OAKLAND -- By the time reporters entered Warriors practiceon Thursday, center Andrew Bogut was already icing his left ankle.But that wasnt necessarily a bad sign.According to coach Mark Jackson, Bogut is beginning to pickup the pace of his practicing and playing. Bogut has been cleared to playfive-on-five, though he hasnt yet done that in a full-court setting. He did dofive-on-five in a halfcourt, controlled-type situation.Hes continuing to do a little bit more and were going tomonitor him and were going to see how he feels by doing more and more,Jackson said. And when hes ready to go, hell play but I think the smart wayto do it is continue to introduce more play with him and then play it by ear.Bogut fractured his left ankle in January and hasnt playedin a game since. The goal was for Bogut to play in a couple of preseason gamesand then be ready for the opener on Oct. 31.But Bogut missed the entire preseason and its looking moreand more like he wont be playing on Halloween night against the Suns inPhoenix.He did a little bit of drill action with contact, Jacksonsaid of Thursdays practice. He looked very good. The bottom line is were notgoing to throw him out there. Hes too important to this franchise, tooimportant to this basketball team. We want to be very, very patient with him.Curry watches: Warriors point guardStephen Curry sat out all of Thursdays practice, but Jackson said that was nobig deal.Were just continuing to play it smart, Jackson said ofCurry. We dont need him today. Its making sure hes ready when it mattersmost. But its just precautionary reasons.Curry, who missed 40 games last season because of ankleissues, said he will be ready for the opener.Jackson on Stern: NBA commissioner DavidStern announced on Thursday that he will be stepping down on Feb. 1, 2014, andthat Adam Silver will be his replacement.Said Jackson: Ive been a part of this league since 87 andI came in and he was the commissioner. He did just an incredible job ofbringing this league to where it is today. Every player coach, general manager,fan owes a big thank you to commissioner Stern.In my opinion he was the best to ever do it at running aleague. Obviously we still have some more time till 2014 but it shouldcertainly be as I remember as a young fan -- when it was a world tour of thankyous throughout the league for legends of the game. I say start early becausehes done an incredible job of putting us all in position to be financiallywell-off. Its a different league than before he took it.
Jordan Bell likely envisioned a longer debut at the United Center.
The Chicago Bulls traded the pick used to select Bell to the Golden State Warriors for cash considerations, and Bell's taken plenty of chances to remind the Bulls to remind them of that fact.
Instead of getting another chance to rub it in, Bell injured his left ankle 24 seconds in to Golden State's 119-112 win over Chicago on Wednesday. On Thursday, Bell and the Warriors learned the results of his MRI, and it's not as bad as the team first feared, according to head coach Steve Kerr.
"Well, it seemed a lot worse at the time when it happened. Everyone kind of thought he had a broken a bone just based on his reaction [and] what he was telling us," Steve Kerr told Damon Bruce on 95.7 The Game. "But the MRI was pretty good this morning. Nothing glaring.
"The X-ray was fine yesterday. So it doesn't appear to be more than a bone bruise but bone bruises can be tricky to heal, so we'll see what happens. But so far, the news has all been good."
Bell has emerged as a bench contributor in his first NBA season. In 38 games, he's averaging 5.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 blocks in 14.4 minutes.
After sending four players to the NBA All-Star Game last season in New Orleans, the Warriors are halfway to repeating the feat this season.
Point guard Stephen Curry and small forward Kevin Durant were voted in as Western Conference starters for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the NBA announced on Thursday.
Though Curry has missed 15 games -- nearly one-third of the season -- it has not hurt his popularity; His No. 30 is the NBA’s best-selling jersey for the third straight season. He is averaging team-leading 27.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and 1.65 steals per game.
Curry is the first member of the Warriors to be named a starter for five consecutive All-Star games. As the player with the most fan votes, Curry becomes a captain and is in position to select the members of his team.
Durant, who has missed eight games this season, was named as a starter for the sixth time, the first four coming when he was a member of the Thunder.
Durant is averaging 26.2 points (fifth in the league) 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.05 blocks (fourth in the league) per game.