Warriors

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.

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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]

Erik Spoelstra credits Andre Iguodala's Warriors tenure for NBA esteem

Erik Spoelstra credits Andre Iguodala's Warriors tenure for NBA esteem

Andre Iguodala's Warriors tenure couldn't have worked out much better, as the talented wing was an integral part of three championship-winning teams and won the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.

The 36-year-old was traded to Memphis last offseason, but Iguodala eventually found himself in Miami after a deadline deal with the Heat.

Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about Iguodala's impact on the organization during his first five months with the Heat, and the two-time champion's answer spoke volumes about how Iguodala's perception in the NBA has been shaped by his time with the Warriors.

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He wasn't an original member of the Warriors' roster, but his acquisition helped mark a turning point that saw the Warriors go from a middle-of-the-pack Western Conference team to a bona fide NBA Finals contender year in and year out. Unselfishness and versatility enabled Iguodala to captain the Warriors' second unit into one of the league's best, while simultaneously bringing valuable clutch minutes night in and night out alongside the Splash Brothers and Draymond Green when the game was on the line.

"You can talk about it in sports, how I came in as a rookie, kind of paid my dues," Iguodala said to Forbes Magazine about his background in leadership. "Kind of like being an intern, you just work your way through the ranks, doing it the right way, having the respect for anyone, whether someone is above you or below you, just having that human level of respect.

"I think the main thing in leadership is trying to get the most out of those beneath you, seeing their potential and helping them maximize their potential, finding out who they are as a person, finding out what makes them tick."

[RELATED: Warriors Ultimate Draft: Best Dubs of last 30 years, Part 1]

Even when NBA stars like Kevin Durant joined the fold in Golden State (at Iguodala's position no less), they took lessons to heart from competing every day with him.

"I learned a lot from watching guys like Andre Iguodala -- how he used his hands in the paint when guys were going up to shoot," KD said on a recent Instagram Live.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers didn't come away empty-handed from the Iguodala transaction, as Golden State wound up with a valuable $17.2 million trade exception. This leaves the Warriors with a chance to add a solid contributor in a trade this offseason.

Golden State showered Iguodala with love when he returned to Chase Center this season with the Heat, and he'll forever be an iconic figure in Warriors lore.

LeBron James tweets #FreeWoj in support suspended Adrian Wojnarowski

LeBron James tweets #FreeWoj in support suspended Adrian Wojnarowski

The NBA's biggest star has come to the defense of the league's biggest news breaker.

A day after ESPN reportedly suspended Adrian Wojnarowski for an email he sent to a politician, LeBron James has joined the #FreeWoj movement.

The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reported Sunday that Wojnarowski's suspension will last two weeks, meaning he will be back in action before the NBA season resumes in Orlando, Florida on July 30.

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The #FreeWoj movement began Saturday night after Outkick reported that ESPN was suspending Woj for a vulgar reply to an email sent by Missouri senator Josh Hawley.

Warriors rookie Eric Paschall showed his support for Woj on Instagram.

One Twitter user suggested Saturday that a tweet from LeBron could have Woj back on the job as early as Sunday. Clearly that hasn't happened, but it's a big deal that the Los Angeles Lakers superstar is standing with Woj.