Warriors

Kevin Durant, Warriors haven't had a breakdown in trust, Woj believes

Kevin Durant, Warriors haven't had a breakdown in trust, Woj believes

Warriors superstar Kevin Durant sustained a torn right Achilles during Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

On Monday, Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report wrote the following:

The indication from several league sources is that Durant is not happy with the team, and the presumption is that it stems from whatever role Warriors officials played in his decision to suit up.

Coach Steve Kerr says he was told Durant could not further injure himself by playing, which obviously proved not to be true. If Durant was told the same, it would give credence to the notion that, as one league executive claims, "He's really pissed off at the Warriors."

On Tuesday, ESPN's Zach Lowe asked ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski if there has been a breakdown in trust between KD and the Warriors.

"If there were a breakdown in trust, you would imagine that Kevin Durant's camp and the Warriors would not be in communication. And they have been in communication," Woj said. "They have talked.

"Their ability to be able to talk through whatever potential issues there are in trying to go forward, I think those lines of communication are open. Does he stay? I think that conversation has yet to really happen between Durant, Rich Kleiman, Bob Myers and the organization.

"I do think there's gonna be a point here where they do talk before free agency starts. But there's no indication that they have been shunned by KD. I don't believe that's the case."

The Warriors are the only team that can offer the two-time NBA Finals MVP a five-year contract in free agency that would pay him about $221 million.

Every other franchise can offer him a maximum amount of about $164 million over four seasons.

Woj believes KD's injury gives the Dubs a better chance of retaining the 10-time All-Star:

"It's changed the narrative for Kevin Durant in Golden State. It goes from a player who didn't get credit for jumping onboard of a 73-win team; the narrative that he wasn't crucial to winning there.

"Well, you saw that he was. And now this becomes something that's never been there -- an underdog story, a comeback story. By the time Kevin Durant would play again in the NBA, two teams would have won championships that aren't the Warriors.

"Now, they're a team people are rooting for. Now, Kevin Durant is the builder in Golden State. And the adulation that I think maybe wasn't there for him in Golden State, it's going to be there. He's a beloved figure there for what he came back and did -- the injury that he sustained when he took great risk to play for that team.

"He's not going on the road anywhere in the NBA again where they are holding up cupcake signs and cupcake t-shirts. Noone's ever calling Kevin Durant a cupcake again. That does change the narrative and the story for KD in Golden State.

"Now, is that enough to get him to stay there? We don't know that yet. But they have a better case to make post injury than they did pre injury."

[RELATEDWhy Iguodala believes KD, Klay will re-sign with Warriors]

Free agency opens on Sunday at 3 p.m. PT, so we might be less than a week away from finally getting answers about Durant's future.

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Matt Barnes was on verge of NFL pursuit before Warriors offered chance

Matt Barnes was on verge of NFL pursuit before Warriors offered chance

Matt Barnes wasn't guaranteed or promised anything in his NBA career.

In fact, the former Warriors forward nearly left hoops in 2006 to pursue football.

"I was on the verge of trying to jump into the NFL," Barnes recently explained to Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald. "I was still working out -- basketball and football -- during the summertime because basketball hadn't really seemed to hit.

"I had played four years up to that point and bounced around -- been on a handful of teams -- and just really wasn't getting a fair shot."

Barnes was selected in the second round (No. 46 overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, but spent his entire rookie season in the G League with the Fayetteville Patriots.

He didn't make his NBA debut until Jan. 19, 2004 when the Clippers gave him a shot with a 10-day contract.

Barnes signed with the Sacramento Kings in October 2004, and appeared in 43 games before he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February.

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

That brings us to the summer of 2006.

"I was in Sacramento (his hometown) at the time. Baron Davis called me (and said), 'Hey, we're gonna have an open run at the facility (in Oakland). If you're not doing nothing, come down.' I wasn't doing nothing. Hopped in my car, drove down an hour and a half. 

"Played well -- not knowing that Nellie (Warriors coach Don Nelson) was watching the whole time upstairs through the offices. We finished playing, he comes down, tells me I played well (and asks) where I'm going to camp. I was just like, 'You know coach, I don't really have any plans.'

"He told me, he's like, 'I can't promise you anything. I think we have 16 guarantees and 19 people coming to training camp, but if you play like you did today I'll give you a chance.' And that was the first time a coach really had a conversation with me. That's all I needed.

"(I) made the team and continued to use the games as practices and eventually worked my way into the lineup. The rest is history. That's kind of when I put my name on the map."

Over 76 games (23 starts) during the "We Believe" 2006-07 season, Barnes averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals, while shooting nearly 37 percent from deep. In 11 playoff games, he averaged 11.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals and shot over 42 percent from 3-point range.

[RELATED: Barnes reveals 'We Believe' Warriors documentary in works]

After one more season with the Dubs in 2007-08, Barnes played for the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Kings.

He returned to the Warriors in early March 2017 after Kevin Durant sustained a knee injury, and became an NBA champion.

The 40-year-old currently co-hosts a fantastic podcast with Stephen Jackson called "All the Smoke," and he is terrific as an analyst on TV.

It's crazy to think how different his life could have been had he not picked up BD's phone call 14 years ago ...

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[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Damian Lillard torches Dan Orlovsky for 'spoiled', 'entitled' remarks

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Damian Lillard torches Dan Orlovsky for 'spoiled', 'entitled' remarks

We live in an era of hot takes. Being correct isn't as important as being noticed. Ratings triumph over truth.

It leads to a situation in which television pundits frequently spout off misguided and easily disproven snap judgments without understanding the true context of the situation. Why give an accurate assessment when a bombastic quote can drive exponentially more traffic?

Most times, they aren't held accountable. On Thursday, though, Damian Lillard wasn't going to let that fly.

Lillard recently announced that he would sit out games if and when the NBA resumed the season if the Trail Blazers didn't have a chance to qualify for the playoffs and compete for a championship. While that is entirely reasonable, former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky joined ESPN's "Get Up" on Wednesday and put his foot in his mouth in criticizing Lillard's decision.

"How can you sit there and go, ‘Nope, I’m not going to play, but understand that there are people out there that don’t have that choice," Orlovsky said. "They have to go to work. They have to go earn their money. I struggle with sitting here and going ‘you don’t come off, in some way, a spoiled and entitled brat by saying I’m not going to play."

Spoiled and entitled? Seriously? Lillard is anything but, and he didn't let that idiotic comment slide.

Let's see. Lillard grew up in a rough part of Oakland. He didn't have a single D-1 scholarship offer coming out of high school. He attended a mid-major at Weber State University and built himself up to become the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. In the time since, he has been named Rookie of the Year, made four All-NBA teams, selected to five All-Star games and become the face of his franchise. Not to mention, he continually gives back to his Oakland community, including hosting an annual picnic and donating to his high school.

What exactly is spoiled about that? And Orlovsky has the nerve to call Lillard entitled?!

Orlovsky, as Lillard reminded him, was a career backup. 

Across 12 career starts, he posted a 2-10-0 record. He is most known for unknowingly stepping out of the back of the end zone for a safety. And this is the guy who we're supposed to view as an authority on the circumstances of a superstar?

Come. On.

Lillard doesn't back down, on the court or off of it. He didn't relent in calling Orlovsky out, and to no one's surprise, the comments eventually were walked back ... sort of.

I suppose you can credit Orlovsky for acknowledging his mistake and apologizing, but I won't. If not for Lillard defending himself, the comments likely would have gone unchecked and further emboldened the hot-take culture.

[RELATED: Warriors could practice again at Chase in next two weeks]

Maybe Orlovsky will think twice -- or at least do a little research -- before opening his mouth next time.

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