Warriors

Joe Lacob’s 'light years' comment suddenly seems particularly prescient

Joe Lacob’s 'light years' comment suddenly seems particularly prescient

Players trust management, management trusts players and the franchise thrives. That’s how the Warriors operate, and it is proof that building any so-called “super team” proof is about so much more than money and luck.

Achieving sustained success is, ultimately, about culture and fun.

That’s how the Warriors won over forward-thinking superstar Kevin Durant. That’s how they, on the cheap, pulled in savvy veteran David West.

That’s why they could bring in JaVale McGee and Matt Barnes.

And it’s why they’re bringing in Nick Young.

[SHILLER: Agent provides rationale for Nick Young choosing Warriors: 'He met with...']

That Young will officially become a Warrior in the next few days, first reported Wednesday morning by ESPN and confirmed by NBCSportsBayArea.com, seems like a risk. It is, given his history. But it’s a relatively small risk, with a potentially high reward.

Young’s reputation as a clown is not unlike the rep McGee had when he arrived in Oakland. At 6-foot-7 with a remarkable shooting touch, Young gives the Warriors yet another shooter off the bench, alongside Omri Casspi.

The Warriors looked beyond the image, placed trust in their culture, and will get in Young a poor man’s Klay Thompson. Young will accept the team’s midlevel exception of $5.2 million and give them a longer, more explosive version of Ian Clark.

As for Young, his one-year trail grants the opportunity to rebrand himself, just as McGee did.

Each one of these recent veteran acquisitions has been as a direct result of player-to-player recruitment, and that would not be possible without the incumbent players having full faith in the likes of coach Steve Kerr, president/general manager Bob Myers and CEO Joe Lacob.

That’s how the Warriors think. When Draymond Green and his teammates lead cheers for the organization, others, like Durant, listen. When Durant spends a season with the Warriors and says they are “where you go when you graduate” from the typical NBA experience, that speaks to players outside the organization.

Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Green closed the deal that added Durant. Durant reached out to West. Iguodala brokered mutual trust between the Warriors and McGee. Green, Durant and Curry opened the door for Young to move from the Lakers to the Warriors.

The Warriors have created something of a basketball factory, a living and breathing thing that sustains itself on tradition. It’s Patriots football, except with open joy and a warmer heart. It’s Duke basketball without Coach K barking and snarling. It’s Apple with only a portion of the ruthlessness.

When Lacob said in a New York Times Magazine article 16 months ago that the Warriors were “light years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things,” many around the NBA responded by chuckling and rolling their eyes.

Guy’s team wins one championship and he thinks he reinvented winning.

They doubled over with laughter when the Warriors became the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in The Finals, by which time the “light years” phrase had become a source of constant ridicule.

How’s this big bowl of humility taste, Mr. Light Years?

Nobody is laughing now. Everybody is either chasing the Warriors or surrendering before them. Lacob’s “light years” comment suddenly seems particularly prescient, as does the second part of the quote:

“We’re going to be a handful for the rest of the NBA to deal with for a long time.”

Warriors one win away from playing Pelicans in Western Conference Semifinals

Warriors one win away from playing Pelicans in Western Conference Semifinals

SAN ANTONIO -- The Warriors are one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals, and if they get there the New Orleans Pelicans will be waiting.

The Pelicans on Saturday became the first NBA team advance this postseason when they completed a sweep of Portland with a 131-123 win in Game 4 in New Orleans.

New Orleans entered the postseason as a No. 6 seed, while the Trail Blazers were the 3-seed and had earned homecourt advantage.

The Warriors have a 3-0 series lead over the San Antonio Spurs. The teams meet in Game 4 Sunday afternoon.

Should the Warriors close out the series, they would open against the Pelicans next weekend at Oracle Arena.

Steph Curry looks solid in return to Warriors practice with no sign of setback

Steph Curry looks solid in return to Warriors practice with no sign of setback

SAN ANTONIO -- Stephen Curry returned to practice Saturday, but there will be no miracle Sunday when the Warriors meet the Spurs in Game 4 of their first-round series.

“He’s coming along well,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “But don’t expect him to be Willis Reed tomorrow.”

The Willis Reed reference dates back to the 1970 NBA Finals, when the Knicks center came limping onto the court for Game 7, despite a torn muscle in his right thigh, provided an emotional lift that gave New York the victory.

Curry has missed the last four weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee. The Warriors were pleased to have him back on the court for non-contact drills. He completed those drills along with his teammates, without any sign of a setback.

“From his movements, he looked good to me,” Kevin Durant said.

“He was really shooting the ball well and moving around well,” assistant coach Ron Adams said. “I don’t know how he’s feeling internally, but I like his attitude about this. He’s positive and upbeat and it rubs off on the other guys.”

Curry is scheduled to be re-evaluated next weekend, after which his status will be updated.

Though both Shaun Livingston and Durant rolled their left ankles in Game 3, participated in practice. Durant is not on the injury report and Livingston is listed as probable.