Warriors

Alen Smailagic reveals some of DeMarcus Cousins' relentless trash talk

Alen Smailagic reveals some of DeMarcus Cousins' relentless trash talk

Alen Smailagic -- the Warriors' second-round pick in last month's NBA Draft -- is from Serbia.

He played for the Santa Cruz Warriors last season, so he already has started assimilating into American culture.

But he still has a ways to go.

Ethan Strauss of The Athletic included this hilarious story in a recent feature on the 18-year-old big man:

He’s still learning new terms. “Virgin” was a word introduced to him by DeMarcus Cousins a few months ago. The lumbering veteran big man went down to Santa Cruz on a rehab assignment last season and relentlessly teased the eager kid in trash-talk sessions. Smailagić recounts Cousins repeatedly yelling, “Don’t play with us, you’re probably a virgin!”

Smailagić would shoot back, “I’ll show you,” perhaps not completely understanding the context of the insult.

“It was great,” Smailagić said of his time trying to prove himself to Cousins.

This anecdote is more than great.

[RELATEDDubs give second-round pick Smailagic four-year contract]

"Smiley," as he's called, became the youngest player in G League history when he made his debut for the Sea Dubs. He will turn 19 years old on Aug. 18.

The Warriors will play the Lakers four times during the preseason and four times during the regular season, so hopefully we get to see some of this Cousins-Smailagic trash talk.

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Jonathan Kuminga joining 2021 NBA Draft class is great for Warriors

Jonathan Kuminga joining 2021 NBA Draft class is great for Warriors

The Warriors aren't included in the Orlando bubble, reportedly don't have interest in participating in the still-to-be-confirmed Chicago bubble, and likely won't play in another game until sometime in 2021 at the earliest.

And yet, Wednesday was a great day for Golden State.

That's because Jonathan Kuminga, who previously was ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2021 class, reclassified to the 2020 high school class Wednesday and will sign in the NBA's pro pathway program in the G League. The Athletic's Shams Charania was the first to report.

What does that have to do with the Warriors? Well, a lot can change between now and then, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that Golden State could select Kuminga in the very early stages of the 2021 NBA Draft.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Warriors, of course, received the Minnesota Timberwolves' top-three protected 2021 first-round draft pick as part of the Andrew Wiggins-D'Angelo Russell trade. If the Timberwolves finish with one of the three worst records in the league next season, the pick conveys to the 2022 NBA Draft, in which it will be unprotected.

The 2021 draft class has long been viewed as far more talented than the upcoming 2020 draft class, for which the Dubs are guaranteed to have a top-five pick. Assuming Minnesota doesn't bottom out entirely next season or surprise and become a playoff team, the Warriors should have an extremely valuable selection in a loaded draft.

It just became more loaded Wednesday with Kuminga's inclusion.

Since the earliest the Warriors could pick in the 2021 draft with Minnesota's selection would be No. 4 overall, the more high-end prospects that join the class, the more likely Golden State is to have one of them fall in their laps. Kuminga, along with Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green and Evan Mobley are widely viewed as can't-miss prospects, and obviously, they can't all go within the top three.

[RELATED: How Jalen Green to G League impacts Warriors, 2021 draft]

So, if the Warriors end up holding onto Minnesota's 2021 first rounder, it would appear they are in a tremendous position to add a prospect that undoubtedly would have gone first overall in the upcoming 2020 draft. And if they don't, but rather include it in some sort of a trade package to acquire an established star, the value of that pick just went up.

The Warriors are intent on returning to championship-contender status while simultaneously building for the future. Kuminga's reclassification can only improve their chances of being successful in that endeavor. 

Ex-Warrior Omri Casspi tells incredible story of Steve Kerr's empathy

Ex-Warrior Omri Casspi tells incredible story of Steve Kerr's empathy

Former Warriors forward Omri Casspi recently had Golden State coach Steve Kerr on his podcast.

And the Israeli native started the episode by sharing an amazing story that highlights Kerr's empathy and compassion.

In December 2017, Casspi received an email from a family friend who delivered the tragic news that her son was diagnosed with a very advanced form of cancer.

"He loved the Warriors," Casspi said. "They were taking a trip to (the Bay Area) to see us play in some games. The kid is such a big fan of you, the team, Steph (Curry) and the rest of the guys. And people gotta understand that practice facilities in the NBA are like some sort of a temple.

"I don't remember any team that I played for allowing anyone into the practice facility during the season. I told you the story about the situation and you allowed them to come into practice.

"We had a balcony usually where the guests are staying during practice. I'll never forget it -- you went up there and insisted that the kid and his mom come down and watch practice from the court. One of the most famous teams of all time -- and a kid with cancer is able to experience that firsthand."

But it gets even better.

"I remember I was going through my daily routine shooting some shots after practice and I saw you talking to the mom," Casspi explained. "I said give me 20-30 minutes -- I'll shower, stretch, get my ice, etc -- I'll come back and take them to lunch. I came back 30-40 minutes after and I see you still there talking to the mom -- both of you with tears in your eyes. I'll never forget that picture.

"The next day, you upgraded their tickets, you took them backstage, you got them into the VIP lounge. Klay (Thompson) came over and gave them signed shoes. I remember the son literally with tears in his eyes."

Unfortunately, the story has a very sad ending.

"They flew back to Israel a couple days later (and) a couple of weeks after, the kid passed away," Casspi said. "I don't remember if I ever told you thank you. It's one of the most amazing things a human being can do. Thank you."

Kerr then offered his perspective.

"I've always felt that the most important thing that we can do as NBA players and coaches is bring joy to people," he said. "To our fans, but more importantly to people who are struggling ... moments like that always are very grounding, they're very humbling and very emotional.

"They're very important for all of us. I'm glad that visit made such an impact."

Kerr truly is an incredible person.

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[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]