Warriors

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

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AP

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi sustained a sprained right ankle with 9:00 left in the second quarter of the Warriors-Kings game Friday night and did not return.

After dropping in a short hook shot with 9:04 left in the quarter, Casspi landed awkwardly, rolling his ankle and dropping to the floor clutching his lower leg. Down for a couple minutes, he eventually got up and limped into the locker room, accompanied by physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

Casspi played six minutes off the bench, producing 6 points, one assist and one rebound against his former team.

He joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson on the sideline.

Warriors-Spurs series feels small and insignificant with Erin Popovich's passing

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USATSI

Warriors-Spurs series feels small and insignificant with Erin Popovich's passing

SAN ANTONIO -- The news hit Steve Kerr like a sledgehammer to the heart.

Imagine, then, how it must have hit Kerr’s mentor, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

The Warriors were wrapping up light practice at AT&T Center Wednesday evening when it was announced by the Spurs that Erin Popovich, Gregg’s wife of more than 40 years, had passed away after a long illness.

Suddenly, Warriors-Spurs and their first-round playoff series, which resumes Thursday, felt small and insignificant.

Kerr, who has been close to the Popovich family for 20 years and whose eldest son, Nick, works for the Spurs, could not bring himself to talk. Seeing the anguish on his face, I felt guilty for asking. I felt relieved that he declined.

I also felt like I’ve never understood Popovich better.

Nothing shines a light on a survivor like the loss of a loved one and in this regard Popovich is brilliant. His wife had been suffering month after month after month, for years, according to those familiar with the circumstances, yet he soldiered on during what may be, personally and professionally, his most difficult year.

His wife was ailing, as if that’s not enough.

His team has been without its best player, Kawhi Leonard, which almost deprived the Spurs of their annual ticket to the NBA playoffs.

Almost. The Spurs found their way by following the tenets Popovich has preached for 22 years in San Antonio. Work hard, play smart, do your best job and live with the results.

Sounds simple, but it worked.

See, when so many in the NBA orbit are living through basketball, Popovich has been living through reality. Basketball is a priority, but not his obsession. He’s a military man, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, whose experiences have afforded him a personal lens than spans at least 360 degrees.

It’s why Popovich never dwells too long on a game, certainly not now, at age 69, a grandfather whose thoughts could not have been too far from his wife of more than 40 years.

It’s why he consistently speaks up for those whose pleas go unheard.

It’s why he says, convincingly, that he doesn’t care if his opinions about our current president rub some folks the wrong way -- even if those folks are Spurs fans.

Popovich is living in the moment because that’s all he has, all any of us has.

The news of the day brought me back to the words Popovich said in closing his pregame news conference prior to Game 1 of this series Saturday in Oakland:

“Enjoy the day. It’s beautiful out there.”

Erin Popovich, wife of Spurs coach Gregg, passes away

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AP

Erin Popovich, wife of Spurs coach Gregg, passes away

The Spurs family suffered an unimaginable tragedy on Wednesday when Gregg Popovich's wife, Erin, passed away.

The news was made public by the team shortly after 5pm PT.

"We mourn the loss of Erin. She was a strong, wonderful, kind, intelligent woman who provided love, support and humor to all of us," Spurs general manager RC Buford said in a statement.

Gregg and Erin Popovich were married for four decades.

The heartbreaking news was announced as the Warriors players and coaches were meeting with the media in San Antonio.

Steve Kerr, who is close with the Popovichs, was too stunned to comment on Erin's passing.

Reporters in the arena broke the news to Kevin Durant, who was understandably stunned by the news.

"What? Seriously? Man, prayers and condolences to his family. Damn. I don't even know what to say," Durant said.

Steph Curry and Shaun Livingston took to Twitter Wednesday evening to pay their respects to Gregg Popovich.