Warriors

Warriors' Draymond Green offers theory for why NBA ratings are down

Warriors' Draymond Green offers theory for why NBA ratings are down

SAN FRANCISCO -- Warriors forward Draymond Green is no stranger to strong opinions. When asked about his 'criteria' for what makes an All-Star on Friday afternoon, he expressed disappointment in the way the current game is played. 

"My criteria really don't matter," Green said following Friday's shootaround. "If it was about my criteria, this whole league would be different. The sh-t that matters in this league don't really matter to me."

Green's critique comes as the league continues to prioritize offensive play.

Following the outlawing of hand checking, the league has seen a rise in offensive movement. Last season, the Milwaukee Bucks led the league in scoring, averaging 118.1 points per game. By comparison, the Chicago Bulls scored just 103.1 points per contest in 1996-97 -- the season before hand-checking was outlawed. Now, Green believes the current rules have ramifications on and off the court. 

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"It's all about how can we make the game better for the offensive player, that's what the league is about," Green said. which is probably why the ratings probably suck. 

"You get teams in the bonus and guys who run into the somebody and get two free throws," Green added. Nobody wanna see that s--t."

Klay Thompson admits he uses flip phone, is fishing to relax during rehab

Klay Thompson admits he uses flip phone, is fishing to relax during rehab

Klay Thompson is like the basketball equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster. You'll hear stories about him and you can't help but believe they are real even if you haven't seen the evidence to prove it.

Because well, it's Klay. From the infamous scaffolding interview to "China Klay" and everything in between, the Warriors star shooting guard's quirky personality has captivated NBA fans at large.

In the latest edition of Klay being Klay, the Warriors guard admitted the long-rumored tale that he uses a flip phone is indeed true.

Footage of Thompson using the flip phone emerged during his jersey retirement at Washington State, and it appears it wasn't a practical joke from the three-time NBA champion.

I just hope he isn't using T9 to text.

However, Klay has FaceTimed teammate Steph Curry before so it appears he might not be leveling with us.

It's been a tough season for Thompson and the Warriors. The star guard will miss the entire season as he continues to rehab from the torn ACL he suffered in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. With Thompson out for the year and Curry missing most of the season with a broken hand, the Warriors have sunk to the bottom of the league at 12-45. 

Amid the tough season, Thompson has found a way to relax his mind: fishing. But, as you'd expect, he rarely keeps the fish out of water.

Stay you, Klay.

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The Warriors can't wait for this season to end, but they should bounce back quickly once they are fully healthy.

The return of Thompson and Curry combined with the trade acquisition of Andrew Wiggins has the Dubs primed to return to the top of the NBA after taking a year to recharge, fish and, in Thompson's case, maybe play some snake on that relic he carries in his pocket.

Kobe Bryant memorial service has Warriors prepping for emotional day

Kobe Bryant memorial service has Warriors prepping for emotional day

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors exited Chase Center on Sunday after adding another defeat to their tally, this time against the New Orleans Pelicans. But Golden State, along with the remainder of the NBA, is preparing to reckon with its toughest loss in years.

The league momentarily will come to a standstill Monday, when all eyes will fixate on Staples Center in Los Angeles for the memorial service of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died last month -- along with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others -- in a helicopter crash.

Golden State pillars Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are expected to attend the service, along with general manager Bob Myers. But the other Warriors, armed with memories of their hero, will be left to reconcile his death in the confines of practice and search for closure in a familiar setting.

"It's going to be emotional," Warriors big man Marquese Chriss told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday. "I think it's going to bring back up a lot of emotions that everybody was feeling on the day that it happened. I think people aren't going to know how to feel. It's going to make it real."

The practice court serves as a unique reminder of Bryant's death. That's where the team received the news five weeks ago, just as it began pre-practice workouts.

An assistant coach relayed the initial message, and practice soon was stopped as Warriors players and staff gathered their thoughts.

"You could hear a pin drop in there," rookie forward Eric Paschall said. "It was stopped."

From the bowels of the billion-dollar basketball facility, Warriors assistant Jarron Collins walked through the adjoining weight room, up the steps and down a corridor to Chase Center's main court to tell Chriss the news. Chriss, then on a two-way contract and away from the team as to not burn his NBA service time, was floored when he heard it.

Chriss and Bryant once shared an agent, Rob Pelinka, who represented them both before he became the Lakers' general manager in 2017. The legendary Lakers guard even stopped by Chriss' college pro day at an LA-area high school ahead of the 2016 NBA Draft, bringing a buzz with him into the gym.

"It was dope to see his energy," Chriss said. "He walked into the gym, and the energy in the gym changed. He had a presence about him. Everybody wanted to talk to him, kind of pick his brain and be around him."

Similar stories are told throughout Golden State's locker room. Thompson -- whose father, Mychal, still calls Lakers games for the local radio affiliate -- met Bryant when he was a child, and he occasionally worked out with him at UC Irvine.

“He was obviously the best player in the world at the time," Thompson remembered after Bryant's final game at Oracle Arena in 2016. "I just remember watching him work out, how methodical [he was] and attention to detail he gave to every drill. It inspired me a lot.”

When Thompson was charged with marijuana possession during his junior year at Washington State, Bryant sent him an expletive-filled text.

“He said, 'Forget about that,' said it with a couple expletives and, 'Just go out there and kill,' " Thompson recounted.

“I have a potty mouth,” Bryant added that evening when asked about the exchange. “I just told him, 'Listen, man, we all make mistakes. You can’t worry about that stuff. Just keep your focus on basketball, and everything will work itself out.' "

While Thompson personally knew Bryant for much of his life, Green admired the five-time NBA champion from afar as a kid. Nonetheless, he still finds himself reconciling the loss of his idol.

"I think I'm still at the point where every time you see it, you're like, 'Damn.' Like is it a real thing?" Green said Sunday. "I don't know. Maybe tomorrow brings closure. Maybe it don't."

The topic of Bryant's memorial brought Green back to the first time he played against the guard at Oracle, which forced the forward out of his routine.

"I'm never really a guy to get star-struck," Green said. "There's two people that I've ever been star-struck by in this league, and that's Kobe and Grant Hill."

"I was finishing my pregame shooting, and Kobe was coming out," Green added. "And you have your stuff you have to do in the back when you're done shooting, and so I finished my shooting and Kobe was coming out, and I just sat on the end of the bench, and before I knew it, 20, 25 minutes had passed, and I was late as hell to finish my pregame prep, but that was just a moment for me where I was stuck like, 'Wow, I just saw Kobe work out.' "

When Green wasn't in awe of Bryant, he wanted counsel from him. Four years ago, following Green's suspension for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, he sought Bryant's advice in the wake of criticism during a time Green called "the lowest point" of his career. After hearing Green vent, Bryant responded with a message: "You’re chasing something so much bigger. How do you ever expect anyone to understand you?"

Green keeps the advice close to this day. 

"It helped me a lot," he said. "Because you kind of deal with things a certain way, and when you're dealing with things a certain way, you can only do what you think is best at the end of the day. But when you get reassurance from someone who's been through it at the highest level that the way you're dealing with something is like OK, it gives you that confidence to carry out whatever it is in the way you think it was right. It gives you that green light, like it's cool."

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Now, as his Warriors teammates say one last goodbye Monday, each will try to follow Green's credo in carrying on Bryant's legacy.

"The way you approach this game," Green said. "I think if there was anything he could ask for, that's what he would ask for. That he gave everything he had to it."