Kerr says Warriors, Cavs 'just want to kick each other’s ass'


Kerr says Warriors, Cavs 'just want to kick each other’s ass'

It doesn't matter that it's just a regular season game in January. All eyes will be on the Warriors and Cavaliers when the two clash in Cleveland on Monday night. 

“We just want to kick each other’s ass,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Sunday to The Mercury News. “There’s no sort of love lost. That’s how it should be. We should be trying to beat each other.”

The Warriors (35-9) head into the showdown with the best record in the NBA. On the other side, it's been an up-and-down season for the Cavs (26-16). Cleveland currently sits in third place and is in the midst of a three-game losing streak. 

None of that matters though. These two have met in the NBA Finals each of the past three seasons with the Warriors winning two titles, and both teams breaking each other's hearts. 

When speaking on the rivalry, Kerr sees it as differnt than that of past great teams because of the shift in the league. 

“Lakers-Boston was the dominant rivalry. Our rivalry with Cleveland is the analogy of the modern NBA,” Kerr said. “It’s the same thing. You got superstars all over the floor. You’ve had three Finals meetings. You have so many games and so many people watching. It’s definitely a special feeling in the building when both teams are there.”

In a sense, Steph Curry agrees with how Kerr sees that rivalry between Golden State and Cleveland. 

“From a historical perspective, it’s going to be to tough to top Lakers and the Celtics and the prime of the 80’s in NBA history,” Curry said. “But we can strong arm the 21st century, and see what happens.”

There will be star power everywhere Monday night in Cleveland. Between the two teams, there are four former NBA MVP winners (Curry, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and Derrick Rose), and 12 All-Stars (Curry, Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, David West, Andre Iguodala, James, Rose, Dwyane Wade, Isaiah Thomas, Kevin Love, and Kyle Korver). Rose is currently out with an injury. 

Win or lose, memories of battling the Cavs will last forver for Kerr. He's gone through the highest of highs and lowest of lows in this rivalry. 

"In 20 years when we see each other, we’re all going to hug," Kerr says. "When I see [Cleveland coach] Ty Lue and Steph sees LeBron, it’ll be like, ‘Wow that’s awesome.'”

Why Draymond Green reportedly switched his representation to Klutch Sports

Why Draymond Green reportedly switched his representation to Klutch Sports

While you may have been sleeping, Warriors forward Draymond Green made news late Friday night by reportedly switching his representation to Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.

Paul famously is the agent for NBA superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and was at the center of all the AD-to-Lakers rumors that dominated the NBA landscape in early February.

Any time a player signs with Klutch, the rumors of that player potentially teaming up with LeBron start to swirl.

So why, exactly, did Draymond make this move?

Marcus Thompson of The Athletic detailed the 2016-17 DPOY's potential motivation for changing his representation.

Green could simply prefer Klutch’s aggressive approach and increased clout on his behalf when this is all figured out at some point over the next year and a half. Undoubtedly, Green landing on the Lakers, in their division, is something the Warriors would have to contemplate should they decide not to re-up with him.

One source said Green’s primary desire to switch agents is largely about being impressed with what Klutch, specifically, is building and what LeBron’s camp is doing as a whole. 

LeBron's camp has indeed done some impressive things, including SpringHill entertainment (Hello, Space Jam 2), popular television shows such as "The Shop" on HBO, and plenty of other off-court ventures. Thompson also notes how Draymond is close friends with businessman Maverick Carter, a member of LeBron's marketing group, and has already worked with him and James on the Uninterrupted digital media platform.

So it is not surprising that Green -- or any prominent NBA athlete -- would want to join forces with such a prestigious agency.

However, the takeaway most NBA fans will have from Draymond joining Klutch will be, "Does this mean Draymond will eventually join LeBron on the Lakers?" And while there's no way of knowing if that will happen down the road, it certainly leaves room for speculation.

Green is a free agent in July, 2020, and as Thompson writes, the Warriors would have to consider the Lakers a threat for the three-time All-Star's services if the Dubs don't re-sign him. 

[RELATED: Draymond gave De'Aaron Fox advice about being a leader]

There is plenty of time between now and then, and it's likely both Golden State's and Los Angeles' rosters will look a lot different by then, anyway. Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are free agents in July, and the Lakers are always linked to prominent players (i.e. Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, etc.) who could potentially team up with LeBron.

But if Draymond's decision means anything right now, it's this: get ready for another 18 months of rumors.

How James Harden's dagger three-pointer triggered Warriors' hot streak

How James Harden's dagger three-pointer triggered Warriors' hot streak

OAKLAND – The Warriors are disappointed and perhaps even infuriated that Rockets star James Harden, diagnosed with a cervical neck strain, is listed as questionable for the game Saturday at Oracle Arena.

They want Harden. The Warriors so badly want to confront him that they are practically praying he’ll be upgraded to available before the 5:35 tipoff. They want all the Rockets, but Harden’s presence is particularly significant.

As much as the Warriors want to be the team that halts Harden’s streak of 32 consecutive games with at least 30 points, they also have a score to settle.

The last time the Warriors faced Harden, he drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer over the tight defense of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to give the Rockets a 135-134 victory, in overtime, at Oracle Arena. When the shot went through, Harden stood and began staring and jawing toward Green.

That game, on Jan. 3, probably is the most exasperating of the Warriors’ 16 losses this season. The locker room was simmered with anger, some directed toward Harden but most of it toward themselves for blowing a 20-point second-half lead.

That was the team’s third loss in five games and it happened to be Houston, the closest thing the Warriors have to a real rival. And Harden, the reigning MVP, the man who has made an art of baiting defenders and officials, had plunged the dagger.

“James hit that shot and, obviously, that can be frustrating,” Green said late Thursday night. “But that happens. He’s a great scorer. He hit a tough shot over Klay and I. We’ll live with that.

“But we had a lead in that game and we allowed ourselves to be in that position. When you allow that to happen, anything can happen and it did.”

The residual hostility may have been the best thing to happen to the Warriors this season. The champs checked themselves, rededicated and won the next 11 games – their longest streak in 13 months – by an average margin of 17.5 points.

The defense turned up, as did the assist totals. The turnover count came down. Though not typically a strong rebounding team, the Warriors posted advantages in nine of the 11 games. There was a tip-to-horn 31-point win at Denver, a comeback victory in which they wiped out a 17-point deficit.

The Warriors were hungrier. They were, at times, downright ruthless.

“Losing bothers us,” Green said. “It don’t really matter if it’s against Houston or anybody else. We don’t like to lose. That’s part of the reason we don’t lose much. At that point of the season, we were losing a lot. And we knew we had to get it turned around. And we have.”

Three postseason series in the past four years – most recently a stressful seven-game 2018 Western Conference Finals – have brought additional heat to games between the Warriors and Rockets. As the only current Houston player to start every game in all series, Harden symbolizes the enemy. When he succeeds against the Warriors it’s considerably more annoying than if it were, say, San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge or Portland’s Damian Lillard.

So, yes, the Warriors want a piece of Harden every time they see him. He’s openly campaigning for a second consecutive MVP award and the Rockets are 21-11 during his streak. Primary running mates Chris Paul and Clint Capela, who missed much of the past two months, are back.

“We understand how talented they are, how well James has been playing,” Stephen Curry said. “I know they lost (Thursday), but it’s going to be a dogfight. We understand the momentum that we have been able to build, it’s going to be a defensive test for us.”

[RELATED: Rockets GM Daryl Morey isn't over Warriors beating them in 2018 playoffs]

The Warriors are 17-2 since Harden’s epic game-winner. Their offensive rating has been 4.5 points better than any other team. They’ve been playing their best ball, and they’d like to give Harden and the Rockets a taste of it.

If Harden can’t go, the lights on the marquee won’t be as bright. The Warriors’ fury might drop a notch, but it’s conceivable the sight of Chris Paul and those red and white jerseys will be enough to inflame proceedings.