green is currently eligible for an extension. He addressed it as a general concept, but didn’t reveal much beyond the fact that his people are in discussions with the Warriors. Encouraging to fans nervous about a mass exodus, Green was equanimous about the uncertain future.
“I’m confident that I’ll be here for a very long time. So it’s not something I’m going into the season thinking about. Like all that stuff will be taken care of when it’s best for me, when it’s best for the team.
“I’m not looking at this one-sided like, oh man, I’ve gotta do what’s right for Draymond. It’s a partnership. And it’s a family. And doing the right thing for everyone involved is important.
As far as the season goes, Green talked a bit about focus and determination - especially in light of last season, which he called the most difficult of his career. He was emphatic that both he and the Warriors will be up to the task of chasing a threepeat - and at the end of it all, Green reiterated that his motivation is playing excellent basketball, not playing excellent basketball just so he can get his next contract.
Demarcus Cousins - Full Interview
Not much new from Cousins, though the team did mention that they will provide a formal injury update in approximately four weeks - which would be October 22nd. Bob Myers probably had the most salient quote on Cousins, saying “if he’s ready, he’ll play.” Most prognosticators were aiming around the All-Star break for his return but you don’t need to be a journalism major to read between the lines well enough to wonder if Cousins could see the Warriors court before the end of 2018.
Steve Kerr - Full Interview
After frustration from trying to motivate a team that was perhaps a bit too sanguine last season, look for Kerr to emphasize how special this assembly of talent is rather than trying to harp on the players’ focus.
You should watch his whole interview, but this article just cracked a thousand words, so here is the main gist of what he has to say about the upcoming season. But please do check out Kerr talking to Ros Gold-Onwude about his growth, and another about how difficult it is to threepeat.
Steve Kerr's initial thoughts on how to keep a talented Warriors team motivated during the regular season when they've tasted so much championship champagne pic.twitter.com/9DhU8JYMhP— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) September 24, 2018
Here are the other player interview links, as well as some other tidbits that didn’t fit above.
Bob Myers was at his General Manager best, attempting to repair the verbal damage done earlier in the offseason by clearly stating that Durant should play here till he’s 50.
Pat McCaw was a no-show, which sucks for those of us who wring our hands over stuff like this. No updates really, but watch this develop throughout the week. Starting today, McCaw will miss his first practice. If nothing can be resolved with McCaw, Myers indicated the team would likely go into the season with that last roster spot unfilled in order to maintain flexibility.
Kerr is not sure who starts at center (not Draymond Green). Kerr, who loves to tinker with his regular season rotations, will probably enjoy the logjam at Center with Kevon Looney and Damien Jones fighting it out with Jordan Bell for that starting spot.
Andre Iguodala is always an..interesting interview. Beyond just talking about injuries and struggles from last season, he did drop a bit of a head-scratcher when he bucked the trend of lobbying for one’s own greatness by saying he didn’t think he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Shaun Livingston was also on the company message, so he also had some blurbs about coming into the season more refreshed. His full interview is good too, specifically his insight into Cousin’s upcoming rehab work.
When you don’t have 20,000 people around you, when you don’t have your teammates pushing you, you’re not in the game setting, it’s just very difficult to simulate. But it’s just as important for him to be able to try to make it back this season to hit his target dates, and then also, too, it’s frustrating because you have a way that you want it to go in your mind. He probably wants to come back and be ready for training camp or be ready whatever date it is, and there’s a chance that it may not happen.
1200 words folks. I’m excited for the season! Here’s the other stuff I didn’t have time to discuss:
SBN mothership recap and rule change summary