Warriors

Warriors have lots of voices, but are they united?

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Warriors have lots of voices, but are they united?

Warriors owner Joe Lacob has made a lot of front office and coaching moves in the past few months. Taken one by one, Lacob has seemingly assembled a pretty impressive team and certainly a very large one at that.

The big question, however, is whether this team of more than a half-dozen men is capable of turning around the Golden State Warriors, who have missed the playoffs in 16 of the past 17 seasons?

Most important, do the Warriors decision-makers have the ability to work together? They have an abundance of voices, but do they have focus? Heres the real question: Is this group a hodgepodge of talent or a team put together with chemistry in mind?

Lets take a look:

Joe Lacob: He is the owner, he is interested and he is very much involved in all decisions regarding basketball and basketball personnel. No trade will be made, no player will be drafted and no player will be acquired via free agency unless Lacob signs off on it.

Jerry West: Everyone agrees that his voice is and should be the most respected one in the room. There is certain to be deference shown to West, who has been brought in as an executive board member. We already know West liked Klay Thompson before the June draft, and sure enough, the Warriors selected Thompson with the No. 11 pick.

By the same token, it will not be West working the phones, creating deals or inquiring about players. West will surely be brought in at the end of the process when the franchise believes it has a decision to make.

Larry Riley: Technically, Riley, the teams general managerexecutive vice president of basketball operations is above Bob Myers on the organizational flow chart, and yet it is generally acknowledged that Myers, the assistant GM, has more power and will eventually become the GM.

Riley is still going to be the one in front of the cameras, explaining the Warriors trades, signings, etc., but its tough to imagine hell be the decision-maker he was a year ago.

Bob Myers: There are agents out there who know the game of basketball and there are agents out there who dont know as much. Instead, they see the game more through their clients eyes which often distorts the view.

We have no idea what kind of basketball mind Myers has whether hes creative, whether he understands and values chemistry, whether hes got a specific idea of how to build a team.

By virtually every account, he was a respected agent, forthright and competent. But thats a very different skill set than the one hell need now as the teams assistant general managervice president of basketball operations.

Travis Schlenk: After the transition from Chris Cohan to Lacob, Schlenk came away with a promotion and extension. Hes the teams assistant general managerdirector of player personnel.

Last season, he traveled and saw more college and international games than anyone else in the organization. Riley has openly credited Schlenk with the Dorell Wright signing, which brought in a very competent player at a very reasonable salary.

Riley was said to have leaned on Schlenk quite a bit in the past season or two. Riley still may in fact be doing that, but does it matter? Despite Schlenks promotion, he probably has less decision-making power than he did a year ago.

Kirk Lacob: Conventional wisdom is that Kirk Lacob, the director of basketball operations and son of Joe Lacob, will eventually run the Golden State Warriors. And so he is absolutely in on everything of significance when it comes to basketball operations.

He also was recently named the general manager of the Dakota Wizards the Warriors D-League team which will give us our first clue as to what hell do in terms of assembling a basketball roster, etc. Kirk is very much like his father in that he wants to know anything and everything thats out there in terms of trades. Kirk certainly doesnt have the kind of clout that his dad or Jerry West has. But its not like hes walking around the office without a point of view.

Mark Jackson: Most of the time a coach shouldn't be on this list. But the sheer force of Jackson's personality is going to make him a factor. Not to mention, on the day he was hired, Jackson said he expected to be involved in personnel decisions. And Jackson, more than anyone else, seemed to quell the talk of Monta Ellis being traded. Point is, don't forget about Jackson.

Report: KD wants to own an NBA team

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Report: KD wants to own an NBA team

Kevin Durant figures to have a good chunk of his career ahead of him, but he's already thinking of his next move.

Durant is only 29-years-old, but is already in the midst of his 11th NBA season. For his post-basketball life, the reigning Finals MVP has his sights set on NBA ownership.

Over his last 18 months as a member of the Golden State Warriors, Durant's increasingly yearned to own an NBA team, according to a report from ESPN's Chris Haynes. 

"[This] is a genuine goal of his after he retires, to add another African-American in the position of majority ownership," a league source told Haynes under the condition of anonymity. 

Currently, Michael Jordan is the only African-American majority owner in the league. Durant said he would also like to see more African-Americans in front office roles. 

"[Jordan] was the first big Nike athlete, the biggest star of his time, but if you don't have the trajectory, that path, that journey, it's going to be hard to do what he did," Durant told ESPN. "But you can still affect the NBA and the game of basketball in a different way. You don't have to be an owner.

"I think it should be more guys in the positions of power like general managers and scouts and coaches. Anything that involves the day-to-day operations of these franchises. I think more players and more experienced players should be in those positions."

Durant and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, have met with multiple tech executives and team owners in order to "learn the lay of the land," Haynes wrote. 

He's not the only former MVP on the Warriors with ownership aspirations, either. Stephen Curry tweeted last month he wanted in on Sean "Diddy" Combs' prospective bid for the Carolina Panthers, and Curry told ESPN last month he's "really serious" about the opportunity. 

Gameday: Intensity, fury rages as Warriors visit Cavaliers in rivalry's next chapter

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Gameday: Intensity, fury rages as Warriors visit Cavaliers in rivalry's next chapter

The Warriors will have their full squad available Monday when they wrap up their season series with the longtime rival Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

The teams have met in the last three NBA Finals, with the Warriors winning twice.

The Warriors (35-9) are coming off an impressive back-to-back road sweep, winning at Milwaukee on Friday and at Toronto on Saturday. Their regular starting lineup -- Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia and Draymond Green -- will be together for only the fourth time in the last six weeks.

The Cavaliers (26-16) have stumbled lately, losing seven of their last nine. Isaiah Thomas, acquired in the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston in August, made his debut on Jan. 3 and will be playing his fourth game as a member of the Cavaliers.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 5.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James: The top two forwards, and conceivably the two best players, in the game today. The Warriors are 5-2 against Cleveland since Durant was acquired to offset James. James is No. 3 in scoring (27.1 per game), Durant No. 5 (26.3). Both are efficient scoring machines. James is rebounding better (8.0-7.0), Durant blocking more shots (2.14-1.07). When these two clash, it’s hard to take your eyes off them. Durant asks to defend James and won the battle when the teams met on Christmas Day in Oakland.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Omri Casspi (low back soreness), F Andre Iguodala (hip flexor strain) and G Shaun Livingston (L shin contusion) have been upgraded to available.

Cavaliers: G Derrick Rose (L ankle sprain) and G Iman Shumpert (L knee surgery rehab) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Cavaliers: 3-7.

GAME OFFICIALS

Scott Foster (crew chief), Marat Kogut, Eric Lewis

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won the first of two meetings this season, 99-92, on Christmas Day in Oakland. The teams split two meetings last season. The Warriors have won five of the last seven regular-season meetings and 11 of the last 14. They have won 11 of 18 NBA Finals games played in the last three years.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE POINT MEN: Neither Curry nor Thomas played on Christmas Day, so it’ll be intriguing to see them renew a battle that dates back to Thomas’ days in Sacramento. Curry generated dominated the matchup, though Thomas has since made the leap from good to great offensive player. One thing remains, though: Thomas remains among the league’s worst defenders.

INTENSITY LEVELS: Because of the history, the air crackles with fury when these teams meet. That won’t change anytime soon. But the Cavaliers, having beaten the Warriors only once in the last seven meetings, should be particularly fierce. This game means more to Cleveland than it does to the Warriors. Will the Warriors be able to match the intensity they’ll face inside the Q?

THE ARC: The 3-ball almost certainly will be crucial in this game. The Cavs are third in 3-pointers made (513), while the Warriors are fifth at 505. But the Warriors are more accurate, shooting at 38.9 percent to Cleveland’s 37.2. The Warriors are slightly better at defending the arc and, on the other end, can use ball movement to stress the Cavs’ relatively slow defenders.