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SACRAMENTO -- It was almost midnight when the newest Warrior arrived at Sacramento International Airport, from where he was driven to the team’s luxury hotel. Life changed in a blink for Briante Weber.
And now he hopes it has changed for good.
The 6-foot-2 point guard, who attracted notice from several teams with stellar play in the NBA Development League, signed a 10-day contract and participated in the morning shootaround with his teammates at Golden 1 Center.
Weber, filling the roster spot created Friday when the Warriors waived Anderson Varejao, gives the Warriors much-needed backcourt depth.
“As much as we’re going to miss Andy and his influence on the team and his professionalism, that had to take precedence,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Every decision we make is going to be with the best interests of the team in mind. As painful as it was, that’s what we had to do.”
And while the Warriors like what little they saw, Weber clearly was impressed with being in the company of All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.
“Just being around the guys, these superstar-caliber players -- Steph, Klay, KD and Dray -- for a kid like me, it’s just like, ‘wow,’ This is my 2K team,” Weber said Saturday morning. “This is who I play with on the game.
“So it’s kind of different, being in the locker room with the guys. It’s going to take a while for me to get used to it. But at the same time, I’m going to do my best not to be star struck.”
Kerr, who has studied video of Weber, said the most frequent comparison he hears is Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, who is an aggressive defender who is a contributor on offense.
“Our scouts really like him,” Kerr said. “He’s very athletic, very defensive-minded, he gets into the ball, puts pressure on the ball. He can be very disruptive.
We’ll see. You never know. The D-League is very different from the NBA, but he has a lot of ability and we’ll see how it works out.”
Though both the Heat -- with whom he signed a 10-day deal last season -- and the Hornets also were interested in Weber, he opted for the Warriors.
“Charlotte has three point guards. Miami of course has 17 guards. I’ve been with Miami. If they haven’t picked me up by now, why continue to go down the same road?” Weber said. “So I figured I should pick something new and, actually, a team with a spot. And they actually let somebody go to fill me in. That means a lot. That says a lot about the organization and how they feel about me potentially being here for longer than just 10 days.
“I kind of picked the spot that was going to give me the best opportunity to expose myself and put myself on the radar for everybody else too.”
Almost exactly two years ago, on Jan. 31, 2015, while at Virginia Commonwealth University, Weber sustained a serious injury to his right knee. Even though he wore a protective brace during shootaround, he says he is fully recovered, something that appears to be confirmed by video highlights of his spectacular D-League work.
It was enough that Durant and Curry, both of whom took note of Weber’s leaping ability during shootaround, used iPhones to see the highlights for themselves.
“He went up there and dunked a few in shootaround,” said Durant, who recalled watching Weber at VCU. “It kind of surprised us all, especially me. I didn’t know he had it like that.”