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Q & A with Ros Gold-Onwude: Reflecting on her time with the Warriors

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NBA on TNT star talks to Golden State of Mind about her new shows and reminisces about her time with the Warriors.

If mainstream NBA media had a MVP ladder, Ros Gold-Onwude would be sitting firmly at the top.

Her knowledge and insight of the game is why Turner Sports poached her from DubNation and NBC Sports-Bay Area two years ago. And it’s also why she’s one of the analysts on the new show The Bounce.

An innovative collaboration by Yahoo and Turner Sports, The Bounce is a three hour five day a week show that delivers highlights, storylines and moments from the night in the NBA in real time. I had the honor to interview Ros about the show and her time on the Warriors’ sidelines.


GSoM: Give us a gist of what “The Bounce” is all about.

ROS: “The Bounce” is a new digital live streaming show on yahoo sports. You can download the yahoo app and catch us Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. My crew is myself, Gary Payton and Swin Cash and we’re on Sunday and Monday. When we come on, most of the daytime sports shows are done, and most people are watching the game on their TVs and following along on their phones. On “The Bounce,” they get to follow and watch the games in real time and hangout. The shows are three hours, but we don’t expect you to stay the whole three hours. You can bounce in and out with us.

GSoM: What makes “The Bounce” stand out from other shows?

ROS: We are not your typical sports show. It’s a little more casual and all the more fresh. We’re having a lot of fun. We’re cracking up, but we are giving you (the viewer) thorough insights. You’re not getting info from ‘Joe Schmoe.’ You’re getting info from people like Gary Payton, a hall of fame, Defensive Player of the Year, a champion, gold medalist and an all-star. Swin Cash won at every level. Two time Olympic gold medalist. Three WNBA Championships. 2 NCAA Championships and a four time all-star. They can speak on what it was like playing against Michael Jordan, Diana Taurassi and Tameka Catchings.

Every week, I’m interviewing players for the NBA on TNT and on the sidelines and have experience stemming from my time with the Warriors. We each offer unique perspectives on the game.

GSoM: NBA Twitter, for better or worse, is really influential. How much has social media influenced the show?

ROS: Social media plays a big role in the show. We share the tweets and the memes and discuss hot topics. Like the night when Dwyane Wade hit that buzzer beater (vs warriors) Isaiah Thomas tweeted ‘don't retire.’ We highlighted that. We also have a great graphics team that we use for our segments. When (Yahoo Sports NBA Insider) Chris Haynes was a guest, we poked fun about the time he did an interview from his car (Graphics team transposed Haynes in a Bentley). We have league insiders such as Chris as guests on the show but we poke fun at ourselves. No one take ourselves too seriously.

GSoM: You are also hosting another show called “GM School.” Can you tell us what’s that about and how it’s different than what you’ve done?

ROS: “GM School” is a collaboration between the NBA, Turner and (official NBA data analytics partner ) SAP.

With more and more access to advance analytics stats, fans use them for their fantasy teams, and the information that they have makes fans really feel like they can be a general manager of a team. So it’s like ‘Ok, let’s see if they can.’ We take four stat savvy fans and we bring in judges who have had success in the game. We have people like (former Cleveland Cavs GM) David Griffin, Kevin McHale, and (NBA Sr. Vice-President of Basketball Strategy and Analytics) Evan Wasch as judges. They come in and put them through a bunch of test like drafts and mock press conferences. It’s a pretty dynamic show.

It’s a different look for me because it’s my first time hosting a reality competition show. I’d like to do more hosting. Before GM School at All Star, I announced the Rising Stars game and presented the MVP trophy to Kyle Kuzma. So that was also a different experience.

GSoM: You made your debut for CSN/NBCS-BA on October 21, 2014. It was a preseason game vs the Clippers. What do you remember about your first time on air covering the Warriors?

ROS: I remember being very nervous and also very new. The Warriors was my first sideline job and I remember being so nervous and talking so fast. I was trying to squeeze a minute and thirty seconds of content into 20 seconds. I remember walking on the court and passing Klay, and Klay said to me ‘good luck .’ He realized that this was my big moment and he was just so thoughtful and sweet.

I was wearing a red dress and Joe (Lacob) said, ‘you needed to get more blue dresses. So I went out and bought more blue and yellow dresses.’

GSoM: In your interview with The Athletic after you signed with Turner, you're quoted as saying that the players were supportive in your development. You cited Draymond Green as an example. What has he been to you?

ROS: He was just encouraging, saying that he’s proud of me and ‘I see you’ and making sure I’m good. One thing about Draymond is he’s fiery on the court, but he has character just as strong as Steph’s. He’s a very loyal man to the people around him.

I remember covering the Olympics and at that time I was still local and it was hard for us to get in. Dray saw me and said “ Ros, what’s your question?” There I was low on the totem pole at the time and he still made sure I was good.

GSoM: What do you miss the most about covering the Warriors?

ROS: I miss the sense of family, the bonding. There was nothing like traveling and eating with the team. I’m thankful that the experience was at the time that it was. I came during Steve Kerr’s first year and everything was just so unsuspecting- before the MVPs, before the defensive player of the years and titles. I was here for KD’s first year and I’m just happy to see that team all together .

Even now when I see people like Luke Walton and Alvin Gentry, I think about those shared experiences and connections in Golden State. Its something that bonds us the rest of our lives.

GSoM: The Warriors are a great group of guys. What would people be surprised to learn about some of them?

ROS: The fans have a gist of what they are but there are a few secrets to their success. Credit (Warriors GM) Bob Meyers for drafting a team thats a perfect fit in talent and chemistry. Lot of the chemistry came organically though the draft.

When you look at the success with this franchise, none of this would be possible without Stephen Curry. Its about who he is as a human. Pure clutch on and off the court. He’s pure clutch not only in his killer instinct on the court but also his humbleness and heart off of it. I hope people know that his impact around the team is greater than any three point shot he’ll ever hit.

GSoM: Anything that you want to say to DubNation?

ROS: Draymond just turned 29 and he’s the youngest Hamptons 5 player. Steph will be 31 and KD is 30. They’re all in their prime but they are getting older in basketball years. The Warriors are still the best team in the league but windows open and close. Enjoy the moment. This is a special team. These are real special moments that you can look back 20, 40 or 50 years from now and say that you’ve witnessed some of the greatest teams of all time.

Catch Ros on “The Bounce” Sunday and Monday on Yahoo.