Weber impressed by Warriors' superstar lineup: 'This is my 2K team'

Weber impressed by Warriors' superstar lineup: 'This is my 2K team'

Programming note: Warriors-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. on CSN Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live (territory restrictions apply) and streaming live right here

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.”


Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut


Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut

OAKLAND -- Like much of the NBA and everyone with an interest in the Warriors, Omri Casspi has watched the emergence of Quinn Cook, who came out of the G-League and is making a strong bid to make the postseason roster.

Casspi, out since spraining his right ankle last Friday against Sacramento, happens to be at or near the top of the list of the tiny group of players that might be dropped should the Warriors decide to add Cook.

The 6-foot-9 veteran forward has heard the chatter.

“First of all, it’s you guys talking,” Casspi said, referring to media. “I don’t really feel it from the organization. At the end of the day, I’m focused on getting healthy and playing. That’s all I can control.

“I feel like the team needs me and know what I can do for the team. My focus is on getting healthy and playing.”

The Warriors have until April 11 to submit their playoff roster.

Casspi’s roster spot is in danger for three reasons.

One, he has lost confidence in his long-distance shooting, which was influential in the team’s decision to sign him to a one-year minimum contract last July.

Two, his defense has been a glaring weakness, with teams attacking him at every opportunity.

Three, he had fallen out of the rotation when the team was fully healthy and didn’t return until after succession of injuries. Casspi exceeded 10 minutes of playing time in only one of the 12 games before injuries to several teammates became a factor.

Stephen Curry’s ankle woes this season, along with Cook’s impressive play, are making a persuasive argument for adding the third-year point guard.

For now, Casspi is determined to get back on court after missing the last two games.

“With my role on this team, when I’m healthy I want to go out there and play, maybe not 100 percent healthy, but close to it,” he said. “That’s what I’m focused on, on feeling good and running up and down and being able to cut and move and be out there again with the guys.”

As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay


As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all worked up sweat Wednesday, putting the Warriors ever closer to being whole again.

Only Draymond Green did not full participate in the non-contact practice session, but he’s expected back in a matter of days.

So while the Warriors are a little more than a week away from possibly having the full squad available, they’re starting to feel a little less vulnerable.

“They’re all kind of day-to-day,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Steph is closer to playing than KD and Klay.”

Curry has not played since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle. He missed the last six games. Durant (rib cartilage injury) and Thompson (right thumb sprain) sustained their injuries on March 11 at Minnesota, though Durant played one more game, March 14, before receiving a diagnosis. Durant missed the last three games, Thompson the last four.

Green sustained a pelvic contusion Monday night at San Antonio, but believes he will be available this weekend, either Friday against Atlanta or Sunday against Utah.

Curry, though, is fully cleared for all activities.

“Steph looks great,” Kerr said. “He’s chomping at the bit. But we’ll see how he responds in the next couple days before we decide whether he plays or not.”

Durant loathes acknowledging pain or injuries, and his return will be dictated by his ability with withstanding the contact inevitable in the course of a game.

“I don’t expect KD to play this week,” Kerr said. “It’s not like a timetable . . . just sort of a feel thing. It’s symptomatic with him.”

Thompson seems, at this point, the furthest away from full activity.

“Klay did some stuff," Kerr said, “but not full participation.”