Warriors

NBA rumors: Kevin Durant's absence causing Warriors 'confusion, angst'

NBA rumors: Kevin Durant's absence causing Warriors 'confusion, angst'

The Kevin Durant cloud is hanging over the Warriors. It's not about his free-agency decision this time, but rather his health during the biggest part of the season. 

Durant now has been out for over a month after straining his right calf on May 8 against the Rockets in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs. And with so many other beat up Warriors pushing through injuries to play in The Finals, there reportedly was a real hope that Durant would do the same in Game 4 against the Raptors. 

Sam Amick of The Athletic reported Sunday morning that Durant's long absence "is causing a mixture of confusion and angst" among a handful of his teammates. 

After losing Game 4 105-92 to fall into a three-games-to-one series hole, the Warriors will look to stave off elimination in Monday's Game 5 in Toronto. Question marks surrounding Durant's return have taken their own spotlight as a dynasty might be crumbling before our eyes. 

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But there's no magic solution to getting the two-time NBA Finals MVP back on the court. The decision ultimately comes down to trainer Rick Celebrini. Two sources also told Amick that the Warriors have believed for a while that Game 5 was the earliest Durant could return.

With or without Durant, the Warriors have plenty of other questions to answer first to keep their season alive.

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.

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

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.

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

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.