Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, takes you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter using the hashtag #askkerith
Hi everyone! I read a great interview with Draymond Green, and I want to make sure you saw it. When the reporter, Sam Alipour, shared this story, he said he believes Draymond is the most misunderstood person in the NBA.
I asked Draymond if he feels misunderstood. He replied, “Yeah. That’s OK.”
I followed up, wondering what people get wrong about him. Draymond said: “I’ll never tell them. I’ll let them figure it out one day. One day, they may, or they may not. But they don’t know me.”
It doesn’t bother you?
“Not one bit.”
He paused, and continued.
“It’s actually pretty fun.”
@chuckmcdaniels asks, “Hey there.. do you have any concerns about other teams making so many threes against the #Warriors in their pre-season games so far? Or, is it just pre-season and they'll do better when the games really count? #askKerith”
Speaking in general about the defense, Steve Kerr isn’t thrilled about what he saw in the preseason. Coaches always want good defense, whether the games count or not. Good defense is an indicator of good habits, which is a season-long commitment to foster success.
That said? I’m not concerned with the 3-point defense heading into the regular season. I know it’s eye-popping to see JaVale McGee swish a three over his old teammates, but I don’t think it’s time to sound an alarm. The regular-season sharpness should be better. The Warriors went 1-4 in the preseason. but these games were more about seeing player combinations, assessing conditioning, building confidence, etc.
Last season when Jarron Collins and I would talk at half time, 3-point defense was something that would sometimes come up. In 2017-2018, the Warriors ranked 10th in the NBA in opponent 3-point percentage, at 35.7 percent. The Warriors will keep an eye on how many threes opponents are sinking because occasionally it’s a trouble spot, but let’s see what happens the rest of this month as the Warriors settle in to the regular season.
Our first example was the season opener against the Thunder, who went 10 of 37 for 27 percent.
@ImShyLabz says, “Hi Kerith! I’m just wondering when is the ceremony for the championship ring for the warriors? I might missed it? Or it’s not yet done? Thanks #askkerith”
The championship ring ceremony happened on opening night! Did you see what the rings looked like? Check this out:
@lvpelt says, “I took my mom to her first game last year, and she was enamored by the height of zaza. who's the tallest on the team now? she's gunna want to know. #askKerith thanks !”
First of all, I’m thrilled Zaza found a new home, playing this season with the Detroit Pistons. I see Zaza’s name in the comments on Instagram when he’s joking with Klay Thompson or Jordan Bell. It’ll be a fun night when the Warriors play the Pistons on Dec. 1.
Damian Jones takes over as the tallest Warrior at 7 feet. DeMarcus Cousins comes in at 6-11, followed by Jonas Jerebko at 6-10. Kevin Durant is listed at 6-9, but ... c’mon.
From PaulBassoon on Instagram: What are the chances the team really is having distraction issues with the free agency talk around KD and Klay. Are there any concerns that Damian Jones just might not have what it takes at the center position? My two biggest concerns.
I don’t think free agency will be a distraction. Every season, things change. New pieces add and subtract. Each season has its own flavor, even if the big names on the roster remain the same.
The Warriors are focused on this moment in time. Winning a championship always is difficult, no matter what happened in previous seasons. The group goal this year is another trophy. Individual things are secondary.
KD’s situation is more unclear than Klay’s, because Klay repeatedly has said his preference is to remain a Warrior for life. KD’s comments are more nebulous, in the theme of “exploring all options.” It’s smart to explore all options! There’s an expiration date on being an NBA player, so guys will consider every situation that makes sense for their career goals and legacy.
KD might not know what he wants to do yet. I will say this: A healthy organization in a fun location with business interests that appeal to KD off the court will be hard to leave. It will take something special.
As for Damian Jones, the Warriors have invested so much in his growth. He’s ready. The word you’re going to hear the most when coaches or teammates talk about DJ is “opportunity.” This is his time, and the Warriors want him to rise to the occasion. Maybe it’s a good thing there’s a center-by-committee situation so not everything is on his shoulders. He gets to share duties with Kevon Looney and Bell, which can take off some of the pressure while he rides the NBA learning curve.
DJ played 26 minutes in the season opener, going 6 of 7 for 12 points, plus three blocks. The downside? Just three rebounds.
From chriskjn on instagram: If you were to identify yourself as one of the Warriors, who would it be?
I appreciate Shaun Livingston’s story. He went through a devastating knee injury in 2007, one that forced him to relearn how to walk. Shaun rehabbed his way back, then bounced around the NBA. He was waived four times before he landed with the Warriors and became a champion. His story of perseverance is powerful.
I love Shaun’s “seen it all” perspective. He has a wise world-view that goes far beyond basketball, too. Every conversation with Shaun is thoughtful. As I think about the high and lows I’ve experienced, I want to keep perspective like Shaun. Take no moment for granted.
From stephsink on Instagram: Hi Kerith, congrats on your marriage. What is your favorite spot/city in the Bay Area, and what’s your favorite road trip city?
My husband proposed on Mount Tam, so that has the No. 1 spot in my heart. We love to hike together.
My favorite road cities are Chicago, Miami and New York. I used to live in NYC, and I try to hit up Paulie Gee’s for pizza whenever I visit. Order the Hellboy.
From Charles_ykunyu on Instagram: Hello from Montreal Canada!!! I’ve been a Warriors fan for more than 6 years and I really like your style. You are my favourite reporter. Can I have a signature of both you and Steph or KD???
Thanks, Charles! Your question reminds me of requests I get from fans during the season. I’m sorry, but I cannot get fans autographs, tickets, shoes, basketballs or anything else. I have to keep a professional boundary. I do my best to write back to messages, though.
From vikas.sharma3008 on Instagram: Is Doris Burke your aunt?
Doris Burke is not my mom, aunt, sister or cousin. We are not related. It makes me smile that this is the most frequent question I’ve gotten in my years covering basketball.
I love Doris. She’s the GOAT and a Hall of Famer.
Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.