Warriors

Report: Chinese prospect Abudushalamu Abudurexiti will play for Warriors in Summer League

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Twitter/@LakersNation

Report: Chinese prospect Abudushalamu Abudurexiti will play for Warriors in Summer League

Now that the NBA Draft is behind us, the attention immediately shifts to free agency.

But don't forget about Summer League.

The Warriors will play in the California Classic in Sacramento, with games on July 2, July 3 and July 5.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: What does the Jacob Evans selection mean for Pat McCaw?]

Then, they will head to Las Vegas for games on July 6, July 8 and July 9 -- plus the tournament that begins on July 11.

Golden State is in the process of filling out the roster for both events, and information is starting to trickle in.

One thing that definitely pops out:

Scotto wrote a feature on Abudushalamu Abudurexiti back in May.

An excerpt:

This is a situation few could’ve foreseen several years ago when Abudurexiti, a member of the Uighur ethnic minority group in China, began practicing regularly and playing basketball competitively at 16 years old. His love of the game has grown ever since he joined the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers before playing for the Chinese National Team during the FIBA World Championship Asian Qualifiers, an experience he cherished.

“He has good size for his position at 6-foot-8 (he’s been listed at 6-9.5 with shoes), shoots a deep 3-pointer with range and is easy with his feet set, and has a nice feel (for the game),” an NBA executive who has seen Abudurexiti extensively told The Athletic. “He lacks the foot speed to defend, which will be a big issue. He could be a late 50s guy to undrafted. Shooting the 3-pointer gives him a chance.”

A couple other players who will rock the blue and gold this summer:

Warriors assistant Willie Green will be the team's coach.

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

Why Steve Kerr called Dragan Bender's Warriors debut 'really positive'

Why Steve Kerr called Dragan Bender's Warriors debut 'really positive'

Dragan Bender had a solid debut in a Warriors uniform Sunday night.

The 22-year-old recorded six points, five rebounds, three assists and one block in Golden State's 115-101 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

He went 2-for-5 from 3-point range and was plus-one in 20 minutes off the bench.

"It seems like Dragan picks things up really easily ... did a good job last night of recognizing what we were trying to run," coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Monday's practice. "I'm excited about him. He's a really talented player and he could be a good fit for us.

"He's just gotta get comfortable. And it's not an easy thing to do coming in this late in the season. But he's doing a good job."

So what does he have to do to stay with the Dubs beyond his current 10-day contract?

"Just gotta compete and play the role we want him to play, which is pick-and-pop," Kerr said. "Defend his position and understand our schemes. The early look is really positive. He has a good feel for the game.

"We're gonna give him every opportunity."

Bender has five more games -- Tuesday vs. the Sacramento Kings, Thursday vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday at the Phoenix Suns, Sunday vs. the Washington Wizards and Tuesday at the Denver Nuggets -- to prove his worth.

[RELATED: Ex-Dubs big Spellman dominating for Wolves' G League team]

"It's definitely not a long time, but just take it day-by-day," Bender said Monday when asked if he's feeling a sense of urgency. "See where it goes. Just enjoy the process, enjoy the experience out here."

The goal is to be in uniform when the Warriors host the Toronto Raptors next Thursday.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Kobe Bryant gained more influence from being a 'girl dad' than basketball

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USATSI

Kobe Bryant gained more influence from being a 'girl dad' than basketball

LOS ANGELES – For two hours Monday, greater Los Angeles seemed to come to a silent halt, folks pausing long enough to clear the fog of mourning and gaze at TV screens set to different channels but showing the same program.

The Kobe Channel. Once again, perhaps for the last time, Kobe Bryant was uniting a region infamous for its divisions and cliques.

For a ceremony billed “A Celebration of Life,” speakers lined up to address 20,000 people inside Staples Center, along with millions of viewers in Southern California, across the country and around the world. It became apparent over the last four weeks and on this day that Kobe’s tragic death at 41 had stripped away many of his sharp edges.

But each one of those edges was softened, too, by the fact that he was living and dying alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.

For as much as Kobe was admired for his unbridled bravado and ability to rise to the moment, he also had detractors. Of course, he did. It’s the lot of all superstars who dare to be so brazen in their desire to crush the spirits of foes. It what comes with trying to push teammates beyond their self-imposed limits.

A level of antipathy also is a natural outcome for a man who faces sexual assault allegations and later, after charges are dropped, acknowledges committing adultery.

That was Kobe in 2003, three years before the birth of Gianna “Gigi” Bryant. Her death was such a blow that it fractured hearts – particularly those of mothers sympathizing with Kobe’s widow, Vanessa – still cool to Kobe.

"Kobe was the MVP of girl dads,” Vanessa Bryant said. “He never left the toilet seat up. He always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are."

The phrase “girl dad,” has been uttered more frequently since Jan. 26 than perhaps the previous 100 years. Kobe used it, was proud of it and now it’s a trend.

A trend that on Monday reached Michael Jordan, a middle-age man known for ruthlessness. The tides of his tear ducts were rising as he approached the podium and as he started speaking, they were sliding down both sides of his nose, and finally over his top lip and into his mouth. But MJ continued on, and he was magnificent.

“I am inspired by what he’s done and what he shared with Vanessa and what he shared with his kids,” Jordan said near the end of his 10-minute speech. “I have daughter who is 30; I became a grandparent. And I have two twins that are 6. I can’t wait to get home to become a girl dad. And to hug them and to see the love and the smiles that they bring to us as parents.

“He taught me that, just by looking at this tonight. Looking at how he responded and reacted to the people he actually loved. These are the things that we will continue to learn about Kobe Bryant.”

Kobe’s commitment to women goes beyond his wife and their daughters, Natalia, Bianka and Capri. He was coaching Gianna’s team. He followed the WNBA. He took Gianna to Connecticut to see the UConn women’s team play.

The only coach to speak on this day was Geno Auriemma, the leader of the fabled UConn women’s basketball program. The only collegiate player to speak was University of Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu. The only active pro player to speak was Diana Taurasi, who takes particular pride in having the “White Mamba” nickname bestowed upon her by Kobe.

Kobe reached out to women athletes, making them feel special. He may have done it for himself, simply as another of the many layers of his life. He surely did it for his daughter.

“The same passion we all recognized in Kobe, obviously Gigi inherited,” Taurasi said. “Her skill was undeniable at an early age. I mean, who has a turnaround fadeaway jumper at 11?"

It was profoundly evident that the man who was sentenced to a measure of time as America’s most polarizing athlete had all these years later become a unifying force, bringing together male and female athletes. He was bond that connected a region notorious for conflicts between races, ethnic groups and neighborhoods, as well as economic disparity.

Kobe is the reason Celtics legend and Hall of Famer Bill Russell on Sunday put on a Lakers jersey, No. 24, with the name “Bryant” on the back – and wore it to a Lakers-Celtics game. In LA.

For two hours Monday, Kobe and Gianna had millions riveted to TV screens. That was the power of the man, and it gained authority through the relationship he had with his daughter, who few really knew but now is as immortalized as her father.