Warriors

Omri Casspi flooded with emotions after best game with Warriors: 'I'm loving it'

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AP

Omri Casspi flooded with emotions after best game with Warriors: 'I'm loving it'

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi took a deep breath and paused and started talking and, honestly, seemed to be suppressing his emotions to keep them from tumbling out.

The veteran forward was moments removed from his most extended playing time as a member of the Warriors, 20 minutes in a 125-101 win over the Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

Casspi, 29, is a native of Israel who has been on six different NBA rosters, Sacramento to the west, Houston and New Orleans to the south, Cleveland to the east and Minnesota to the west. Now that he’s member of the Warriors, well, he seems downright grateful to be here and particularly appreciative to have Steve Kerr has his head coach.

Asked what it means to have a coach who spent his 15-year NBA career as a reserve and can share that kinship, Casspi needed a moment.

“Wow. I can’t even put it into words,” he said. “It’s the first time . . . he really knows how to get to me, coaching into my heart.

“As a player that comes into a team that obviously won championships, you know what you’re getting into, it’s really important for me as an individual that you have that relationship with your coach. And I feel like he really got to my heart. He keeps me going. He’s a very special human being . . . I’m enjoying this very much.”

That much was apparent Wednesday. He had submitted a fine line: 13 points, three rebounds, three blocks, two steals and one assist. He had played a total of 65 minutes over the first 11 games, and he was savoring the opportunity.

“I feel like it’s first time in my career, not to take anything from the different teams I’ve played with in the past,” he said, “but I feel like the way we play, our offense, our defense as well . . . I feel like I can play basketball and not think too much. Just play the game.”

For Casspi, that means moving without the ball and making slick passes on offense, while sneaking in and being a disruptive force on defense. He was plus-9 because he was effective at both ends.

So effective was Casspi that as he stood at the line to shoot free throws in the fourth quarter, as the Warriors were closing out the victory, he received “MVP” chants from the Oracle Arena crowd.

It’s enough to leave his coach beaming.

“On a night like this, it allows guys like Omri and Nick (Young) to step in there and get good minutes,” Kerr said. “It’s good for the team, it’s good for morale, it’s good for individual development.”

There is that kinship thing. Kerr is a big believer in communicating with all of his players, especially those who don’t have established roles and regular playing time. That was him 20 years ago, and he seems to excel at having a feel for backup players.

So Casspi, playing behind a championship team with established stars for the first time, is positively euphoric.

“I’m able to cut and do the stuff that role players should do,” he said. “I’m enjoying it, I’m loving it and I want to keep doing it. And keep going and play hard and do what I need to do.”

Kerr dreams of world with quiet Trump and LaVar Ball: 'Wouldn't that be great?'

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USATSI

Kerr dreams of world with quiet Trump and LaVar Ball: 'Wouldn't that be great?'

In the real world, the President of the United States Donald Trump started a Twitter feud with LaVar Ball on Sunday. 

Trump believes he should have left three college athletes, including Ball's son LiAngelo, in a Chinese jail for shoplifting. In return, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wants the two to simply stop talking.

"It would be nice for all of us if both of them would just be quiet," Kerr said to reporters at the Barclays Center. "Wouldn't that be great?"

Coach Kerr on LaVar/Trump beef: “It would be nice for all of us if both of them would just be quiet.”

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"Modern life. Two people seeking attention and are both getting it, so I'm sure both guys are really happy," Kerr initially said when first asked about the two. 

Unprompted, Kerr then asked reporters for a request to help us all. 

"You know what would help, if all of you stopped covering both of them," Kerr pleaded. "Is that possible? You can probably stop covering LaVar. I don't think you can stop covering the President. I don't think that'll work." 

Ex-Warriors All-Star David Lee announces his retirement from the NBA

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USATSI

Ex-Warriors All-Star David Lee announces his retirement from the NBA

In the span of about 16 days, David Lee has made a lot of changes to his life.

On Nov. 3, he announced that he got engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

On Sunday, the former Warriors All-Star forward announced his retirement from the NBA with a post on Instagram.

"An epic night celebrating my retirement with my friends and family! Thank you to my amazing fiancée @carowozniacki for planning the surprise!" Lee wrote as the caption for a photo of him with all his friends.

Former teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were among those that "Liked" the posted. Curry even left a comment.

"They'll still always have trouble with the pitch and follow man Man! Congrats," Curry wrote.

Acquired in July of 2009 from the Knicks, Lee played five seasons with the Warriors. During his time in Oakland, he averaged 16.7 points and 9.6 rebounds.

Lee was named to the Western Conference All-Star team during the 2012-13 season. He averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game that season.

The 34-year-old capped off his tenure with the Warriors by winning an NBA championship in 2015. After the playoff run, the Warriors traded Lee to Boston. He spent last season with the Spurs and appeared in 79 games.