Kevon Looney could go from Warriors' bench to starting center, mentor

Associated Press

Kevon Looney could go from Warriors' bench to starting center, mentor

OAKLAND -- Of all the non-core Golden State Warriors players through their ongoing platinum years, nobody has stayed longer and advanced further than Kevon Looney.

He came almost as an afterthought with wonky hips, worked through the pain and the inactivity, and his reward entering his fourth NBA season is to be part of a three-headed center position until DeMarcus Cousins is activated. This doesn’t seem like much of a reward for any young and ambitious fellow, but the market does as the market will, and Looney, more than Jordan Bell and Damian Jones, understood that his future remains where his past has been.

“Free agency was new to me, and the market wasn’t really that good,” Looney, who signed a one-year, $1.567 million contract, said Monday at Warriors Media Day, “so me knowing that going into it, I just figured the Warriors offered me a contract, and I said, 'Why not stay and try to do it again?' "

As one of the three replacements for Zaza Pachulia, along with Jordan Bell and Damian Jones, Looney’s job as currently defined will be to meet matchup requirements both in-game and for extended stretches. But as the steadiest and most experienced of the three, Looney is on the cusp of making the transition to veteran and associate mentor to Bell and Jones.

“I think we all bring something to the table at the center position,” Looney said. “We all have different strengths. I know I’m a good rebounder, and I’m looking forward to showing what I can do.”

As for Bell, whose first season was more spectacular but more mercurial, he has received a fuller understanding of the demands placed on someone who previously has been there.

"I'm ready for a bigger role," he said. "I know the work I put in this summer, trying to get in better shape and not making as many mistakes as I did a year ago. I know a lot more about our team, and learning how to take things seriously. I know more about what to expect when we start practicing and the changes in my body."

As for how the new center position sorts itself out, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made one thing evident.

"The only thing I can tell you for sure is that Draymond Green will not be our starting center to start the season," he said. "It'll be Damian, Loon or Bell."

That's the window they've all waited for -- Looney more than them all.

Bettor to make $1M if Warriors turn season around, win 2020 NBA Finals

Bettor to make $1M if Warriors turn season around, win 2020 NBA Finals

The Warriors (2-10) own the worst record in the NBA.

Klay Thompson probably isn't going to suit up at all this season, and Steph Curry might not take the floor again until March.

But that didn't stop a certain someone from essentially lighting $1,000 on fire:

Why didn't this person wire the $1,000 to my bank account? Daycare for a 10-month old isn't cheap.

There literally are at least 1,000 ways that the $1,000 could have been better utilized.

Perhaps it was this guy who placed the bet:

[RELATEDWhy LeBron didn't win his rivalry with Warriors in any way]

Or maybe the bettor thought the wager was on the Warriors landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Got to read the fine print on those betting slips!

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Blazers reportedly add Carmelo Anthony after Warriors, Kings losses


Blazers reportedly add Carmelo Anthony after Warriors, Kings losses

The confetti rained down as the crowd roared.

Over the past five years, such jubilant celebration for the Warriors was often reserved for playoff series victories and NBA championships.

On this night back in early November, however, Golden State showered its customers with party streamers to celebrate the team’s first regular-season win at Chase Center.

The Warriors soundly defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 127-118, featuring a lineup devoid of stars D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green, and Steph Curry, all of whom were sidelined with injuries.

Portland, at full-strength going into the game, became the laughingstock of NBA Twitter for the next 48 hours.

It hasn’t gotten better for Portland since, as the Blazers have lost four of their last five games, including another head-scratching loss to the Kings on Tuesday.

Abraham Lincoln once said “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

For Portland’s general manager Neil Olshey, that knot reportedly comes in the form of 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony hasn’t played in an NBA game since November of 2018, back when he had a 10-game run with the Houston Rockets to begin last season before the team parted ways with Melo on Nov. 15.

The Trail Blazers are in desperation mode, standing 4-8 in an unquestionably loaded Western Conference and now are dealing with the loss of up-and-coming power forward Zach Collins for multiple months with a shoulder injury.

All those empty gym Instagram workouts seem to have finally paid off for Anthony, whose role and impact remains to be seen with a team that was just four wins away from the NBA Finals in 2018.

While his scoring acumen is unquestioned, his defensive ability -- especially after a full year away from the NBA -- might hurt a team already featuring several liabilities on that end of the court more than it helps.

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: How die-hard Warriors fans can stay optimistic]

However, this likely will be a short-term experiment if Melo doesn’t make a discernible impact immediately. Dec. 15 marks the first day teams can trade players signed during the summer free agency period, so Portland can pursue help on the wing through that avenue if Anthony, whose contract is non-guaranteed, doesn’t produce as advertised.