Warriors

Andrew Bogut denies bitterness to Warriors: 'I'm a sarcastic a--hole'

Andrew Bogut denies bitterness to Warriors: 'I'm a sarcastic a--hole'

Andrew Bogut sustained a season-ending knee injury early in the third quarter of Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

The Warriors lost Games 6 and 7 to the Cavaliers, and Golden State traded Bogut a couple of weeks later to make room for Kevin Durant.

"Look, I’m not stupid, man,” Bogut told Anthony Slater of The Athletic following his season debut in San Antonio. “The dude they made cap space for, I mean, look who he is. I’m not an idiot. You know, if it was someone else, a 12th man, I’d be pissed. But it’s one of the best players in basketball. So I totally get it.

"Was I disappointed? Of course. I wasn’t happy to get traded from a team that just went 73-9, went to the Finals, thought we had a chance to win it but didn’t. But as far as hating the Warriors? No. I kept in touch with all the guys in this locker room -- Andre, Draymond, Steph, Klay at times. Former guys like Harrison (Barnes). Steve would text me."

If you remember, things weren't exactly peachy between Bogut and the Warriors when the big man was shipped out of town.

As NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole wrote back in late June 2016:

The team has grown frustrated by Bogut’s unreliability, particularly in times of greatest need ... Bogut’s well-documented injury history, according to sources, accounts for only part of the team’s annoyance ... the Warriors apparently were displeased with much of Bogut’s postseason work prior to the injury.

In November 2016, prior to Bogut facing the Warriors for the first time, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft told Sam Amick:

"I don’t buy into the sources thing. I don’t buy into all that (expletive), because this league is so two-faced and everybody is so fake. The same people who made those comments will see me tomorrow and shake my hand and ask me how my family is. This league is full of people who are full of (expletive) and shallow, and that’s what you figure out in pro sports. It’s very hard to meet a genuine person who you can call your friend in this league."

Bogut understands how his comments were perceived as him taking a shot at the Warriors. But he can explain.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: Dubs drop Bogut's debut in San Antonio]

"From afar, if you’re just reading text and you’re not looking at my body language or my mannerisms, there’s a lot of things I can say that can be misconstrued," he told The Athletic. "A s--tload of things.

"I’m a sarcastic a--hole. I like to have fun, say things. Sometimes if you’re reading in the form of text, it can come off different.”

Very true, Andrew. Very true.

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How Glenn Robinson III is relishing shot at rejuvenation with Warriors

How Glenn Robinson III is relishing shot at rejuvenation with Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Three months ago, Glenn Robinson III joined the Warriors in hopes of resurrecting his career. Along the way, he learned a unique way of achieving his goal.

During one of Robinson's first film sessions, Warriors coach Steve Kerr Kerr -- a disciple of eclectic Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson -- showed a football-centered video montage of free safeties getting burned on deep passes. 

"Steve was like, 'Y'all laughing but that's how we should feel if we get beat over the top," Robinson recalled following Friday's preseason win over the Los Angeles Lakers. "The first thing is to stop the ball." 

The tactic floored the six-year veteran.  

"No other coach has explained it that way," Robinson said. "It was a good way to get everybody to wake up. It was different and to a way we understand it."

For the last two weeks, Robinson has been one of the Warriors' biggest training-camp surprises. He earned the starting small-forward job following the expected departure of Alfonzo Mckinnie, and Robinson has impressed his new team. 

"Glenn is rock solid," Kerr said. "He understands his role, he understands it. He's a good three-point shooter."

Remnants of Robinson's training-camp performance were on display Friday. Less than a minute into the Warriors' 124-103 win, he received a no-look pass from D'Angelo Russell and hit a 3-pointer in front of the Warriors' bench. In the second quarter, Robinson hit another 3-pointer from the same spot. By the end of the night, he accumulated 13 points, six rebounds and two steals. 

The onset of Robinson's career has been defined by movement, as he played for three teams in his first three NBA seasons. He seemed to gain traction in Indiana, where he became a solid rotation player for the PAcers behind star forward Paul George. In 2016-17, Robinson shot 39 percent from 3-point range.

Over a three-year stretch with the Pacers, Robinson shot 45 percent from the field, including 39.3 percent from beyond the arc. 

However, after Robinson signed a two-year, $8.3 million contract with the Detroit Pistons in 2018, there was an expectation that the 25-year-old would take the next step. Those plans never came to fruition as Robinson averaged just 4.2 points and 1.5 rebounds while shooting 42 percent from the field as injuries limited him to 47 games. 
 
Robinson continued to struggle even after a mid-season trade sent Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock out of town. On draft night, the Pistons agreed to trade for sharpshooter Tony Snell and selected Sekou Doumbouya, prompting them to decline Robinson's $4.3 million team option.

With his career in need of repair, he looked to the Western Conference, where the Warriors -- who lost Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala in a 48-hour span -- offered Robinson an opportunity most teams didn't: A chance to start on a team with playoff aspirations. 

"I've backed up Paul George, I've backed up a lot of guys in my time but here I had a unique situation," Robinson said. "I really wanted the opportunity to take that and show what I can do."

With the Warriors, Robinson is adjusting to a new culture, one less defined by rugged training camps and more by a player-friendly environment led by Kerr. 

"He gets that we don't need to be in here all day," Robinson told NBC Sports Bay Area. "It's about efficiency. So every other team I've had two-a-days, come back and you're tired and you're hurt. You can see how they're just smart about things." 

Kerr's need for efficiency nearly discouraged Robinson, long used to proving himself in rugged practices. But transition has helped Robinson, who averaged 8.8 points and four rebounds in five preseason games. 

"I really didn't know if they knew my whole game or what I could do because practices were so short at the beginning," Robinson said. "But as time came along, Steve told me he knew what I could do and he knew my game and he could see it from the camp. So I'm just glad it worked out the way it did and continue to get better." 

"He's got more to his game than I realized," Kerr added. "I always looked at him as a spot-up three-point guy but he's a good cutter. He understands our split game and our movement."

[RELATED: D-Lo shows glimpse of potential in preseason finale]

Now, with the season nearly underway and a starting spot in tow, Robinson is hopeful he can be a vital piece. 

So are the Warriors. 

"He's enjoying himself out there," Kerr said. "I'm really glad Glenn's here."

D'Angelo Russell's potential on display in Warriors' preseason finale

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USATSI

D'Angelo Russell's potential on display in Warriors' preseason finale

SAN FRANCISCO – The wait for D’Angelo Russell to start raising his game is over. He’s coming.

If he brings it in the regular season as he did in the preseason finale Friday night, and continues to build on it, the Warriors will sing his praises and jersey sales will spike during the holidays.

“He’s just such a skilled player that no matter what happens, he’s just going to find his way to 20-plus points,” coach Steve Kerr said after a 124-103 win over a Lakers B-squad team at Chase Center. “He’s a tremendous passer, so putting him into high screens and letting him pick people apart and he’s going to find a flow.

“One thing I really like about him is that he doesn’t get discouraged. He just plays. After the slow start, he really picked it up. He was fantastic.”

Russell shot well, scoring 29 points in 28 minutes on 9-of-19 shooting from the field, including 6-of-11 from deep, and 5-of-6 from the line. He also passed nicely, recording three assists and at least as many secondary assists. He could’ve had more dimes if not for the Lakers reaching to foul shooters found open by Russell.

The real revelation, however, was on the other end of the court. Unlike more than a few moments in the previous four games, Russell was more consistent with his defensive energy and purpose. During one 19-second span early in the fourth quarter, he swiped a Zach Norvell pass and raced in for a layup and also picked up a loose ball off a Draymond Green deflection and pulled up for a triple that cranked up the noise in the building.

Russell's ability to turn defense into offense is one of his more valuable traits, and something that may be an essential component of the Warriors’ attack.

“I just made shots,” Russell said. “There’s a lot of things on the defensive end that I want to get better at, just figuring out the coverages that we’re playing and getting accustomed to those things. It’s easy to make shots in this league. It’s more about doing other things.”

What’s apparent is Russell’s growing comfort on the court. He’s in a new city, with new teammates, many of them young. There were in the first few games far too much confusion on defense and hesitation on offense. All of that is starting to fade.

And much of that stems from the growing partnership between Russell and fellow guard Stephen Curry.

“It’s an opportunity to get to know each other but see the potential of what we can be when we are out there on the floor,” Curry said. “When we’re on the floor together, there is a lot of trust in terms of making the right play, taking advantage of each possession.”

Even with such an encouraging performance, Russell still sees the holes. The areas that need to improve before he can approach All-Star status for the second consecutive season.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, to be honest,” he said. “We’re still figuring each other out. In preseason you make it what it is, for a lot of teams. A lot of teams are set and they know what they’re going to do.

“For us, we need that time to build in the good things and work on the things we didn’t do so well.”

For the Warriors to be a factor in the Western Conference, the Curry-Russell backcourt has to be among the best in the league. Offensively, that’s a given. Defensively, that’s a mystery.

But it has to at least be respectable.

“I’m optimistic that we will get off to a hot start,” Curry said. “If we do run into some road bumps throughout the season, we will build a level of communication that we can adjust as we go.”

[RELATED: Russell eyes superteam with Booker, KAT]

On this night, D-Lo showed that his offense will be there. He also, at times, showed he is capable of being the defender he’ll need to be for the Warriors to get anywhere near 50 wins.

Is he all the way there yet, particularly on defense? No. But he’s much closer than he was two weeks ago. Close enough to glimpse where he has to be.