Warriors

Adonal Foyle recalls brutal first talk with Don Nelson

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USATSI

Adonal Foyle recalls brutal first talk with Don Nelson

SAN FRANCISCO -- He is among the greatest basketball coaches ever to walk a sideline. Creative and abrasive, accomplished yet unfulfilled, all wrapped in a 6-foot-7 package of Svengali.

Some say Don Nelson, who served two stints coaching the Warriors, was brutally honest, others insist needlessly cruel. There is little dispute, though, that “Nellie” could be as subjective as the sun is hot.

If you were one of “his guys,” you could do little wrong.

If you weren’t, you knew it early and you heard it often -- as former Warriors center Adonal Foyle, who was on the roster for 10 seasons, discovered in 2006.

“Don Nelson told me the first day he showed up at the gym: ‘You suck. You’ll never play for me. You make too much money.’ That was it,“ Foyle recalled Tuesday on the Warriors Insider Podcast.

“And he was having a cigar when he did it.”

Foyle, who returned to the Warriors in 2014 to serves as a Community Ambassador, clearly enjoyed his time with the “We Believe” Warriors, despite and because of the presence of Nelson. Foyle quickly learned about the two sides of Nellie.

Nelson had favorites. There was, in his first stint coaching the Warriors, Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway, to name two. In his second stint, there was Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson.

Yet the list of those who could not seem to escape Nelson’s doghouse may have been longer, including the likes of Terry Teagle, Tyrone Hill, Sarunas Marciulionis and, later, Al Harrington, Ike Diogu, Marco Belinelli. Nelson’s most famous object of disgust was, of course, Chris Webber.

Foyle, who logged 1,824 minutes before Nelson’s arrival in 2006, played only 475 minutes in 2006-07.

“I knew I wasn’t going to play, because he made it clear,” Foyle recalled. “So I could be pissed off. I could be angry.

“I’m just going to be there. I’m just going to do my job the best way I could for that year. And I’m just going to learn. And I’m just going to help our where I can. I’ll help my teammates out. I’ll do the job that I’m paid to do.”

Foyle, the team’s all-time leader in blocked shots (1,140), scored a total of 107 points that season. His 50 blocks ranked third on the team. His ratio of blocks, one every 9.5 minutes, led the team.

The Warriors staged a furious rally to close the season, ending a 13-year postseason drought by gaining the No. 8 seed. They pulled off an epic upset, stunning top-seeded Dallas in the first round.

The Utah Jazz in the second round eliminated the Warriors in five games, the last played on May 15.

Ninety days later, Nelson and the Warriors bought out Foyle’s contract. He spent his final two seasons in Orlando and Memphis.

Lakers at Warriors watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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AP/USATSI

Lakers at Warriors watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors haven’t won a home game in nearly six weeks, but the absence of LeBron James on Thursday leaves ajar the door to victory.

Slightly ajar, we should say.

James will be on the sideline nursing a groin injury when the Western Conference-leading Lakers visit the last-place Warriors at Chase Center. Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff of the TNT telecast scheduled for 7:30.

The Warriors (12-46), in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, also have dropped their last seven at home, the last win being a 109-95 throttling of the Magic on Jan. 18. The return of Draymond Green after a two-game absence should provide leadership and a degree of stability.

The Lakers (44-12) have won six consecutive games and have stated the goal of securing the No. 1 seed in the conference. LA entered Thursday with a five-game lead over the second-place Nuggets.

The Lakers won the first two of four meetings this season, posting s 120-94 rout on Nov. 13 in LA and holding off the Warriors for a 125-120 victory on Feb. 8 at Chase.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Lakers

F – Kyle Kuzma

F – Anthony Davis

C – JaVale McGee

G – Danny Green

G – Avery Bradley

Warriors

F – Andrew Wiggins

F – Draymond Green

C – Marquese Chriss

G – Damian Lee

G – Jordan Poole

 

INJURY REPORT

Lakers: F Anthony Davis (L elbow soreness) is listed as probable. F LeBron James (groin soreness) is listed as out.

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (L hand fracture) and G Klay Thompson (L ACL rehab) are listed as out. F/C Alen Smailagic is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the G League.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Lakers: With James out, Kuzma likely will get his seventh start of the season. Another option available to coach Frank Vogel would be to insert G/F Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, three inches shorter than the 6-8 Kuzma, at SF because KCP is a better defensive option against Wiggins . . . Kuzma’s 12.5 ppg ranks third on the team and No. 1 in scoring among LA reserves. Backup C Dwight Howard is No. 2 at 7.7 ppg . . . James has missed only two previous games this season, with the Lakers splitting those games . . . The Lakers are undefeated (17-0) against Western Conference teams away from LA. Their lone loss came at Staples Center on opening night against the host Clippers . . . They average 7.0 blocks per game, with Davis at 2.5 pg, McGee at 1.5 pg and backup C Dwight Howard at 1.3 pg . . . If you’re looking for a vulnerable area, try these two: The Lakers are 14-9 when they shoot fewer FTs than opponents, and they are 3-4 when featured on TNT.

Warriors: The return of Green, who has missed 16 games this season, sends rookie Eric Paschall back to the bench after two starts at PF . . . On the bench and healthy: C Dragan Bender, PG Ky Bowman, C/F Kevon Looney, SG Mychal Mulder and SF Juan Toscano-Anderson. Mulder was added to the roster Wednesday after signing a 10-day contract. He averaged 17.0 ppg in 39 games (34 starts) with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the G League . . . Poole averaged 15.7 pts. over his last seven games, shooting 44.6 pct. from the field, including 23.9 percent from distance . . . Chriss has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 13 games, averaging 14.2 pts. over that stretch on 63.9 pct. shooting from the field . . . The last Warriors rookie to post more than 40 games with at least 10 points was Klay Thompson in 2011-12. With 24 games remaining, Paschall has 36 such games . . . The Warriors have utilized 29 different starting lineups this season, their highest since 2009-10, when they tried 49 starting lineups.

Officials: Ken Mauer (crew chief), Tyler Ford, Marat Kogut.

Why Bob Myers questioned decision to trade Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson

Why Bob Myers questioned decision to trade Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson

Steve Kerr was hired as head coach of the Warriors in May 2014.

Since then, you have heard countless references to the incredible "culture" within the Golden State organization.

And despite the fact the Dubs have the worst record in the NBA right now, that culture remains strong. The foundation is rock solid.

Oh, you want an example? Glad you asked.

President of basketball operations/general manager Bob Myers provided the following anecdote during a podcast appearance on "The TK Show" with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic:

"The night we traded (Alec) Burks and (Glenn) Robinson -- that was a little bit of a gut-wrenching thing for the people on the team. Those guys were good players and good guys and did everything we asked of them.

"And I had a moment, too. I started questioning. We're really kind of ripping our fabric apart here. And (assistant general manager) Mike Dunleavy -- who played 15 years -- said, 'Here's the other side of that coin: The fact that guys are in tears -- and we've only won 10 games or 12 games and don't want to leave -- says something about what you guys have created.'

"So I'm proud of that part ... it sucks to lose. But what makes it good or bad are the people."

Strong stuff.

Neither Burks or Robinson III wanted to be traded. Even when they found out they were going to a contender in the Philadelphia 76ers, they still were upset.

"To play those consistent minutes a night and perform well ... that’s the most disappointing part about coming here is that -- both of us are coming off career years where we’re looking at hopefully big numbers after the season," Robinson recently told Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders. "I know I’ve got a family to feed. So you think about all those things.

"All those things play a role, and then when you come here and your role’s not really explained or you don’t know what’s going on with the trade -- it’s not like it was a trade where you come in and immediately have an impact. It’s a little different, so ...

"This team is full of wings, full of guys who can play. So really, I don’t really understand it. But it’s a business, you’ve got to make it happen and go out and try to do your best every night.”

[RELATED: Dubs GM Myers recalls 2011 NBA Draft dinner with 'shy' Klay]

It is a business, and Myers and the front office had an opportunity to acquire three second-round draft picks, so they jumped on it.

But the human element is very real, which caused Myers to second-guess the trade.

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