Warriors coach Steve Kerr says Anthony Davis-Lakers saga 'bad' for NBA

Warriors coach Steve Kerr says Anthony Davis-Lakers saga 'bad' for NBA

The notion of players forcing their way from a franchise has been around for generations. It worked for Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who went from Milwaukee to Los Angeles in 1975. Charles Barkley swapped Philadelphia for Phoenix in 1992.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, asked about the clout wielded by many NBA players in recent weeks, cited those examples as somewhat comparable to the requests of, say Oklahoma City stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook.

Another NBA power play, involving the Pelicans and the Lakers, was more difficult for Kerr -- and many others around the league -- to accept.

“I’m talking more about the Anthony Davis situation,” Kerr said on The Warriors Insider Podcast. “Where a guy is perfectly healthy and has a couple years left on his deal and says, ‘I want to leave.’ That’s a real problem that the league has to address and that the players have to be careful with.

“When you sign on that dotted line, you owe your effort and your play to that team, to that city, to the fans. And then (once the contract runs out) it’s completely your right to leave as a free agent. But if you sign the contract, then you should be bound to that contract.

“If you come to an agreement with the team that, hey, it’s probably best for us to part ways, that’s one thing. But the Davis stuff was really kind of groundbreaking -- and hopefully not a trend, because it’s bad for the league.”

At the dawn of last season, there may not have been a more widely appreciated player in the NBA than Davis. His talent was undeniable, his conduct admirable, his character unquestioned.

Much of that came apart as the season unfolded, with Davis’ new agent, Rich Paul, leaking a trade request for his client in January, with the Lakers being the preferred destination. In short order, the Lakers imploded under the weight of hourly anticipation, the Pelicans overhauled their front office and Davis became a part-time player, biding time until he was dealt.

It was a bad look for all parties.

“As a former player, I would always sort of lean toward player empowerment, guys who have earned their right to free agency,” Kerr said. “If they want to make a move for their own careers, I’m all for it. They’ve earned that right.

“My only issue is when a player who is under contract decides not to honor the contract. That’s a problem. That’s something that can really affect the league.”

Davis, who hired Klutch Sports representative Paul after the 2017-18 season, was in the third year of a five-year max extension he signed in 2015, with a player option in 2020-21.

Once Paul went public with Davis’ desires -- in the middle of a season -- the temperature of both the Lakers and Pelicans nosedived. Moreover, it may have sent a signal to others that there was no need to wait until one’s contract was running out before stating a desire to leave.

Becoming a free agent and signing elsewhere is business as usual. It’s what Kevin Durant did in leaving the Warriors for the Nets this month, what LeBron James did last summer, leaving the Cavaliers for the Lakers, and what Kawhi Leonard did this month, moving from the Raptors to the Clippers.

“There’s a way to move and a way to not move,” Kerr said. ”What LeBron did, played out his contract. What Kevin did both when he arrived at Golden State and when he left. You sign contracts, you play them out and you move on. That’s how it should be done.

“But it’s a little disturbing that there has been some action that happens before contracts are up, where teams are sort of held hostage and the league is sort of held hostage. I’m not a big fan of that. That’s damaging for everybody.”

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Davis eventually landed in Los Angeles. The Pelicans received an impressive package of players and future draft picks. Both sides say they are happy.

It all worked out in the end, but it probably could have been handled in a much quieter fashion. And it would have been much healthier for the league if Davis had played out the season and then gone to the franchise this summer.

Warriors' Rick Welts only has one box score framed in his office

Warriors' Rick Welts only has one box score framed in his office

Rick Welts has seen a lot of basketball over the years. But one single performance stands out above the rest.

The Warriors' team president and chief operating officer was asked Wednesday morning on 95.7 The Game: "Quarantine game -- if you're stuck indoors for a full year, one TV, one game playing on a loop, 24/7, 365 -- what game is Rick Welts taking?"

The Hall of Famer provided a definitive answer:

"Let's see. Michael Jordan. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Actually not even a close call for me. I only have one box score framed in my office -- if I ever get to see my office again -- and that's Klay's 37-point quarter. Without a doubt -- the most amazing thing I've ever seen on a basketball court.

"I could never get tired of watching it. He was out of his mind. I'm not sure we'll ever see anything like that again. And the crowd was a big part of it because he reacted every time the crowd reacted. Our bench was insane.

"Everybody in the building knew they were seeing history being made."

Listen and subscribe to the Runnin' Plays Podcast:

In the third quarter of the Warriors' win over the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 23, 2015, Klay Thompson went 13-for-13 overall, 9-for-9 from deep and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Very good choice, Mr. Welts.

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What sporing event Warriors' Jordan Poole will miss watching most

What sporing event Warriors' Jordan Poole will miss watching most

Warriors rookie Jordan Poole has many interests outside of basketball.

If you follow him on Instagram, you know that he loves cats.

The 20-year-old enjoys watching movies and TV shows, and generally considers himself a homebody.

Poole also likes other sports, and when Wes Goldberg of the Bay Area News Group asked him which canceled or postponed sporting events he is going to miss, the Michigan product provided an answer that might surprise you.

"I love watching the college World Series, I definitely like watching softball as well," he said. "March Madness was going to be cool of course, but that’s basketball. The college World Series is something sports-related that I was really looking forward to."

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How did Poole get into college baseball?

"I would watch the games when we were in school (at Michigan), go support my guys on the team, but I was really locked into the World Series," he answered. "Those games get pretty rowdy."

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Last year, Michigan reached the College World Series for the first time since 1984.

The Wolverines advanced all the way to the championship best-of-three series -- winning Game 1 before dropping the next two to Vanderbilt.

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