Warriors

The Warriors' pending luxury tax bills might pinch a good deal more

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USATI

The Warriors' pending luxury tax bills might pinch a good deal more

There is no compelling reason why you should necessarily believe, let alone care about, the exhaustive ESPN story about 14 NBA teams losing money in these flush times (or ten, or nine, depending on what numbers you use).

But at some point the Golden State Warriors might have to do so.

The report is a head-scratcher not because the authors, Brian Windhorst and Zach Lowe, don’t know what they’re doing – quite the contrary. They are very good at what they do. But it is because the NBA has never had more money at its disposal, even after all the massive player contracts they have paid out in The Great Money Burn, and has, as owners are wont to do, decided to fight over how all that money is distributed.

The Warriors are among the league’s best earners ($91.9 million profit a year ago, even after paying $42 million in revenue sharing), but if 143 (or 10, or nine) teams are losing money after the $24 billion TV deal that crazed them all, all of a sudden the Oakland economic juggernaut might well find itself with significantly less.

Not enough for you to care, necessarily, but enough that their pending luxury tax bills might pinch a good deal more than they already do, and enough that their new arena turn from loss to profit might be delayed.

The ESPN report is careful to point out that other arena income isn’t factored into these numbers, and the old canard that there are always three sets of books – one for the tax man, one for your partners and the true one – has never been more useful. In short, without knowing the source of documents Lowe and Windhorst received, we cannot educatedly speculate on the motive behind the leak.

The Warriors will be fine no matter whether the league decides to make sure all teams are genuinely profitable every year by recalibrating revenue sharing or tax payments. They have gone from a fringe operation economically to one of the industry leaders (the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knickerbockers are still the king and prince regent of this royal family).

But the only thing that makes billionaires itchier than having “not enough” money is watching one of their partners having what they consider “too much” money. Which is to say, more money than they themselves do. The boardroom battle over that will begin shortly, if it hasn’t already started.

Money’s funny that way. After all, if there’s one last quarter heading toward a sewer grate, there will be 50 well-dressed middle-aged and old men bashing heads in unison trying to grab it before it falls.

Steve Kerr: #FakeKlay 'perfect metaphor for our conditioning'

Steve Kerr: #FakeKlay 'perfect metaphor for our conditioning'

First, there was #ChinaKlay.

Now, there is #FakeKlay.

In case you missed it, a Klay Thompson lookalike was seated behind the Warriors bench during their season-opening loss to the Rockets on Tuesday. He had the full jersey, the facial hair and the cadence.

A day later, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about #FakeKlay and he used it as an opportunity to state that he felt his players were out of shape.

"I thought it was a perfect metaphor for our conditioning as a team," Kerr told the media in Oakland. "I turned around and was like 'Klay, did you have a few extra burgers last night? What happened?' That was great. I love that guy."

So Kerr is definitely a fan of #FakeKlay. No word yet if the real Klay has met #FakeKlay. We'll let you know if they do cross paths.

Warriors spend day reviewing Rockets' horror show, focus on one area of concern

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USATSI

Warriors spend day reviewing Rockets' horror show, focus on one area of concern

OAKLAND -- Sidelined with a back strain, Andre Iguodala spent Tuesday night “yelling at the TV more than I normally do” as the Warriors labored through an uneven performance before blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.

So there was Iguodala, this time with his teammates, sitting before a monitor Wednesday as coach Steve Kerr review the horror show that was a 122-121 loss to the Houston Rockets.

“We only did about a half-hour on the floor, mostly skill work,” Kerr said after the light practice. “Watched a lot of video.

“That game was a weird game because we were shooting the ball well and scoring enough to win. But we never had control of it the way we normally have control of a game, with defense and toughness.”

Though the Warriors were hampered by injuries -- Iguodala being out, while Draymond Green and Omri Casspi were hurt during the game -- beyond their control, there was at least one thing they believe they can fix immediately.

They can avoid some of the fouls, particularly those that are mindless.

That’s the trap Stephen Curry fell into, picking up three fouls in the first four minutes. That he was limited to 30 minutes, and only 18 through the first three quarters, had an impact on the playing rotation and was a factor in the loss.

“The only thing I’m worried about with him is just those little fouls,” Iguodala said. “Because when he’s on the court, no matter if he’s scoring or not, he’s making life easier for everyone else.”

Kerr after the game cited conditioning as an issue and elaborated on the subject Wednesday.

“Conditioning is not just physical. It’s mental, too,” he said. “We were not ready, mentally, to play that game, even when we weren’t tired early in the game.

“There were other lapses, too. After made baskets, transition threes for them we neglected to pick up. That’s not physical conditioning. That’s mental conditioning. That’s where we need to get better. And we will.”

The Warriors will be wounded in more ways than one when they board their flight to New Orleans Thursday morning. They’ll have some achy players, for sure, but they’ll also have a 0-1 record.

“I feel like losses have this huge effect on us that usually benefits us,” Iguodala said.