Warriors

David West sounds off on the NFL, Kaepernick and kneeling

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AP

David West sounds off on the NFL, Kaepernick and kneeling

As NFL owners and their besieged commissioner, Roger Goodell, blame kneeling players for diminished interest in the games, one prominent American athlete believes the league is hurt by its treatment of the man at the center of the uprising.

The failure to crack a door for Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick has some fans turning away from the NFL, according to Warriors big man David West.

“One part (of declining interest) that I think is being overlooked and is being dismissed is the impact of them not hiring or getting Colin Kaepernick in the league,” West said on this week’s Warriors Insider Podcast. “We know he should be on somebody’s roster.

“But what they’re discounting is that people aren’t watching the NFL because of the way they are treating Colin Kaepernick. That is a real thing. There are a lot of people who have stopped watching football, who are not going to games.”

As team after team turns to quarterback after quarterback with vastly inferior credentials, Kaepernick sits unemployed, ignored by NFL power brokers who imply their “fans” would revolt if he were signed to their team.

Some fans surely are jersey-burning angry over the wave of demonstrations started last season, when Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem as a way of protesting social inequality in America.

West is certain plenty of fans stand with the former 49ers quarterback. And there is anecdotal evidence to support West’s assertion, instances of fans turning to social media or attending games at various NFL venues carrying signs supportive of Kaepernick and others involved in the movement.

“That idea is not being talked about enough,” West said. “It’s the other way around. They’re saying people aren’t watching the NFL because guys are protesting.

“I’m not sure that the numbers, if we really, really look at who’s watching and who’s not going, I’m not sure that those numbers are the way that they are projecting them to be, in my opinion. I think there are a lot of people who aren’t watching because of the way Colin Kaepernick is being treated.”

Why will this season be fun for Warriors fans? Steve Kerr has some ideas

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USATI

Why will this season be fun for Warriors fans? Steve Kerr has some ideas

Warriors fans are spoiled right now.

It's been an incredible four-year run and Golden State is the favorite to win the championship again.

But last season was a serious grind and much more difficult than the prior three. 

The Warriors dealt with injuries and mental/physical fatigue, as players and coaches alike openly discussed how challenging it was to get through the regular season.

There will definitely be some bumps and rocky moments along the way, but the team is approaching this campaign with a new perspective.

"We're gonna have a different dynamic this year," Steve Kerr said at Media Day on Monday. "We gotta take advantage of the youth, the energy. And some of our other players are gonna have to step up into stronger leadership roles.

"That's kind of the fun part of each year being different -- you get to see how it all blossoms. And I think our fans will enjoy that process, too. When you think about the whole regular season, a lot of people start saying, 'Well, can't wait for the playoffs.'

"I think this year will be fun for our fans to see the development of the young guys -- Damian (Jones) and Loon (Kevon Looney) and Jacob Evans and Jordan Bell. Hopefully Patrick (McCaw). So you watch these guys develop and then you get to see DeMarcus Cousins once he's healthy. How does he fit into the team and how does the team grow as a whole?

"Hopefully by the end of the season, we'll be clicking and ready to role in the playoffs."

So in a nutshell, Kerr wants Warriors fans to enjoy the process (trust it as well) and cherish the final regualar season at Oracle Arena.

The playoffs will be here soon enough...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Why Warriors must go extra slow with DeMarcus Cousins' return

Why Warriors must go extra slow with DeMarcus Cousins' return

OAKLAND -- The Boogie Watch is underway in Oakland.

DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, the Warriors’ most celebrated offseason addition, joined his new teammates Tuesday for the first official workout of training camp. And he wasn’t exactly an idol bystander.

“He did a lot of stuff before we started at 11,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We had a lot of action on the floor from about 9 to 11. All the young guys were on the floor at 9 o’clock, 9:30, and DeMarcus did a ton of movement stuff, court work, ball-handling and shooting stuff on his own.

“But he did not take part with the team. We’re just taking it slowly with him. But I don’t think it’ll be too long before he’s really taking part in practice. But for right now, it’s important that he gets his full workout.”

Whoa. The word “slowly” should be modified to the phrase “very, very slowly,” with no idea when Cousins might fully participate in practice. No matter how eager he is to get back to action, the wisest course for the Warriors is to proceed with an abundance of caution. Expect a strict minutes restriction when Cousins returns because that’s what the medical staff will recommend.

Cousins is rehabilitating from surgery after he sustained a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon last Jan. 26, as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. Though the recovery period for the average individual typically requires six to nine months, a professional athlete usually needs another two to three months. Returning to previous performance levels, if it happens at all, often takes an additional year.

The 6-foot-11, 270-pound center seems determined to return sooner, and hopes to return to the form that made him a four-time All-Star. He was having perhaps his finest season when he was sidelined.

I wouldn’t doubt him at all.

But there are other factors to consider. The first 40 games, which take the Warriors into the first week of January, are the perfect time to study the development of their young centers, none of which has a guaranteed contract for next season. They’re going to need at least one, when Cousins, 28, almost certainly will move on.

So they can’t have too much video on Jordan Bell, Damian Jones or Kevon Looney, each of whom is young enough to play for at least another decade. None is more than 23 years old.

“We will give all three guys a chance,” Kerr said. “Training camp will determine a lot.”

The best Kerr and his staff can cull from camp is a basic idea of each youngster’s progress. Completing the evaluation requires actual games.

Thirty or 40 games, maybe more.

Meanwhile, Cousins stays on a rehab program until fully cleared. When he is, proceed slowly, with very limited minutes, like 10 to 15. If he wants 25 or more minutes, the Warriors shouldn’t even consider it until after the All-Star break.

Cousins has been participating in isolated full-court drills for several weeks, but that doesn’t begin to simulate full practice activity, much less playing in a game.

“It’s been an adventure, to say the least,” he said on Media Day. “But I’m in a lot better place now. Physically, I’m coming along great. As of right now, there haven’t been any setbacks and I feel a lot stronger. I’m getting my feet back under me, and I’m starting to feel like an athlete again.”

The key phrase there is “starting to.” As much as he’d like to play in the preseason opener Saturday, Cousins knows he has months to go. The Warriors know it, too, and if it takes five months, so be it.

That still leaves nearly two months to tighten things for the playoffs, when he’ll be needed most.