Warriors

My all-time Warriors team

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My all-time Warriors team

Hard to believe I've been covering -- and some might suggest, hanging around -- the Golden State Warriors for almost 20 years now.

First season was back in 1994-95, the year Chris Webber was traded to the then-Washington Bullets for Tom Gugliotta and three draft picks.

Over that period, close to 200 players have worn the Warriors' uniform. Some had distinguished careers with the Warriors, and others didn't. Using my own criteria, here's a list of my starting five when it comes to the most favorite guys I've covered:

Guard: Mookie Blaylock. Few players were as misunderstood as Blaylock. By the time he got to the Warriors, he had 10 NBA seasons under his belt and already had experienced playoff success with the Atlanta Hawks. When he got to the Warriors in 1999, he saw the writing on the wall. He was a veteran on a young team, his winning days were over and he knew it. Still, I've never seen any Golden State point guard as effective defensively as Blaylock. And, oh, by the way, that time Blaylock blew off practice to go golfing in San Antonio the head coach at the time, Dave Cowens, had given players permission to bring their clubs on that trip.

Guard: B.J. Armstrong. Very few Warriors brought the kind of professionalism that Armstrong brought to the Warriors in 1995. I've never seen a player with a more rigid and comprehensive pregame routing. He arrived at the arena at the same time before every game, had a cup of coffee at the same time before every game and headed out for early shooting at the same time before every game. Off the court, he took care of his body, ate the right kinds of foods and got his rest.

Forward: Chris Mullin. Few players offered the kind of basketball insight that Mullin did, whether it was before games or after games. Mullin always had a way of pointing out something that most people -- particularly the media -- never saw or realized about a game or situation. Mullin also was the hardest-working player I've ever seen.

Forward: Clifford Robinson. He played only a season-and-a-half for the Warriors, but game after game he outplayed his opposite number over that time. Without a doubt, Robinson was the best defensive power forward the Warriors have had on their team in the past 20 years. My lingering memory of Robinson was him routinely shutting down a young Pao Gasol, who was playing for Memphis.

Center: Felton Spencer. He certainly wasn't the best center in Warriors history, but he might have been the most friendly and most classy. I cannot remember Spencer without a smile on his face, and no player ever supported his teammates anymore than Spencer.

Sixth man: Nick Van Exel. I have a soft spot for truth-tellers, and that's what Van Exel was. By the time he got to the Warriors, his best days were behind him -- and he never hid from that. He certainly wasn't a calming influence in the locker room -- or for coach Eric Musselman -- but he always had his reasons for what he did. And he'd share them if you asked him.

Draymond originally concerned his knee injury was more serious

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USATI

Draymond originally concerned his knee injury was more serious

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

On Friday morning, the Warriors announced that Draymond Green is going to play on Friday night against the Pelicans.

After shootaround, Draymond talked about the left knee strain he sustained on Tuesday.

"It didn't lock up. I tweaked it. I was concerned. I honestly thought it was my meniscus. It was a big relief," Draymond told reporters in New Orleans. "The next day when I woke up, the pain was a little better.

"As that day went on -- once I got the MRI, I got it early - -and then I went and got treatment and it felt a lot better.

"I hadn't even got the results but I was pretty confident at that point."

Draymond sustained the injury late in the third quarter against Houston and did not play in the fourth quarter.

He registered nine points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists before exiting.

Draymond, Iguodala will play against the Pelicans

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AP

Draymond, Iguodala will play against the Pelicans

UPDATE (9:40am on Friday morning) -- Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala will play tonight against the Pelicans, the Warriors announced.

***

The Draymond Green injury scare appears to be nothing more than that.

One day after undergoing an MRI test on his left knee and finding no structural damage, the power forward practiced with the Warriors upon arrival in New Orleans Thursday afternoon.

Green was immediately upgraded from doubtful to probable for the game against the Pelicans on Friday night at Smoothie King Center.

Forward Andre Iguodala, who missed the season opener Tuesday, also is on track to be available. He participated in practice Wednesday and agains Thursday in New Orleans and was upgraded from questionable to probable.

Meanwhile, forward Omri Casspi, was downgraded from questionable to out. After spraining his right ankle in the preseason finale last Friday, he sprained his left ankle in the season opener.