Warriors

D'Angelo Russell excited to be with Warriors, but can't predict how long

D'Angelo Russell excited to be with Warriors, but can't predict how long

LAS VEGAS -- More than a week ago, the Warriors grappled with the possibility of losing All-Star forward Kevin Durant for nothing in free agency. Instead, they engineered a sign-and-trade and acquired D'Angelo Russell. 

Now, as the summer unfolds, Golden State's All-Star consolation prize is primed to make an impact on his new team. 

“I’m excited more than anything,” Russell said prior to Golden State's Summer League game against the Lakers on Monday, his first public comments since signing with the team. “It’s a huge opportunity just to take another step and learn from a great group of guys that marked their way in this league.”

Russell -- who agreed to a four year, $117 million extension to complete the sign-and-trade -- averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists in 81 games for the Nets last season. With Brooklyn pursuing a Durant-Kyrie Irving partnership, it opened the door for Russell's Golden State arrival. 

"I knew it was an opportunity," Russell said. "I knew it was something that could possibly be true. And we had to wait 'til a few other pieces kind of did what it did, and then it kind of came to the light."

To accommodate Russell’s maximum contract, the Warriors dealt Andre Iguodala and a lightly protected 2024 first-round pick to the Grizzlies. Additionally, Russell's addition all but squandered any hope of retaining free agents DeMarcus Cousins, Jordan Bell and Quinn Cook. However, despite the fact Russell signed for a large number, there have been murmurs he could be traded next summer to free up cap space or find a top-flight free agent. 

“That’s the business of it. It is what it is,” Russell said. “You just put yourself in a position to go somewhere a long period of time. It may not be what it is and that’s the business. I’ve come to a realization of that, and I understand that. So every situation I’m in, I know the business side of it. We’ll see. I can’t predict it.”

Russell joins the Warriors during a transition period for the franchise. With Durant gone, Klay Thompson out for several more months and a Western Conference that's seen the Lakers and Clippers add All-Stars, the Warriors are no longer prohibitive favorites to win the title for the first time in a half-decade. Still, Russell believes his talent will more than help. 

[RELATED: Warriors roster looks finalized after adding Spellman, Burks]

“It’s all about opportunity in this league,” Russell said. “So it’s about taking advantage of it.”

Steph Curry, Steve Kerr among sports stars outraged by George Floyd death

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Steph Curry, Steve Kerr among sports stars outraged by George Floyd death

Face pressed to the street and eyes wide with panic, George Floyd was in handcuffs and begging for mercy. He feared he might die. His only hope was appealing to the humanity of the man threatening his life.

Humanity was denied by Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer whose left knee was resting on Floyd’s neck.

Even with cell phones recording video, Chauvin didn’t flinch. He didn’t back off until Floyd’s pleas went silent and he was unconscious. Moments later, he was dead.

Floyd had been subdued. Was not a threat. Yet he was subjected to further violence. So brazenly egregious was the brutality that visibly shaken Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey needed only a few hours to oversee the dismissal of Chauvin and three complicit officers.

The video is a graphic illustration of police terror in plain sight. It’s an example of the behavior that inspired former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to kneel in peaceful protest. If the reaction of high-profile sports figures is any indication at all, Floyd’s death could prompt high-profile dissent to become louder and more visible.

Consider this Instagram post from Warriors superstar Steph Curry.

“If this image doesn’t disturb you and piss you off, then [I don’t know]," Curry wrote. "I’ve seen a lot of people speak up and try to articulate how fed up and angry they are. All good and well, but it’s the same same same reality we live in. George Floyd. George Floyd. George has a family. George didn’t deserve to die. George pleaded for help and was just straight up ignored, which speaks loud and clear that his black life didn’t matter. George was murdered. George wasn’t human to that cop that slowly and purposefully took his life away."

Curry’s former Warriors teammate, Matt Barnes, replied on IG, saying, “Haven’t seen it said any better than my lil bro put it!!”

The Floyd tragedy, coming three weeks after the release of incriminating video of the vigilante shooting of jogger Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, is but the latest reminder of America’s inability to forcefully and effectively address systemic racism.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, upon seeing the video, offered a response with broad implications on Twitter.

Us. As in those of us who condone such conduct. As in those of us in positions of authority, such as President Donald Trump. There is zero chance of reducing state-sanctioned murder without cooperation from those of us within in a power structure dominated by white men.

“This goes to something very deep in our nation’s soul,” Kerr told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday. “There’s definitely a responsibility of white people to stand up and say, ‘This is wrong.’ But we also have a responsibility in this country to reconcile our sins. That needs to happen.

“Sometimes I hear people say, ‘What are you complaining about? Slavery was abolished 150 years ago.’ They’re missing the point. We haven’t come to grips with it. If we had, we wouldn’t still see Confederate flags flying around, whether it’s at courthouses or at Trump rallies. I know some of those have been taken down over the past few years, but I feel there’s never truly been reconciliation with the sins of our past.”

Any decent history book reveals the United States was built on violence and suppression. Native Americans were massacred, their land seized. Slaves, most brought over from Africa, were treated as property to be punished or killed without a blink.

More than 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, blatant racial discrimination, most often symbolized by Jim Crow laws, still was the norm in the United States. Now, 56 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, racism continues. In three-plus years under Trump, there has been a resurgence in demonstrations of outright bigotry.

“I wish we had more outrage from the top,” Kerr said. “But it seems like it’s just the citizens who are expressing the most frustration.”

[RELATED: Stephen Jackson emotional over his friend's death in police custody]

The highest offices in the land have exhibited no sustained, committed desire to take healing action. But some of the citizens, black and white, have a voice that carries further than others. And they are expressing outrage at the consistency of such incidents.

Curry and Kerr are repulsed that such a small privilege as life, much less liberty, still can be revoked based on skin color. So are Stephen Jackson and Kyle Korver. So are LeBron James and retired NFL star Chris Long and former WNBA star Lisa Leslie. They all see what Kaepernick saw.

In the end, Americans of every stripe must ask themselves a simple question: How much more barbarism are we willing to tolerate?

Kendrick Perkins claims he doesn't hate Steph Curry despite recent takes

Kendrick Perkins claims he doesn't hate Steph Curry despite recent takes

Kendrick Perkins just wants to set the record straight as it pertains to Steph Curry.

Sure the former NBA big man has said James Harden is a better player than Curry, left the Warriors off his best teams of all-time list and got into an NBA Finals beef with the Warriors star during the 2018 NBA Finals. But Perkins wants everyone to know that he doesn't hate the two-time MVP as many assume.

"Let me explain it to the light-skinned brothers over there, the Splash Brothers," Perkins said Wednesday on Hoop Streams. "People think that I hate Steph and I don't. Like I really don't hate Steph. I admire him. Listen, Steph Curry is one of one, he's a generational talent. He changed the game. Like I said, he brought the waterworks. He brought Sea World to the game. I am giving Steph Curry his flowers."

It seems Perkins figured out you can only trash one of the all-time greats so much before people start lighting your Twitter mentions on fire and calling you out for being a hot take artist.

This isn't enough to make anyone believe Perkins doesn't have some animosity toward Curry, but at least he's willing to recognize the Warriors star's obvious greatness.

[RELATED: What Steph must do to finish career as top-10 all-time player]

However, this isn't the first time Perkins has given Curry credit. He gushed about his performance in the 2015 NBA Finals and has him ranked as his top "hybrid" of all-time over Harden (go figure).

It seems Perkins just can't decide which side of the fence to stand on when it comes to Curry even though the correct side couldn't be more obvious.

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