OAKLAND –- After summertime surgery and five months of recovery and rehabilitation, rookie forward Kevon Looney made his Warriors debut Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Looney, who underwent hip surgery in August, played six minutes, finishing with 2 points and two rebounds.
He entered the game with 5:47 remaining the second quarter of a 127-107 victory over the Mavericks to a warm ovation. Exactly 31 seconds later, the 6-foot-9 forward was whistled for a foul on Dallas forward Chandler Parsons, who converted a 3-point play.
Looney, who spent one season at UCLA before declaring himself eligible for the NBA, was just pleased to be playing in the NBA. He made his debut with the D-League Warriors on Jan. 12 and played five games for Santa Cruz.
“It was surreal,” he said of NBA debut. “I’ve never played in front of crowd like that.
“To be in front of Oracle for the first time, playing on the court, it was amazing. I never even got to play with Steph (Curry) and all the guys at practice in the full scrimmage, so being on the court with those guys was a lot of fun.”
Kerr said the sidelining of center Festus Ezeli (knee soreness) meant there was an increased likelihood Looney would play.
“It was good to get him out there,” Kerr said. “He’s done a nice job in Santa Cruz, but he’s still not where he needs to be conditioning-wise, coming off all the surgery and inactivity.”
Looney in the postgame locker room was given a game ball, after which he gave a brief speech.
“It was amazing, man,” Draymond Green said of the speech. “He got put on the spot, and he come up with something like that (snaps his fingers). I think he had it planned already. It was good, though, kind of touched my heart a little bit.”
Looney for the foreseeable future will continue play for both the NBA Warriors and the D-League affiliate, according to Jonnie West, the associate general manager in Santa Cruz.
“He’s going to play for Santa Cruz Friday (in Bakersfield) and then join the team later on the road trip,” West said.
The Warriors leave Friday morning for a three-game road trip on the East Coast, beginning Saturday in Philadelphia.