Alec Burks expresses desire to remain with Warriors for long term

Alec Burks expresses desire to remain with Warriors for long term

SALT LAKE CITY --  Warriors guard Alec Burks has known stability for much of his NBA career.

That all changed a little more than a year ago, when -- after eight seasons with the Jazz -- he spent much of last season floating between three teams in six months. Even in free agency, when players exert the most control over their destination, he technically was an employee of two teams in the span of a week.

However, while standing on the floor where he's spent most of his NBA career, he expressed interest in being with his current team long term.

"Yeah, I like it here," Burks said following shoot-around Friday morning at Vivant Smart Home Arena. "Great culture, great players, great coaching staff. I would love to."

Burks' current reality didn't seem plausible during the onset of his career. During his first five seasons, he averaged 10.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game, and that performance led to a four-year, $42 million contract in 2014. Then, his base began to crumble, as a series of stress fractures limited the wing to just 100 games over a two-year period, putting the stability of his career in peril.

Last season, Burks was traded three times, finishing the season averaging just 1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 13 games with the Sacramento Kings. In July, Burks agreed to a deal with the Thunder, believing he'd play with Paul George and Russell Westbrook. When both were traded, he was let out of his contract, ultimately signing a one-year deal with the Warriors for basic factors.

"I just knew it was championship-oriented because they were winning so much," he said. "I could see how Steve [Kerr] coached them from afar and the way they worked."

While he's shooting just 42 percent for the season, Burks has shown an ability to score in spurts. Last month against the Grizzlies, he scored 17 of his team-high 29 points in the first half, adding eight rebounds in 36 minutes, helping the Warriors to their second win of the season.

With the Warriors in transition, Burks says he wants to be a part of their climb back to championship form.

"Now I'm a part of it, I just see how everything is laid back," he said. "They work hard, and they go about their business and have fun doing it."

While Burks sees a future in the Bay, his comfort level in Salt Lake is apparent. Just before Golden State's last matchup with Utah more than two weeks ago, Burks spent an extra 15 minutes on the floor conversing with old teammates and arena staff following his pregame workout, an ode to the stability he once had.

"I built real relationships with everybody in the arena. Not just the players but people that worked for the team. People that work in the arena," he said. "They showed me love, so I show them love back."

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: Why Warriors belong to the entire Bay Area]
Burks might have an opportunity to build that in the Bay for years to come, but as he knows all too well, that opportunity won't be promised.

"You never know in this league," he said. "You never know."

Warriors' Willie-Cauley Stein knew Chiefs would make Super Bowl LIV

Warriors' Willie-Cauley Stein knew Chiefs would make Super Bowl LIV

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Willie Cauley-Stein was in a confident mood Monday afternoon. 

Fewer than 24 hours after his Kansas City Chiefs clinched their third Super Bowl appearance in franchise history, setting up a date with the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Feb. 2, Cauley-Stein said he never doubted the Chiefs' path out of the AFC.

"I already knew they were going," Cauley-Stein told NBC Sports Bay Area. "As soon as the [New England] Patriots were out we were good. We were great." 

Cauley-Stein's fandom can be traced to his childhood. A native of Spearville, Kansas -- more than 300 miles away from Arrowhead Stadium -- he loved the Chiefs from an early age. But it would be his scholastic struggles that brought him closer to the franchise.

As a prep prospect in Spearville, his grades dwindled, putting a potential college career in peril. In an effort to improve his grades, the 7-footer was sent 300 miles to live with AAU teammate Shavon Shields, son of then-Chiefs offensive lineman Will Shields. Cauley-Stein transferred to Olathe Northwest High School in a Kansas City suburb. Cauley-Stein's grades began to improve under the elder Shields' tutelage, helping him become eligible for a scholarship to Kentucky. 

"He was really like a straightforward, smart, really intelligent dude," Cauley-Stein said. "I see how he was living and how much he was saving. I think that was the biggest thing about him. How intelligent he was about is money." 

The current iteration of Cauley-Stein's football team has become an offensive juggernaut. During a 12-4 regular season, the Chiefs ranked sixth in total offense (379.2 yards per game) and fifth in passing offense (281.2 yards). 

The biggest reason is quarterback Patrick Mahones, whom observers have compared to Cauley-Stein's current teammate Stephen Curry for their shared propensity for solo offensive displays. In a 51-31 win over the Houston Texans two weeks ago, the Chiefs erased a 24-0 deficit, out-scoring the Texans 28-3 in the second quarter. 

When broached with the cross-sport comparison between MVPs, Curry and Cauley-Stein each had a unique response.

"'Cause we're both light-skinned?" Curry jokingly asked. 

"If you want to break it down football to basketball," Cauley-Stein followed up, "they're pretty similar."

"The beauty is in the eye of the beholder," Curry added.

[RELATED: Steph reportedly targeting March 1 return to Dubs' lineup]

The Warriors are slated to be in a Washington, D.C. hotel during the NFL's finale. Cauley-Stein believes the Chiefs can win their first Super Bowl in half a century.

"If we come in ready," he said. "The only way I feel like San Francisco can beat us is if we don't come in ready to play -- if we come in there cooling. It's going to be a good game. It's definitely going to be who has the better gameplan."

Andre Iguodala roasts ex-Warriors guard Ian Clark for assists total

Andre Iguodala roasts ex-Warriors guard Ian Clark for assists total

Former Warriors guard Ian Clark is playing in China right now.

And in his most recent game for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, he racked up 34 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds.

When he tweeted about the performance, Andre Iguodala couldn't help but troll his former teammate.

And ex-Warriors big man David West got in on the fun with a couple "laughing crying face" emojis.

Andre gets a 10 out of 10 for this joke, because as Warriors fans are well aware, Clark wasn't on the court for his passing ability. He carved out a role with the Dubs because of his ability to score off the bench.

[RELATED: Why Shanahan was Warriors fan before becoming 49ers coach]

In 2015-16, Clark averaged 3.6 points and 1.0 assists in 8.8 minutes per game. The following year, he bumped it up to 6.8 points and 1.2 assists over 14.8 minutes per night.

Thanks for the content, Mr. 2015 NBA Finals MVP.

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