Warriors

Casspi opens up about biggest regret during Warriors tenure

Warriors

Back on July 4, 2017, the Warriors agreed to terms on a contract with Israeli-born Omri Casspi, a wing who specialized in 3-point shooting.

The union was highly regarded as a smart move by the Warriors, bringing in a floor spacer to give the team more room for their superstars to operate. 

While with the Kings during the 2015-16 NBA season, Casspi shot four 3-pointers per game (274 total attempts on the season) at an excellent 41-percent clip, making him one of the most lethal outside shooters in the league. However, once he arrived with the Warriors, he simply stopped attempting shots from long distance. 

In 53 games played, before an injury that derailed his season, Casspi only put up 22 shots from deep, despite making 10 of them. Instead, he became a dynamic slasher and cutter to the rim, constantly moving around the court and making defenses scramble to account for him. 

While Casspi was highly effective at this unexpected role on the team, he does look back and wishes he could make a change.

"One of the things I most regret, is the fact that once I got into the season with the Warriors, I didn't have -- I mean, obviously during an NBA season it's really hard -- I think something mental took me away from shooting the 3's that I used to shoot well with the Kings and the year after. And I kind of regret that," Casspi said on the latest episode of the Runnin' Plays podcast.

 

"It's unfortunate."

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What was even more unfortunate for Casspi, however, was how his tenure with the Warriors ended. 

On March 16, 2018, against the Kings, Casspi rolled his ankle badly after cutting to the hoop and finishing a floater in the lane. That would end up being his last play with the team. About a week later, Steph Curry would sprain his MCL, just before the start of the NBA playoffs. The Warriors were in need of a point guard to fill Curry's spot. 

To do so, the Warriors had to cut Casspi to sign Quinn Cook to the full-time roster.

"It just didn't work out," coach Steve Kerr told reporters in Nov. 2018. "I felt horrible for him at the end of the season when we had the Steph injury and we had no choice. We didn't have a roster spot. We had to have Quinn because he had played so well and Steph was still injured going into the playoffs.

"Just one of those weird NBA things where he got kinda left out."

Casspi is able to reflect on the tough ending with Golden State with a reasonable understanding.

"Obviously me getting hurt and the team needed a point guard and all of that, I never really worried about it," Casspi said. "Obviously I was sad, I wanted to be part of the playoff run, [etc.], but it wasn't really in my control, I couldn't really do anything, I did everything right up to that point, and if you get hurt, you get hurt, it's part of life."

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At the end of the day though, Casspi thinks that a simple change to his play might have been the difference between his early departure from the team, and a spot on the playoff roster.

"Just not being able to shoot the 3's and help them in that regard," Casspi said. "Because if you do the cutting and movement and all that sort of stuff, part of the offense we used to run, if you add shooting I think I could have helped my case with the Warriors."