Kevon Looney's high school jersey retirement a 'dream come true'


Kevon Looney's high school jersey retirement a 'dream come true'

MILWAUKEE -- Hamilton High School retired Kevon Looney’s No. 5 jersey Thursday in a ceremony on the court where he was a four-year letterman for the Wildcats. The whole Golden State Warriors team came to celebrate. 

Looney is one of the best players of all time to come out of Milwaukee. He averaged 27.9 points, 12.7 rebounds, 8.0 blocks and 7.0 assists per game during his senior year. 

The festivities started in the high school library, where about 100 kids packed in for a Q&A session. Looney told the students he graduated with a 3.4 GPA and finished sixth in his class. A student asked, “Who is your favorite teacher?” and Looney pointed at the P.E. teacher, Jeff Hogan.

“My claim to fame is I taught him how to swim,” Hogan said. “He got in the pool, it wasn’t happening, but all of a sudden he stuck with it, and by the end, he was like a porpoise. He was just in there, strokin’ away.” 

There’s a pool on Hamilton’s campus. The facilities are “half gym, half swim,” said Hogan, who taught Looney how to swim during his freshman year. 

“He would not put his face in the water,” Hogan continued. “And with how tall he was, that was really a challenge.” 

Looney posed for pictures with students, and looked at old pictures in Hamilton yearbooks.

Looney was the junior year prom king. He wasn’t planning on going that year, but friends convinced him.

“I actually have the crown at home,” Looney said.

The celebration moved to the Wildcats’ gymnasium, where cheerleaders performed and Warriors coach Steve Kerr spoke to the students.

Kerr noted how surreal it was to remember Looney was playing in this gym just four years ago. Now he’s an NBA champion. 

Looney addressed the students and beamed with love for school. He described how much he enjoys coming back to Milwaukee and shared how grateful he is to live his dream as a pro basketball player. 

Looney autographed his green and yellow Wildcats jersey and held it up for pictures, his smile as big as his wingspan. Local TV crews rushed over to ask questions, surrounding him in a scrum of cameras and microphones. 

As the rest of the Warriors filed out to the team bus, Looney lingered to talk some more. His girlfriend, Mariah Winston, hung back to take more pictures. She said she felt his happiness all day. 

“He was telling me all of his memories and how he used to walk the campus halls with his team,” Winston said. "I know he was excited to be here. To be able to come back and retire a jersey, a number, is a dream come true."

Andre Iguodala describes how Warriors have no budget when they travel


Andre Iguodala describes how Warriors have no budget when they travel

Programming note: Watch Wednesday's Warriors-Jazz game streaming live at 6 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

Andre Iguodala entered the league as the ninth overall pick in the 2004 draft. He has played for three franchises -- Philadelphia, Denver and Golden State.

The soon-to-be 35-year old (his birthday is Jan. 28) knows a thing or two about life in the NBA, and understands how great he has it playing for the Warriors.

"I tell the guys -- I came into the NBA 15 years ago, and we've always had good planes. But the Warriors are pretty special," Iguodala explained on the Christopher Lochhead Podcast. "We always tell the young guys, our rookies -- 'Listen, this isn't the real NBA. The Warriors -- this isn't real. This is kind of like a fantasy land.'

"We're a step above a good team. When I was in Philly, I would talk to our travel guy and he'd be like, 'We got a budget.' Teams have budgets and some teams are really cheap. He'd be like, 'Listen, we got a budget so we can stay in good hotels in certain cities but other cities we can't stay in the hotels that are as good.'

"This was his idea: We stay in good hotels in good cities and bad hotels in the bad cities, because what difference does it make if you're in a bad city? Good point, so that's how we did it. But we had to budget all that out.

"But with the Warriors, there's no such thing. Everything -- whatever is the best we can find. And then we actually have food set up everywhere we go with the Warriors. When we get in somewhere, there's a restaurant reserved for us. Order whatever you want, it's all set up.

"The next day for the games, there's a whole spread after shootaround set up for you, and then after home games there's food set up. We get breakfast and lunch before and after practice. Chefs come in and cook for you."

That sounds pretty wonderful and I should probably just take Golden State's 15th roster spot that remains open.

Over the last couple of years, we have heard Joe Lacob talk about making sure the players have the best resources available to them and that it is paramount for the front office/ownership to create the best work environment possible. It certainly sounds like that is the case.

(There's a "light years" joke that could go here, but we will refrain)

As for Iguodala, -- he needs top-flight food options because he has many restrictions.

"I'm on a certain diet -- no gluten, vegan -- not 100 percent. I'm getting there, but not 100 percent," the 2015 Finals MVP explained. "Chick-fil-A is killing me. I have Chick-fil-A like once a month, maybe twice a month. But 90 percent of the time, it's vegan."

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

For Kevin Durant, it's 'an honor' to take the court with Steph Curry

For Kevin Durant, it's 'an honor' to take the court with Steph Curry

Programming note: Watch Wednesday's Warriors-Jazz game streaming live at 6 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

Some milestones were hit on Monday night at Oracle Arena.

Steph Curry joined the "15,000 career points club" and Kevin Durant passed Larry Bird for 33rd on the NBA's all-time scoring list. After the win over Memphis, Durant was asked what it's like to take the floor with the two-time MVP on a nightly basis.

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"It's more exciting just to see him come to work every day and work on his game," the reigning two-time Finals MVP told reporters. "I don't want to take what he does on the court for granted, but I'm just a sucker for just watching guys while they work -- when the lights are lower than usual.

"And he's one of those guys that puts in the work every single day and produces. And you see it out on the floor."

Curry is currently averaging 28.8 points per game this season. If he stays at his current scoring pace for every game the rest of the way, he will end the year with 16,479 points. If he then averages 28.4 points per game over the next four seasons (assuming he averages 75 appearances), he would be at 24,999 points. There are currently 22 members of the 25,000 points fraternity.

For Durant -- he is also averaging 28.8 points per game and if that pace continues for all 82 games, he would end the campaign with 24,168 career points -- which would put him at No. 26 all-time.

To become just the 8th NBA player to ever hit 30,000 points, Durant would need to average "only" 26 points per game (assuming he averages 75 appearances) over the subsequent three seasons. He would then enter the 2022-23 season having just turned 34 years old, and be in prime position to vault into the Top 3 before it's all said and done.

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But that converation is still years away. Back to the present where Durant is humbled to call Curry his teammate:

"Fifteen thousand is something that I'm sure he expected out of himself once he came into the league," Durant added. "But to actually accomplish it shows how hard he works; how much he's dedicated and how much he loves the game.

"That shines bright every single night he plays, so it's just an honor to take the court with him."

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