Warriors

Kerr takes jab at Draymond for joining Warriors in Vegas, Draymond jabs back

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AP

Kerr takes jab at Draymond for joining Warriors in Vegas, Draymond jabs back

Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke to reporters after practice Tuesday, and the first question was about Draymond Green's status.

The coach revealed that the three-time All-Star wouldn't play in Wednesday night's preseason game against the Lakers.

A follow-up question: Is Draymond going to make the trip?

[RELATED: Draymond Green's knee issue lingers; return to Warriors remains unknown]

"It's Vegas. So ... yeah," Kerr answered before breaking into a big smile.

You knew Draymond -- if he caught wind of Kerr's joke -- was going to respond. And sure enough, he took to Instagram once the Warriors got to their hotel in Sin City.

As of now, the plan is for Draymond to play in the Warriors' exhibition finale Friday night in San Jose.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Watch Steph Curry, Kevin Durant play 1-on-1 for Sportsperson trophy

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Sports Illustrated

Watch Steph Curry, Kevin Durant play 1-on-1 for Sportsperson trophy

The Warriors accepted their Sportsperson of the Year award this week and in typical fashion, they had lots of fun with the honor.

The Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Show aired on Thursday, but was taped on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Because the Warriors were preparing to face the Raptors, the players couldn't attend the show in Los Angeles. But owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber were in attendance.

"First of all, this beats getting booed, I can assure you," Lacob said to open his remarks, referring to that time Warriors fans booed him for trading Monta Ellis. "It's a great honor. And I want to say also that everyone in our organization knows we have the term 'Strength in Numbers,' and it really is strength in numbers, it really is what our organization is about."

Guber, a movie producer, used his remarks to drop a Hollywood analogy.

"Every script needs a great set of stars to make it a hit," Guber said. "And we have the players and the coaches who have made all the difference to bring this to you."

But the best part was when they showed a video of Steph Curry and Kevin Durant accepting the award at the team's practice facility in Oakland.

After both MVPs thanked Sports Illustrated for the award, Curry asked the important question.

"I guess the only question is, who gets to keep the trophy?" Curry asked Durant.

"We might have to play one-on-one for it," Durant responded, which drew laughter from the audience watching the video.

"We'll settle it," Durant said.

Then Curry picked up a basketball and Durant began to guard him. Curry screamed, ran away and flung the ball over his shoulder. The camera cut to a mock shot of the ball going through the hoop.

So there's your answer ... sort of. Curry gets the trophy.

Warriors fans need to accept that the champs are 'not invincible'

Warriors fans need to accept that the champs are 'not invincible'

OAKLAND – Three fans wearing Toronto Raptors black and red were so proud of their team Wednesday night that they shouted out their support in enemy territory.

They stood inside Oracle Arena, where the Warriors are idols of worship, and in the fourth quarter unfurled a Raptors banner while uttering sounds of blasphemy: Let’s go Raptors! Let’s go Raptors! Let’s go Raptors!

“It was weird,” Stephen Curry said Thursday. “But we didn’t do anything about it.”

That sight and those sounds, in that setting, were more stunning than seeing the Warriors used as mops on their own floor.

Those Raptors fans were comfortable because they practically had the place to themselves. Warriors fans vacated the place at such a rapid pace that Mary Babers, mother of Draymond Green, turned to Twitter, referring to them as “spoiled brats.”

There was, to be sure, some truth to her words, for Warriors fans have quickly become so accustomed to winning that they expect it and some don’t react well when they don’t get it.

There will be nights, like the 113-93 loss to Toronto on Wednesday, when the fans don’t get their win because the Warriors don’t bring it. They weren’t engaged early and dug in only for a few minutes here and there before coach Steve Kerr surrendered in the fourth quarter.

“We’re not invincible from getting smacked in the face if we don’t show up and execute,” Curry said. “So, you’ve got to learn that lesson.”

That lesson was taught to the Warriors several times last season. Six of their 24 losses were to teams that wouldn’t sniff the playoffs and as many more were practically given away.

But even when they stumbled into playoffs after a 7-10 finish, the Warriors engaged and went 16-5 in the postseason. They didn’t bother to immerse themselves until it mattered most.

As much as they don’t like to acknowledge the ability to “flip the switch,” there is a higher level of focus the defending champs can summon. They found it last week in Milwaukee and it was the driving force behind avenging an ugly home loss to the Bucks last month.

“That takes tremendous focus and energy,” Kerr said. “And we haven’t had that very often this year.”

They didn’t have it Wednesday when circumstances suggest they should. They’d lost at Toronto two weeks earlier. The Raptors have the best record in the NBA. The game was on national TV. It was at Oracle.

And, yawn, the Warriors were as flat as they might be in a preseason finale against the Suns in Tijuana. There was a similar listlessness in a loss to the Clippers last month. There were traces of it in home wins over the Nets and for halves at home against the Hawks and Magic.

Kerr and his staff are urging more of what the Warriors delivered in Milwaukee.

“We’ve shown flashes of it,” Curry said of. But we haven’t put together a sustained run of game after game playing at the level we expect on the defensive end.

“As much as we’ve built chemistry and an identity – and we’ve talked about it a lot (during) our run – we have to re-identify ourselves this year and put together consistent efforts night after night.”

The Warriors on Thursday practiced for less than an hour. They spent more than twice as much time reviewing video of the loss the Toronto. They saw the lapses that both Draymond Green and Kevin Durant insist are up to the leaders to fix.

But is it not realistic to believe furious effort will be there every night? Well, no. The problem for the Warriors is that they’ve won so many games without it that they, perhaps psychologically, believe they don’t always need it.

That’s how you end up with performances like that of Wednesday night.

“Our fans have seen the highest of the highs and expect greatness every night,” Curry said. “And we didn’t show that.

“I’m sure they had home-cooked meals and dinners to get to and didn’t want to see us getting beat like that.”

Nobody wanted to see it – except for Raptors fans on site.

But it’s going to be visible again this season at Oracle. The Warriors defense of home court has evolved from obsession to flexible goal, and that’s going to take a while to sink in, particularly among their fans.