Ex-Warrior Omri Casspi tells incredible story of Steve Kerr's empathy

Ex-Warrior Omri Casspi tells incredible story of Steve Kerr's empathy

Former Warriors forward Omri Casspi recently had Golden State coach Steve Kerr on his podcast.

And the Israeli native started the episode by sharing an amazing story that highlights Kerr's empathy and compassion.

In December 2017, Casspi received an email from a family friend who delivered the tragic news that her son was diagnosed with a very advanced form of cancer.

"He loved the Warriors," Casspi said. "They were taking a trip to (the Bay Area) to see us play in some games. The kid is such a big fan of you, the team, Steph (Curry) and the rest of the guys. And people gotta understand that practice facilities in the NBA are like some sort of a temple.

"I don't remember any team that I played for allowing anyone into the practice facility during the season. I told you the story about the situation and you allowed them to come into practice.

"We had a balcony usually where the guests are staying during practice. I'll never forget it -- you went up there and insisted that the kid and his mom come down and watch practice from the court. One of the most famous teams of all time -- and a kid with cancer is able to experience that firsthand."

But it gets even better.

"I remember I was going through my daily routine shooting some shots after practice and I saw you talking to the mom," Casspi explained. "I said give me 20-30 minutes -- I'll shower, stretch, get my ice, etc -- I'll come back and take them to lunch. I came back 30-40 minutes after and I see you still there talking to the mom -- both of you with tears in your eyes. I'll never forget that picture.

"The next day, you upgraded their tickets, you took them backstage, you got them into the VIP lounge. Klay (Thompson) came over and gave them signed shoes. I remember the son literally with tears in his eyes."

Unfortunately, the story has a very sad ending.

"They flew back to Israel a couple days later (and) a couple of weeks after, the kid passed away," Casspi said. "I don't remember if I ever told you thank you. It's one of the most amazing things a human being can do. Thank you."

Kerr then offered his perspective.

"I've always felt that the most important thing that we can do as NBA players and coaches is bring joy to people," he said. "To our fans, but more importantly to people who are struggling ... moments like that always are very grounding, they're very humbling and very emotional.

"They're very important for all of us. I'm glad that visit made such an impact."

Kerr truly is an incredible person.

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[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

DeAndre Ayton responds to Draymond Green's comments about Devin Booker

DeAndre Ayton responds to Draymond Green's comments about Devin Booker

Draymond Green created quite the stir on social media last Friday, because of his comments -- which resulted in a $50,000 fine -- about Phoenix Suns All-Star guard Devin Booker.

"It's great to see Book playing well and Phoenix playing well, but get my man out of Phoenix," the Warriors forward said on TNT's "Inside the NBA" studio show. "It's not good for him. It's not good for his career. Sorry, Chuck (Charles Barkley). But they gotta get Book out of Phoenix.

"I need my man somewhere he can play great basketball all the time and win because he's that type of player."

Suns big man Deandre Ayton was asked about Draymond's opinion during a guest appearance on "The Woj Pod" with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

"We definitely heard that noise. It was promoted everywhere," the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft said. "It's just outside noise. Book is a dude who really maintains focus, and he just wants to win. He's a competitor at the highest peak there is in this league.

"It's contagious. Seeing how he plays out there every day -- it just spreads. Him and I being the head honchos leading, so any noise like that is nonexistent to me."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

In a nutshell, Ayton took the high road and didn't do anything to stir the pot.

The same cannot be said about the Suns' social media account 

This is funny and great content.

[RELATED: Can pigs fly? Chuck says Warriors have big '20-21 advantage]

Speaking of funny -- here is how Draymond reacted Saturday morning shortly after the league announced his fine.

The four matchups between the Warriors and Suns next season will be must-see TV. Then again, you can say that about every Golden State game.

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Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald honored to call NBA playoff games

Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald honored to call NBA playoff games

The Warriors are not an NBA playoff team, but they’ll have representation in the bubble. 

TNT selected Emmy award-winning Warriors play-by-play announcer Bob Fitzgerald to call playoff games in Orlando, Fla. 

“It’s really an honor, it’s something I’m thrilled about,” Fitzgerald said on the latest episode of the Runnin’ Plays podcast

Fitzgerald will call national games on TNT and NBA TV. He knows his first assignment is Tuesday, Aug. 18 for the first round of the playoffs, but he could be handed any series. He’s preparing for all 16 teams.

“Fortunately, being the league as long as I have, I know all the teams,” Fitzgerald, who has spent 25 seasons as a Warriors broadcaster, said.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

“I’ve seen all the videos and read the protocols and signed my life away,” Fitzgerald joked about preparing for life in the bubble. “The NBA has been amazing in terms of how strict and how professional and how well done the whole bubble concept has been.” 

He’s preparing for some differences in an environment without fans. In the big moments, he typically “lays out” or stops speaking to let crown noise come through. Fitzgerald will have to figure out what to do in a quiet arena.

[RELATED: Report: Warriors playing in Orlando bubble a "non-starter" for NBPA]

“I’m an excitable person,” Fitzgerald exclaimed, “I cheer for the excellence in basketball. If someone blows by for a dunk, you have two choices ... you can accentuate ‘Antetokounmpo went in and dunked it!’, or you can talk about the defender who let him go right by. I’m more a positive person so I’m going to accentuate the accomplishments.

I don’t spend much time trying to kick people in the groin. That ends up being a tiresome way of looking at sports.”