Ex-Warrior Patrick McCaw looking for 'fresh start' after Raptors' title

Ex-Warrior Patrick McCaw looking for 'fresh start' after Raptors' title

OAKLAND -- Patrick McCaw has played three NBA seasons. He has three NBA titles.

The 23-year old shooting guard has two with the Golden State Warriors, and now one against them.

He easily could’ve been on the losing end of Toronto’s 114-110 victory on Thursday night at Oracle Arena. Instead, McCaw donned goggles to keep champagne from his eyes.

This was a good night, not a Game 6 heartbreaker, a rare high note in a stressful season where McCaw made headlines for odd reasons. 

“This year has been a roller coaster,” McCaw told NBC Sports Bay Area in the champagne-soaked visitor’s locker room. “Now, to be here at this moment, facing my former team, my teammates and friends, it’s great, man. It’s just great.”

We all know by now why these Warriors are McCaw’s former teammates.

The CliffsNotes version: McCaw seemed set to play a third season with Golden State, but business got messy. He refused to sign a qualifying offer sheet that made him a restricted free agent and held out into the season. He eventually signed a funky, above-market, yet non-guaranteed contract with Cleveland that the Warriors were never going to match. The Cavs waived him quickly -- the whole ordeal prompted an NBA investigation -- making him an unrestricted free agent able to go anywhere. He chose Toronto, and joined the Raptors on a one-year minimum contract.

He rode the title wave all the way in, securing a third ring by beating the Warriors.

He played just six minutes and one second in these NBA Finals, yet this championship was still gratifying in its own unique way.

“That’s how I look at it. This is a super big bonus,” McCaw said. “To go against this Golden State Warriors team -- they had injuries slow them down a little bit -- to compete against them and win a championship is such a bonus after how this year went for me. Now it’s about getting back to playing again, and focusing on what I need to do to get better.”

McCaw is excited to put this drama-filled season to rest.

“It’s definitely a weight (lifted),” McCaw said. “This will be a fresh start. I can get back to work on the things I need to work on and get ready for next season. Who knows what lies ahead as far as where I’ll be and who I’ll play with, but, as long as I’m making the right steps for me. It’ll be great.”

He largely remained silent about his season of awkward transition, and is finally ready to turn the page toward a new chapter in his career.

“I’m in such a better place mentally and physically,” McCaw said. “I’m going to get prepared for next season. I’m looking to starting over and starting fresh and rebuilding my name.”

[RELATED: Warriors find themselves at crossroads after Finals loss]

He knows that NBA titles don’t come each season, but he sure has enjoyed this run of big victories since turning pro.

“It isn’t supposed to be like this every year,” McCaw said with a smile, “but this is all I really know.”

Warriors' Rick Welts only has one box score framed in his office

Warriors' Rick Welts only has one box score framed in his office

Rick Welts has seen a lot of basketball over the years. But one single performance stands out above the rest.

The Warriors' team president and chief operating officer was asked Wednesday morning on 95.7 The Game: "Quarantine game -- if you're stuck indoors for a full year, one TV, one game playing on a loop, 24/7, 365 -- what game is Rick Welts taking?"

The Hall of Famer provided a definitive answer:

"Let's see. Michael Jordan. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Actually not even a close call for me. I only have one box score framed in my office -- if I ever get to see my office again -- and that's Klay's 37-point quarter. Without a doubt -- the most amazing thing I've ever seen on a basketball court.

"I could never get tired of watching it. He was out of his mind. I'm not sure we'll ever see anything like that again. And the crowd was a big part of it because he reacted every time the crowd reacted. Our bench was insane.

"Everybody in the building knew they were seeing history being made."

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In the third quarter of the Warriors' win over the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 23, 2015, Klay Thompson went 13-for-13 overall, 9-for-9 from deep and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Very good choice, Mr. Welts.

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What sporting event Warriors' Jordan Poole will miss watching most

What sporting event Warriors' Jordan Poole will miss watching most

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole has many interests outside of basketball.

If you follow him on Instagram, you know that he loves cats.

The 20-year-old enjoys watching movies and TV shows, and generally considers himself a homebody.

Poole also likes other sports, and when Wes Goldberg of the Bay Area News Group asked him which canceled or postponed sporting events he is going to miss, the Michigan product provided an answer that might surprise you.

"I love watching the college World Series, I definitely like watching softball as well," he said. "March Madness was going to be cool of course, but that’s basketball. The college World Series is something sports-related that I was really looking forward to."

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How did Poole get into college baseball?

"I would watch the games when we were in school (at Michigan), go support my guys on the team, but I was really locked into the World Series," he answered. "Those games get pretty rowdy."

[RELATED: Paschall reveals Warriors teammate he'd quarantine with now]

Last year, Michigan reached the College World Series for the first time since 1984.

The Wolverines advanced all the way to the championship best-of-three series -- winning Game 1 before dropping the next two to Vanderbilt.

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