Warriors

Festus Ezeli: Intriguing player, intriguing person

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Festus Ezeli: Intriguing player, intriguing person

Festus Ezeli, whomthe Warriors selected with the No. 30 pick in the draft, is a 6-foot-11,255-pound center from Vanderbilt. Hes defensive-minded and physical and wasthe schools all-time leader in blocked shots.But off the court,the 21-year-old might be even more impressive. And his path to the Warriors wasa very uncommon one. Heres the quick story on Ezeli:---Ezelicame to the United States from Nigeria when he was 14 years old. By that time,he had already completed high school and his family sent him here to continuehis education.RELATED: Warriors draft Festuz Ezeli with final first-round pick
---Helived with his uncle, who was a pediatrician in Sacramento, and he lived inYuba City. He attended Jesuit High School and tried to play basketball buthadnt played before.As Ezeli put it in aJunE 11 interview it didnt work out there (at Jesuit). Basketball-wise, Ezelicouldnt have played anyway at Jesuit. He didnt have any high schooleligibility since hed completed high school in Nigeria.---In2006, he went to Yuba College. While there, he took biology and science courses,but he also took basketball, as he put it. He didnt play with the team, butbecame the teams videographer so he could practice with the team.---Whileat Yuba, Ezeli also began to play AAU basketball. Because Ezeli was takingfewer than 12 units at Yuba, he could do that and not have any of his futureeligibility affected. Hes still only 16 at this point.RELATED: Will Ezeli have more of an impact than Harrison Barnes?
---Ezeliended up getting 27 college scholarships, but chose Vanderbilt. Ezeli wanted tobe a doctor so he was a biology major for his first year-and-a-half atVanderbilt.But when he startedto believe he had a future in basketball, Ezeli became an Economics majorbecause I felt like I couldnt do both of them (pre-med and basketball) aswell as I wanted to, so I had to pick one and I loved the game. So I decided togo with business, something close to business, and it was Economics.---Inhis senior season at Vanderbilt, Ezeli averaged 10.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and2.0 blocks in 23.2 minutes per game. As he puts it Im still learning thegame.

Klay Thompson makes pledge to North Bay fire relief efforts

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USATI

Klay Thompson makes pledge to North Bay fire relief efforts

Klay Thompson is putting his money where his mouth is.

[POOLE: Unprompted remarks about wildfires show Klay isn't who you thought he was]

Shortly before Noon PT on Friday, Klay posted a 30-second video to Twitter to let it be known that he is donating to the North Bay fire relief.

"Hey everyone. As we all know, Northern California has been tragically effected by these wildfires for the past few weeks. 

And I will be pledging $1,000 per point I score for the next three home games. And you can donate as well by clicking on the link below.

We will be donating to the Redwood Credit Union's fire relief efforts. Let's stick together because a lot of loved ones and families have been displaced and lost from these terrible events.

Property has been damanged but we can build this thing back up if we stick together and donate.

Thank you for listening."

The Warriors' next three home games are:

1) October 25 vs Toronto (18.7 points over 11 career games)
2) October 27 vs Washington (18.4 points over 11 career games)
3) October 29 vs Detroit (18.2 points over 11 career games)

Hopefully the Warriors will be able to create a lot of good looks for Klay during that stretch...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Gameday: Draymond Green vs Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins

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AP

Gameday: Draymond Green vs Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins

Programming note: Warriors-Pelicans coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

After blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead in the season opener Tuesday night, the Warriors will try to wipe away those memories with a win over the Pelicans on Friday night at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

The Warriors will have forwards Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala to help their cause in the home opener for the Pelicans.

History will be on the side of the defending champions, who have won 10 of their last 11 games in New Orleans.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 8.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Draymond Green vs. Anthony Davis: Coming off his injury scare, Green surely expects to be tested by Davis and his teammates. Green tends to thrive on even the slightest challenge. If he and his teammates can keep Davis under control (under 25 points, below 50-percent shooting), the Warriors will have won the battle.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Draymond Green (L knee strain) and F Andre Iguodala (back strain) are listed as available. F Omri Casspi (L ankle spain) is listed as out. G Quinn Cook will be activated, while C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney will be healthy inactives.

Pelicans: C Alexis Ajinca (R knee injury), C Omer Asik (illness), F Soloman Hill (L hamstring tear), G Frank Jackson (R foot fracture) and G Rajon Rondo (L core muscle injury) are listed as out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won seven in a row and 17 of the last 18 meetings.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE BIGS: Whereas the trend in the NBA is to go small, a strategy the Warriors often use, the Pelicans play two traditional big men. In addition to Davis, who has 6-foot-10, they also start 6-11 former Kings C DeMarcus Cousins. Though both are listed as forwards (as Cousins prefers) both also spent time in the post. Expect the Warriors to use their small lineups in hopes of speeding up the game. Will it work?

DEPTH FACTOR: While the Warriors are relatively healthy, the New Orleans is coping with the absences of Rondo, Hill and backup centers Ajinca and Asik. Warriors coach Steve Kerr is unafraid to go deep into his bench. If the Warriors are prepared, in terms of conditioning, to set the fast pace they desire they’ll have a chance to wear down the Pelicans late.

ANGER MOTIVE: The Warriors were displeased with themselves after losing the season opener at home. Iguodala notes they tend to respond to poor performances by examining their mistakes and making corrections. They haven’t opened a season with two consecutive losses since 2009 and want no part of a 0-2 start.