With training camp about to begin, the Golden State Warriors held their media day on Monday. The team had a busy offseason which featured the free agent acquisitions of Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, and the return of fan-favorite Andre Iguodala. Here are a few highlights of what they had to say about their roles with the team amongst other things during media day.
Otto Porter Jr.
During the summer, Otto Porter Jr. signed a veteran’s minimum deal to play with the Warriors. Although he struggled last season playing for both the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic, Porter has built a reputation for his catch and shoot 3-point ability while having the size to be a versatile defender. Porter discussed what he thinks his role will be on the team.
“Any role that coach sees me in, he’s going to put me in the right position.” Porter said. “Out there with Steph [Curry] and Draymond [Green], and just being able to stretch the floor out even more with my shooting and versatility and always being ready to knock down shots.”
Here’s what Porter had to say when asked about his confidence in his catch and shoot abilities.
“I don’t think it ever went anywhere.” Porter answered. “That’s what they call the money shot. You have to have that in the league. You have to have a corner three ball so I’m ready to put that to the test.”
This is something the Warriors are hoping to see from Porter since the attention that their star point guard, Stephen Curry, attracts should lead to plenty of catch and shoot opportunities for him. Here are some other things he discussed:
- Why he wanted to join the Warriors
- How he felt the need to slim down in order to keep up with the fast pace that the Warriors like to play
- What he likes about the vibe of the team
Otto Porter Jr.’s full interview here
Bjelica was another underrated addition to the Golden State roster this offseason after he signed a veteran’s minimum deal with the team. The 33-years-old stretch big played last season with the Sacramento Kings and the Miami Heat while averaging 6.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 31.8% from the 3-point line on 2.3 attempts per game. Here’s what he had to say about his fit on the team and on playing the center position.
“They play fast, they play simple.” Bjelica said. “I know I am a stretch four in the NBA, but I think in this team, I can do so many other things. I hope I’m going to show that it doesn’t matter which position I’m going to play. 10 years ago, I was a point guard and now I can play the stretch 5. As long as I’m on the court and I can help the team win, I’m ready to go. The most important thing is winning.“
Here’s what Bjelica had to say when asked about his role on defense as a center.
“Of course it’s better for me to play on offense as a 5 than defense.” Bjelica said. “But you know basketball is a team sport and this is the best league in the world so of course you have to guard your guy one-on-one.”
Bjelica provides the team with more shooting and additional depth to the Warriors’ front court. If defense ends up being an issue for him, the hope is that the Warriors have several players on the team that can help cover him on that end, especially if he’s providing spacing on offense. Here are a few other things he discussed:
- Why he chose the Warriors
- Post-workout shooting competitions with Steph and Klay
- How Harrison Barnes and Luke Walton gave him insight on what it’s like to play for the Warriors
Nemanja Bjelica’s full interview here.
Iguodala is a familiar face for the team and a fan favorite. He signed a veteran’s minimum deal with the team this offseason after playing with the Miami Heat last year. Although Iguodala didn’t go too in depth about his on-court role for the team this upcoming season, he showed his potential value as an experienced veteran by talking about how he can impact the growth of young players like James Wiseman.
“There’s a lot that goes into being a superstar player or living up to the hype of being a number one pick.” Iguodala said when referring to Wiseman. “He’s asking the right questions to want to be that great, but there’s a lot that comes with it, and being that young, you really don’t know. But I’m really excited to be along that, whatever my short period of time with him is, to help him get there and understand how important patience is and taking it one step at a time. Most importantly just making sure that he enjoys playing in the NBA.”
Iguodala has a unique perspective on this team. While he plans on serving as a veteran mentor for the team’s young players, he also gets to see the maturation of his teammates from the previous championship years as they continue into later stages of their careers. Here are a few other things he discussed:
- How he ended up back in Golden State
- How the player’s association views vaccine status
- Whether he will continue to play after the season
- Talks about the growth and maturation of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson
Iguodala’s full interview here.