Warriors

DeMarcus Cousins wins Steve Kerr over with passionate plea for more minutes

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AP

DeMarcus Cousins wins Steve Kerr over with passionate plea for more minutes

DeMarcus Cousins stopped short of throwing a tantrum late in the Warriors’ 117-107 win over the Suns on Friday night, perhaps because Rick Celebrini, the team’s director of sports medicine, stepped in before it reached that point.

With the Warriors leading 101-94 and 5:46 remaining, Cousins had reached his 25-minute limit and coach Steve Kerr was ready to plop the big man on the bench.

Cousins wasn’t ready to sit. Didn‘t want to sit. He’s tired of sitting, even though he’s still working on his timing and conditioning after a one-year layoff to recover from surgery to repair his ruptured left Achilles’ tendon.

He wanted to play, so he let Kerr know.

“I just wanted to try to finish the game out strong,” Cousins told Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke. “We’re trying to stick to this minutes restriction. I’m like a defiant child right now when it comes to it.”

The Warriors, however, are trying to be careful. They want to keep Cousins’ playing time at about 25 minutes for now, with the plan to increase it in the weeks after the Feb. 14-20 All-Star break.

But the game was in the balance and Draymond Green, who often closes games at center, was unavailable after being ejected late in the third quarter.

So, it was Boogie Time.

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: KD, Boogie, Klay's futures can't be foretold]

“I was going to take him out at the six-minute mark,” Kerr told reporters in Phoenix, “and he said, ‘Please, do not do this.’ I asked Rick, and Rick said he’s good to go.

“I played him a couple more minutes, and then I didn’t feel comfortable extending him more than that eight-minute run. But by that time, he had done his job.”

When Cousins left the game with 3:45 remaining, after a season-high 27 minutes, he was replaced by Kevon Looney. The Warriors had a six-point lead.

“I just want to be out on the floor and help my team win games,” said Cousins, who in his ninth game as a Warriors finished with 18 points, five rebound and four assists. “So they let me play a couple extra minutes.

“I’m just happy to get a win.”

Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' dynasty isn't dead, 'far from over'

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USATSI

Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' dynasty isn't dead, 'far from over'

All the national pundits and talking heads have danced on the grave of the Warriors' dynasty.

With Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston gone, and Klay Thompson out for a large portion of the upcoming season, most feel like the Warriors' reign of dominance is over.

But Thompson isn't listening to the noise. The Warriors might be down, but they aren't out.

"The dynasty ain't over," Klay said Friday during the second annual Thompson Family Foundation golf tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. "It's far from over."

After five season atop the NBA mountain, the Warriors are no longer the favorites to win the NBA title, and will look vastly different this season.

At the beginning of the season, Steph Curry and Draymond Green will be flanked by newcomers D'Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein. Instead of Durant at the starting small forward spot, coach Steve Kerr might go with Alfonzo McKinnie.

Super Death Lineup this is not.

Making matters tougher for the Warriors is the improvement of other teams in the Western Conference. The Clippers, Lakers, Jazz and Rockets all made blockbuster moves over the summer, while the Nuggets and Blazers return teams that were top-4 seeds in the West last season.

But once Thompson returns in February or March, the Warriors will be able to close games with a lineup of Curry, Thompson, Russell, Green and Kevon Looney, who signed a three-year contract with the Warriors in the offseason.

[RELATED: Eight things Warriors need to do to make playoffs]

As Green said last week, no one will want to face the Warriors in the playoffs. That will be especially true if Thompson is 100 percent in April.

Durant isn't around anymore, but the dynasty isn't dead until Curry, Thompson and Green say it is.

Magic Johnson can't believe Kevin Durant wasn't happy with Warriors

Magic Johnson can't believe Kevin Durant wasn't happy with Warriors

Kevin Durant came to the Warriors in 2016 in pursuit of a family and NBA titles.

Durant got the hardware in his first two seasons with the Warriors.

Despite all the winning the Warriors were able to do with Durant, he never quite felt like he was part of a family. It's quite possible that had something to do with the fact that he refused to commit long-term to the Warriors. It's hard for a family to accept you when you have one foot in the house and the other on the front porch.

After three seasons in the Bay Area, Durant left this offseason for the Brooklyn Nets, and he revealed to the Wall Street Jounal last week that he never felt like one of the guys.

NBA legend Magic Johnson can't begin to fathom Durant's logic.

"KD, I hope that he finds happiness," Johnson said on ESPN's First Take on Friday. "If you can't find happiness at Golden State, where are you going to find it at? First of all, give Steph Curry a lot of credit for saying 'I'm a two-time MVP, I'm willing to take a backseat because I want to win.' Give Klay Thompson a lot of credit, because you know who's game suffered the most? Klay Thompson. He used to get a lot more touches before KD got there and he said 'I'm OK with that as long as we win a championship.' Draymond Green, even he had to take a backseat.

"So, Kevin, if you won back-to-back titles, you won MVP of the Finals as well, where are you going to find happiness at? I just want him to find happiness because when I look at Michael Jordan, when I look at Kobe Bryant, this brother, Kevin Durant, is one of the greatest scorers we've seen in NBA history, so I just want him to be happy. I just don't know where he's going to find it at if he can't find it at Golden State."

We imagine every single Warriors fan feels the same way as Magic.

[RELATED: Durant shows no sign of limp]

Unlike Thunder fans, Warriors fans don't hold any ill will towards Durant. They're just puzzled by his decision to leave. He had everything he wanted in the Bay Area and Golden State could have offered more money. Yet he still decided to leave.

But maybe Durant will never be happy in the same spot for too long. It's possible that in three years, Brooklyn fans find themselves wondering why Durant wasn't happy, just like Warriors fans are right now.