Warriors

With Nike now part of FBI probe, what is UA frontman Steph Curry thinking?

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USATSI

With Nike now part of FBI probe, what is UA frontman Steph Curry thinking?

Right now, the bad angel on Stephen Curry’s left shoulder is whispering, “Go on! Do it! He dogged your shoe, now you can dog his! Just say it! ‘Nike and the FBI! They’re comin’ for you, K.D.!’ It’ll be funny! Trust me!”
 
And the good angel on his right shoulder is whispering, “No no no, that would be wrong and mean and it would cause more trouble than it’s worth. Although, yeah, it is pretty funny.”
 
Yes, as you suspected, Nike is now part of the FBI’s probe into selling basketball players to colleges for future services rendered. We do not yet know how far this is going, or frankly whether it actually breaks federal law, but now Nike has been tossed into the grease fire, and there doesn’t seem to be any flame-retardant foam in sight.
 
After all, when an athletic-money-dependent university like Louisville allows its INTERIM president to hammer the most popular and powerful man on campus and his chief enabler (Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich), you know some shady shade is being shaded here.
 
And college basketball being the new dictionary photo next to the word “corruption,” one can only imagine where the Nike trail will lead. More schools, more assistants, more recruiting tales finally spoken aloud and Dick Vitale in paralytic shock -- that's the way to bet.
 
And there stands Curry with UnderArmour, a relative outsider in the business yet still very vulnerable to the economic pressures of running hot in such an economically depraved environment.
 
So yeah, Curry probably won’t say anything, and his good angel will have triumphed. Although I’d be willing to bet the winning argument was when the good angel said, “What? You think your guys are clean? You want to bet your salary on it?”
 
And the bad angel slunk away in frustration. After all, he’d already won one this week with the Sports Illustrated cover, so there will be other fights to fight in our next episode of “Stephen Curry’s Bickering Shoulders.” Check your local listings for time and place.

Jonas Jerebko ready to show he's 'a lot better player than people think'

Jonas Jerebko ready to show he's 'a lot better player than people think'

Earlier this week, Jonas Jerebko was introduced to Bay Area media members.

He talked about his expectations for next season and his role with the Warriors.

On Friday morning, he was a guest on 95.7 The Game and told Warriors fans they should have a pretty high bar for the "Swedish Larry Bird."

"I've been 10 years in the league and I feel like I'm getting better every year. I feel like I haven't played my best basketball yet," Jerebko declared. "The most minutes I did play was my rookie year."

Jerebko -- the 39th pick in the 2009 draft -- averaged 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds as a rookie in Detroit.

He missed the entire 2010-11 season because of a torn Achilles tendon, but bounced back in 2011-12 to the tune of 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest.

The 31-year old played a couple more seasons in Detroit and was then traded to Boston in February 2015.

He re-signed with the Celtics in July 2015 and averaged 15.1 minutes and 15.8 minutes per contest in his two seasons under Brad Stevens.

In Utah last year, Jerebko registered 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes, and shot over 41 percent from 3-point territory.

"I got a lot more to give and I'm a lot better player than people think I am sometimes," Jerebko said. "I'm ready to show that."

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

Charles Barkley says the Nuggets and Timberwolves are better than the Lakers

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AP

Charles Barkley says the Nuggets and Timberwolves are better than the Lakers

LeBron James will play for the Lakers next season.

But Charles Barkley doesn't think the expectations should be too high.

"They're No. 5 seed, maybe six in the West," Barkley said on The Dan Patrick Show. "I don't think they're better than Oklahoma City, I don't think they're better than the Denver Nuggets.

"The Rockets to me are the surprising team because I think they have regressed. I'm a big Trevor Ariza fan ... Minnesota's better than the Lakers. As great as LeBron is -- I see them as the 4, 5, 6 seed."

OK. Let's try to unpack this.

Assuming Barkley thinks the Warriors are better than the Lakers, he has four teams -- Golden State, Oklahoma City, Denver, Minnesota -- at minimum ahead of Los Angeles.

What about Utah or Portland or San Antonio or New Orleans?

Barkley said the Rockets got worse, but does he have them ahead of the Lakers? We don't know at this point.

One thing we certainly know:

"The West is unbelievable," Barkley said. "He (LeBron) got 20 easy wins the last few years. He won't get those easy 20 wins in the Western Conference."

On a recent episode of the Warriors Outsiders Podcast, I had the Lakers at No. 6 in the West while Grant Liffmann had them at No. 7.

We reserve the right to change our opinion when we make our final predictions in mid-October! 

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