Warriors

Pelicans GM David Griffin cites Warriors blueprint when talking philosophy

Pelicans GM David Griffin cites Warriors blueprint when talking philosophy

On June 15, the Pelicans agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers.

In return, New Orleans received guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, forward Brandon Ingram, three first-round picks and the right to swap selections with Los Angeles in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Less than a week later, the Pelicans drafted Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker in the first round.

They added JJ Redick and Derrick Favors in free agency, and the franchise legitimately believes it can make the playoffs next season.

So despite losing The Brow, Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin is maintaining a "win now" approach.

What does this have to do with the Warriors? Well, Griffin provided the following explanation on "The Full 48" podcast with Howard Beck:

"Everybody gets so fixated on this in a binary way -- you're either trying to win a championship or you're supposed to tank and play for the lottery. Well, the value of growing together and learning how to win together is what really made the Golden State Warriors the animal and the flamethrower that they were.

"That nucleus of Steph [Curry], Klay [Thompson] and Draymond [Green] took their lumps together -- they learned how to win together -- in meaningful basketball games. They were a playoff team when Mark Jackson was let go. And Steve [Kerr] came in and sort of took them to an all together different level.

"But those playoff losses early on is what made it possible for them to embrace what Steve was doing and the value of what Steve was doing. Learning how to win together is a really big deal.

"And so everybody says they want to be the Warriors. They want to do this or do that. Well then do what they did. Keep a nucleus together and try to win basketball games ... raise kids in an environment in which winning matters.

"If we end up drafting 16 or 17 because we 'got in our own way,' well then the upside benefitted those kids playing meaningful basketball."

This is some awesome perspective.

Curry was the No. 7 pick in 2009, Klay was taken at No. 11 in 2011, and Draymond went No. 35 in 2012.

The No. 6 seed Warriors upset the No. 3 seed Nuggets in the first round of the 2013 playoffs before falling in six games to the Spurs in the second round.

[RELATEDWhy Gottlieb is very wrong about Draymond's place in NBA]

In 2014, the Dubs dropped Game 7 on the road to the Clippers in the opening round.

In 2015, they won the franchise's first championship since 1975.

As Griffin said, they learned how to win together and they continued to win even more.

But will the trio capture another championship? If they do, it just might be the most meaningful of all.

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Why John Oliver name-dropped Warriors' Marquese Chriss in NBA-China monologue

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USATSI

Why John Oliver name-dropped Warriors' Marquese Chriss in NBA-China monologue

Warriors big man Marquese Chriss has been the talk of training camp, but he apparently caught the eye of comedian John Oliver -- or his writers room -- long before that. 

On Sunday's episode of "Last Week Tonight" on HBO, Oliver recapped China's backlash against the NBA following Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's since-deleted tweet in support of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. Oliver called China's uproar over Morey's tweet "absurd," before facetiously criticizing Morey for letting Chriss go in a trade last season. 

"You wanna be angry at him, how about the fact he traded away power forward Marquese Chriss as part of a three-team deal with the Kings and Cavaliers back in February?" Oliver joked. "Chriss is [6-foot-10] with a 7-foot wingspan, plays way above the rim and can mix it up in the post. Yes, granted, he's had his issues on the Suns -- I'm not denying that. But he's the exact type of athletic big man that could have balanced out [Russell Westbrook and James Harden] especially when he's coming off the bench for P.J. Tucker.

"What I'm saying, Daryl, is your tweet about Hong Kong was totally fine -- nothing to apologize for there -- but when it comes to Marquese Chriss, you f----d up, Daryl!"

Oliver then quipped he wasn't "even a Rockets fan," but one of "competent midseason roster moves."

The Warriors signed Chriss to a non-guaranteed contract in September. The No. 8 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft has impressed his Golden State teammates and coaches, providing the Warriors size up front and rebounding -- two things they've lacked in the preseason with much of their frontcourt banged up. 

During the segment, Oliver criticized the NBA for its handling of the aftermath of Morey's tweet, which Morey walked back and the league apologized for. Following the league's apology, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said that Morey "enjoys that right [to freedom of speech] as one of our employees." Chinese state broadcaster CCTV did not show a pair of the league's preseason games played in China last week. 

[RELATED: What we learned in Dubs' second preseason loss to Lakers]

Oliver noted that "the NBA has put itself in a tight spot," but contended that the league would be unable to navigate out of it. In wrapping up the segment, he invoked Chriss once more. 

"And the reality is here that the NBA can either have a commitment to free speech, or they can have guaranteed access to the Chinese market, but they cannot have both," Oliver argued. "This will not be the last time that they'll be forced to choose, and my fear is they'll trade one for the other -- which would be the worst trade since Daryl Morey shipped out Marquese Chriss."

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 104-98 preseason loss to Lakers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 104-98 preseason loss to Lakers

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The Warriors took their first trip away from Chase Center and it didn't go as planned. 

Even with the Lakers sitting LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Warriors -- who sat Draymond Green and D'Angelo Russell -- lost 104-98, their second defeat of the preseason. 

The Warriors struggled from the field most of the night and got off to a poor start, making just 19 percent of their first-quarter shots. 

To catch you up on the loss, here are three takeaways from the game.  

Steph and others struggle from the field

Following a 40-point performance last time out, Stephen Curry couldn't carry that over to Southern California, finishing 6 of 17 from the field on the night. 

Curry -- who has long struggled to shoot at Staples Center -- shouldn't be concerned with the long-term effects of the bad shooting night. Still, his performance set the tone for the rest of the roster, as Golden State finished 36.2 percent from the field. 

Rookie Jordan Poole -- who came into Monday's game shooting 47 percent in the preseason -- made just 3 of his 17 shot attempts, while Eric Paschall finished 2-of-7.

The rookies were bound to have a bad game after their respective hot starts to the preseason. Like Curry, they have a chance for redemption Wednesday against the same Lakers team. 

Golden State still can't rebound 

For much of the week, Warriors coach Steve Kerr lamented his team's poor rebounding effort. On Monday, Golden State did little to quell Kerr's concerns, as the team was outrebounded once again, 48-46. 

Dwight Howard was a big reason for the Warriors' struggles, grabbing 12 of his game-high 13 rebounds in the first half. Los Angeles took a 35-24 rebound advantage into halftime. 

With Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley Stein out, Golden State will have many nights like these. The key will be how effectively the Warriors' offense can counteract the problem. 

Chriss continues to impress

Marquese Chriss has been the surprise of camp, providing a badly-needed presence in the frontcourt. On Monday, he continued his solid play, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. 

Currently on a non-guaranteed deal, Chriss is proving he belongs on the regular-season roster. Due to his emergence, the Warriors find themselves in a conundrum heading into the final weekend of camp. With little cap space, the team will either have to cut a player to make room for Chriss, or make a trade to unload a salary off the books.

[RELATED: Warriors' offseason gamble on Chriss appears it will pay off]

Either way, it's becoming more and more likely Chriss will be on the Warriors' roster on Opening Night.