The Toronto Raptors reduced Oracle Arena and the “3-Peat” dreams of the Golden State Warriors to rubble, but the irrepressible Dubs are salvaging what they can from the defeat and turning their eyes to the future. A huge part of that new vision will be their new giant, Willie Cauley-Stein.
The Warriors swiftly signed the former Sacramento King after the free agency departure of DeMarcus Cousins, another former Sactown center. Funny enough, Cauley-Stein actually was a rookie on Cousins’ Kings and both are alums of the Kentucky Wildcats. Golden State is betting that Cauley-Stein can replace Boogie’s presence and join incumbent starter Kevon Looney to solidify the paint.
Cauley-Stein is seven-foot-tall leaper who is entering his fifth year in the league. He’s coming off his first year as a starter, where he averaged 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds over 81 games for the young, run-n-gun Kings. His initial interviews after joining the club showed he was extremely excited for the privilege of joining real basketball royalty.
Here he is talking about how he randomly got a call from his agent while fishing in a remote area, letting him know the Warriors were summoning him.
Willie Cauley-Stein with a great story of how he signed with the Warriors pic.twitter.com/umI5GlRksr— Grant Liffmann (@GrantLiffmann) July 9, 2019
The big fella even took it a step further on “95.7 The Game”:
“I got put in a situation way more special than any amount of money I could have received,” Cauley-Stein said. “Taking that pay cut to join this team and learn from, arguably, the greatest team in this era is crazy.”
“Just being in the Bay, driving across the bridge right now, like, I feel the culture. I feel the excitement. Every fan that I talk to, they’re so excited. That love is so mutual that I’ll run through a wall for that love. You know what I’m saying?”
Logan Murdock of of NBCS Bay Area caught another great quote:
“I’ve been imagining it for a while. It’s crazy it’s actually happening,” Cauley-Stein said. “Me and my friends talk about it all the time. Guys (have to) damn near not guard me now. Because they have to guard Klay, Steph, DLo. How you gonna guard the big? Because, you know, you gotta tag. If you don’t tag, it’s a lob. If you do tag, it’s a 3. Pick your poison.”
“Pick your poison”, eh? Well damn, Cauley-Stein is already sounding rather gold-blooded if you ask me. If you’re not familiar with the big fella’s game, the power of YouTube will get you up to date.