Warriors

Warriors of the East? Hawks GM building something with young nucleus

Warriors of the East? Hawks GM building something with young nucleus

Some players continue to await a contract offer. Others are under contract with one team but would rather play elsewhere. Every team sees Carmelo Anthony on the shelf and keeps shopping.

Team USA is facing its biggest roster-building challenge in decades. The Lakers are holding open tryouts. And, by the way, training camps open in a little more than a month.

As we sprint into the second half of perhaps the most fascinating summer in NBA history, it’s a good time to take note of what has transpired. News, notes and quotes from around the NBA:

News the Warriors didn’t need

The Mavericks re-signed point guard J.J. Barea to a one-year contract for the veteran’s minimum. Barea has a reputation as a good locker room guy, and he often finds ways to hurt the Warriors with his shooting. The pesky 5-9 veteran is a big reason why Dallas, one of the league’s weakest teams in recent years, has somehow beaten the vastly superior Warriors three times over the past four seasons.

Putting his teacher's hat on

“I’m looking forward to it. We have a lot of young guys coming in, more than we’ve had since I’ve been here. I’m looking forward to having the chance to work with them on a regular basis. I hope I can make an impact.” – Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams, who next season will operate with a reduced travel schedule while focusing primarily on player development.

The league needs more of this man

Marreese Speights. He reportedly is one of three big men being considered by the Lakers, who are reeling from the loss of DeMarcus Cousins. The other two, Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard, are bigger names, but neither has ever lit up an arena as Speights has. With his deep shooting, his inviting smile and his front-porch philosophy, he can get buckets while charming anyone crossing his path. Ask the Warriors. We’re shamelessly rooting for Mo.

We also admit, this would be, um, interesting

Howard returning to the Lakers. It would be a sequel to one of the most explosive soap operas in the 21st century NBA. Kobe Bryant’s disgust with Howard when they were teammates was epic and still echoes throughout Staples Center. Should there be a reunion, Howard will be joining his seventh team in less than 50 months, counting the Lakers twice. We wonder, though, if any ex-Laker who was a target of Kobe’s scorn has any real chance of making it in LA.

Big man faces 100,000-foot mountain

Cousins’ road back will be unlike that of any other player in NBA history, according to Jeff Stotts, a certified trainer that tracks and analyzes injuries across various sports through his cleverly named website “In Street Clothes.” Stotts tells The Ringer he could not find even one example of a player sustaining both a ruptured Achilles’ tendon and a torn ACL. Which makes Boogie the inaugural test as the worst-case scenario for NBA player’s lower body. We hope he recovers. He’ll deserve the standing ovation he gets upon his return – whether it’s with the Lakers or another team.

Speaking of ex-Lakers and Kobe’s scorn

Whatever happened to Smush Parker? Well, Smush, 38, was most recently affiliated with the LA Superstars of the Primetime Basketball League, a well-intentioned creation of former NBA player and coach Byron Scott.

Still the best . . . we think

With De’Aaron Fox withdrawing from the training roster, Team USA took 13 players to Australia, where the final three exhibitions will be played over the next seven days. Someone still must be cut before the team heads to China next week, the FIBA World Cup opener is scheduled for Sept. 1. Among the candidates to be sent home are Harrison Barnes, Mason Plumlee and maybe even terrific shooter Joe Harris. Can’t imagine coach Gregg Popovich cutting his only Spur, Derrick White, who can fill in at point guard.

Warriors East in the making?

Preparing for his third season as Hawks GM, Travis Schlenk received a contract extension while also adding a title this week: President of basketball operations. He went to Atlanta to rebuild, and there are indications he’s getting it done. Around a nucleus of point guard Trae Young, center-forward John Collins and sharpshooting guard Kevin Huerter, Schlenk added a strong draft that included small forwards De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. In a poll of rookies entering the NBA, Reddish was voted the player from this class likely to have the best career.

He’ll always have ‘Linsanity’

Jeremy Lin turns 31 on Friday and feels he may have cycled out of the NBA. He’s probably right. He began last season with Hawks before being waived in February. Signed by Toronto two days later, he played decent minutes – until the roster gained full health. After spending the playoffs on the distant end of the Raptors’ bench, J-Lin questions whether there is a place for him in the NBA. He reportedly is considering an offer from the Beijing Ducks worth a little more than $3 million.

The OGs

“They basically are Bird, Parish and McHale and they deserve to retire after a very, very long tenure with the Warriors. They deserve to retire in that uniform and not play for any other franchise. That’s what they have earned. And that’s the way they view the Bay Area and the Warriors and how much they love playing there. I can’t see Steph and Draymond playing for anybody else.” – Lakers analyst Mychal Thompson, on his son, Klay, along with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green during the Warriors Insider Podcast this week.

[RELATED: Where Warriors fit in award conversation]

Send good thoughts overseas

Former Cavaliers coach David Blatt announced this week that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Blatt, 60, has no plans to retire. He currently is coaching Olympiacos of the Greek Basket League. Guard Will Cherry, a former start at McClymonds High in Oakland, is on the roster.

Ranking Warriors' NBA Finals teams, best to worst, since Bay Area move

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AP

Ranking Warriors' NBA Finals teams, best to worst, since Bay Area move

The Warriors moved to the Bay Area from Philadelphia in 1962, reaching an apex in the last five years.

Golden State appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals from 2015 through 2019, and that total eclipsed the Warriors' Finals appearances from the previous half-century. Eight teams have played for a championship since the Warriors moved to the Bay Area. Four won titles, four did not.

But which of those eight teams is the best?

Basketball has changed just a bit since the Warriors first called the Bay Area home, so don't take these rankings to mean that, say, any of Rick Barry's teams would beat Steph Curry's. Rankings based on anything but record are an inexact-at-best science, but standing within their era and season as well as how their accomplishments stand in the Warriors and NBA's wider history are given significant weight.

So, let's rank all eight teams from worst to best under those criteria, starting with a squad that lost a title to an ex-Warrior. 

HERE'S WHERE THE WARRIORS' FINALS TEAMS SINCE 1962 RANK

Watch Steph Curry FaceTime brave coronavirus nurse wearing his jersey

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USATSI

Watch Steph Curry FaceTime brave coronavirus nurse wearing his jersey

An Oakland nurse turns to her beloved Steph Curry jersey for strength and inspiration while caring for patients affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Curry himself gave her some more personally over FaceTime on Tuesday.

The Warriors star called Shelby Delaney, an ICU nurse at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, and thanked her and her colleagues for their tireless work ahead of their Tuesday night shift.

“I love it,” Curry said in a video posted on Delaney’s Facebook page (via Bay Area News Group). “I can’t thank God enough for what you’re doing and just the sacrifice, the selflessness and the way everybody’s coming together. Thank you so much for what you do, your heart and the inspiration you provide for everybody.”

Coronavirus patients began being admitted to Alta Bates last month, and Bay Area News Group’s Julia Prodis Sulek reported Wednesday that Delaney was one of the first nurses to volunteer to care for them. Loved ones can’t visit affected patients in order to limit the virus’ spread, but Delaney stands by her their side and offers reassurance.

Delaney revealed last week in a Facebook post that she wore her Curry jersey under her scrubs on a day she “felt powerless and defeated … [needing] to summon her inner Warrior.” She instructed how people could help nurses like her in the fight against the coronavirus, employing the Warriors’ “Strength in Numbers” mantra.

Her post prompted Bay Area News Group to reach out to the Warriors, and Prodis Sulek wrote that Curry wanted to personally reach out to Delaney and her colleagues.

“I wanted to thank you for how much you inspired me,” she said (via Bay Area News Group), “especially when I first started my job here, it’s a really steep learning curve, you have two people that you’re trying to make sure they don’t die on shift, and a lot of tough stuff going on with family.

“There were times I wanted to quit, give up. … That’s when I started wearing the jersey. That was like, just my way of kind of gathering my strength, reminding myself I’ve got this.”

[RELATED: Dubs' Myers uses sports analogy for coronavirus optimism]

Curry has long been Delaney’s favorite player, and Prodis Sulek reported Delaney owns 10 Curry jerseys. Delaney’s first date with her husband was at a Warriors game at Oracle Arena, and the two had a Warriors-themed wedding last summer.

Delaney changed into a pair of Under Armour’s Curry 4 sneakers when it was time to hit the dance floor on her wedding night, and she was wearing Curry 6s on Tuesday.

“I appreciate that,” Curry said. “What we do is fun and all that, but more people need to know about what goes on in your world … especially in a pandemic like this, so thank you to you, the whole staff, everybody.

“We are praying for you, thinking about you guys. I wanted to just thank you personally for sharing your story.”