Warriors

How D'Angelo Russell impressed Warriors GM Bob Myers with his maturity

How D'Angelo Russell impressed Warriors GM Bob Myers with his maturity

When the Warriors acquired All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell from the Nets in a sign-and-trade this offseason, general manager Bob Myers knew much more about the player than the person. 

Myers knew his team was acquiring someone who can score in a hurry. He knew Golden State was getting a crafty lefty that can dish it and drain shots from deep. The more Myers has gotten to know Russell, the more he's excited for the future of the franchise. 

Russell and Myers recently met in New York, and the GM hit his new guard with some tough questions regarding his murky past as a Laker. 

"He said, 'In hindsight, maybe I wasn't ready for what was coming in L.A. with being the No. 2 pick.' A lot of people would blame everybody else and say it wasn't my fault, which I think showed a maturity," Myers said on The TK Show

Russell was involved in a public incident as a rookie with the Lakers where he recorded a video on Snapchat of teammate Nick Young admitting he cheated on his fianc√©e, Iggy Azalea. Though only has been in the NBA for four seasons, Russell's road has been a long one. 

Since being drafted in 2015, Russell has dealt with the pressure of being the No. 2 pick in L.A., the trials of the Young incident, being traded to Brooklyn, turning into an All-Star and now joining the Warriors. 

"For a guy that's pretty new in the league, he's been through more than most I'd say," Myers said. "Being a high pick, going to the Lakers, getting moved, going to Brooklyn ... the way he handled that, helping them ascend, kind of coming into his own." 

[RELATED: Myers explains what attracted Warriors to D'Angelo Russell]

Russell enjoyed his breakout year last season where he averaged 21.1 points and seven assists per game. Any GM would be glad to add that to his roster. After speaking with Russell, Myers couldn't be happier. 

"I'm happier now than I was even when we did it, knowing more about who he actually is," Myers said.

Watch Warriors' Andrew Wiggins show off handle in offseason workout

Watch Warriors' Andrew Wiggins show off handle in offseason workout

The Warriors haven't played in an NBA game for five months, and they might not play for (at least) another two or so.

Andrew Wiggins is trying to make the most of that time, working out with trainer Chris Johnson in Los Angeles. Johnson posted a video on his Instagram on Wednesday of Wiggins flashing his handle on a slot pick-and-roll.

Steph Curry and Draymond Green figure to share the bulk of the ball-handling duties if and when the Warriors' projected starting lineup is fully healthy to start next season, so Wiggins might not get many chances to show off what he learned working with Johnson. Projected over a full season, Wiggins' 25.4 percent usage rate in his first 12 games with the Warriors would be the fourth-lowest of his career. Curry played in just one of those games, so that number almost certainly will drop in Wiggins' first full season with Golden State.

[RELATED: Steph, Dame deserve better than these ridiculous debates]

Still, Wiggins initiating plays as a primary ballhandler would be an added bonus.  The Warriors are plenty high on him already, though.

Assistant coach Ron Adams said in June that the "sky's the limit" for the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and head coach Steve Kerr said earlier this month that "[Wiggins] fights right in" on the wing.

Wednesday's video provided a brief glimpse of how Wiggins is trying to reward their faith.

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

Why Klay Thompson thinks it's 'hard time to play' during NBA restart

Why Klay Thompson thinks it's 'hard time to play' during NBA restart

Klay Thompson said he can't blame any NBA players having trouble focusing on basketball right now.

The restarted season is occurring in a "bubble" at the Walt Disney World Resort amid a global pandemic that has killed nearly 170,000 Americans alone and within months of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor's deaths at the hands of police. The coronavirus' disparate impact on people of color, coupled with renewed attention on African Americans disproportionately dying in police custody, has laid bare the entrenched systemic inequalities within the United States. 

Around three-fourths of NBA players are Black, and Thompson said he empathizes with his peers on the 22 NBA teams still playing.

"Honestly, these last few months, it was like divine intervention happening for the world to see what is really going on to a lot of marginalized peoples in this country," Thompson told Brandon Williams in an interview for Bleacher Report. "So I feel for the players right now. It's a hard time to play."

Thompson marched in a protest against systemic racism organized by teammate Juan Toscano-Anderson back in June, and NBA players and coaches have maintained that focus in Orlando.

[RELATED: Steph, Dame deserve better than these ridiculous debates]

Players are mentioning Taylor in their pre- and post-game press conferences, calling for the officers involved in her death to be arrested. Gregg Popovich's media availability routinely serve as history lessons about American injustice. League-approved social-justice messages adorn the backs of players' jerseys. The NBA announced it's committing $300 million over the next decade to spur economic growth in Black communities.

This all is happening as the NBA seeks to complete its season and crown a champion, with teams resuming for the first time in months in pursuit of the sport's ultimate prize. That's a tall order on its own, and an even taller one for players and coaches using their platforms in an effort to enact meaningful, systemic change.

It's understandable they're doing so with heavy hearts.

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