Warriors

Warriors the establishment, and the field the barbarians at the gate

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AP

Warriors the establishment, and the field the barbarians at the gate

Programming note: Warriors-Rockets coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm on NBC Sports Bay Area, and continues immediately after the final buzzer.

The NBA offseason ended as it began – with someone burning money for our amusement.

The San Antonio Spurs re-upped center LaMarcus Aldridge, with whom head coach Gregg Popovich had an off-season hug-it-out to repair what seemed to be a fraying relationship.

Thus, after the Golden State Warriors boatraced the field, the NBA responded by firing out $1.942 billion in free agent signings. This proves yet again that the problem with rising salaries in sports is not the fault of the players, but of the owners.

And that contreacts and player movement are an increasingly powerful turn-on in a sport that is facing an existential crisis.

Namely, how to build suspense into a season that looks foreordained for the Warriors without hoping for catastrophic injuries. Indeed, as the Warriors open with Houston tonight, there is far more national buzz around the new-look Rockets than the seemingly invulnerable Warriors.

[SHILLER: Draymond responds to D'Antoni's 'they're not gonna stop us either' claim]

It’s a bit like the old comic book conundrum – why was Wolverine a more compelling character than Superman?

Now this may be our fault as consumers for wanting something new to support our pathetically small attention spans. Or more intriguingly, being drawn to the flawed unknown rather than the excellent known.

But changing the American character is not an easy thing to do, as our most recent political developments have shown. We are who we are, and while we will watch the superb team every time, we will be more interested in the one that looks like it could blow itself to bits at any moment (Houston, or Cleveland, or Oklahoma City), or the long-downtrodden failure that suddenly looks like it might no longer be so downtrodden (Philadelphia, Minnesota, or maybe even Philadelphia again).

Or, weirdest of all, the team that used to be the standard, fell off the edge of the planet to the nation’s glee, and is just now showing signs of reconstruction (the Los Angeles Lakers).

Evidently what we want to say is that we like is change – violent, bizarre change, the crazier the narrative the better.

But here, we have the Golden State Warriors, who have chosen a far more conservative path – winning four of every five games, no matter what month, no matter what opponent, and winning nine of every 10 at home, no matter what month, no matter what opponent. And the measured eyeballs of media ratings say the Warriors are the bait behind which all other teams draft.

In short, the Warriors are the establishment, and the field is the barbarians at the gate. It’s just a matter how you feel about the barbarians, and the gate.

I know how the voting here would go. The rest of you are on your own, watching money getting thrown around in hope of some kind of regime change before the end of the decade.

Report: Warriors will waive Chris Boucher

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AP

Report: Warriors will waive Chris Boucher

The Warriors said goodbye to one of their players on Friday.

Golden State will waive Chris Boucher, according to Yahoo's Shams Charania.

Boucher -- who tore his ACL in March 2017 while at Oregon -- made his professional debut on Jan. 17 for the Santa Cruz Warriors.

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

He appeared in 22 G League games last season, averaging 11.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.

The 25-year old played a little over one minute for Golden State on March 14 vs the Lakers.

After waiving Boucher, the Warriors will have the ability to sign two players to two-way contracts.

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

What motivates Jacob Evans? How can he improve? His college coach has the answers

What motivates Jacob Evans? How can he improve? His college coach has the answers

Jacob Evans -- the Warriors' first-round pick -- did a good amount of winning over the course of his college career.

Cincinnati went 30-6 in 2016-17 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Cincinnati went 31-5 in 2017-18 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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

What drives Evans and what makes him want to be great?

"Here, we spell fun 'w-i-n.' That's a saying we have in our program," Evans' college coach, Mick Cronin, said on 95.7 The Game on Friday morning. "We don't just play the game. We play to win. And Jacob is trained to play to win. He's always been that way ... Jacob Evans is a guy who's a coach on the floor ... he plays the game to win.

"You're not gonna see him making mental mistakes. That's just not who he is ... to answer your question -- my long answer is -- winning motivates Jacob."

Evans shot 42 percent from deep as a sophomore and 37 percent as a junior.

What aspect of his game needs the most improvement?

"Number one would be consistency of his shooting," Cronin answered. "He was a guy who would go a month and wouldn't miss a shot, and then he'd go a month and he would struggle a little bit.

"And I've spoken to the Golden State staff about this -- they know mechanically, there's some things that Jacob can work on to become a more consistent shooter -- as far as his release point of his shot.

"He hit the jackpot in a lot of ways -- being with a great organization, he's got four of the best players in the world to learn from ... they're gonna need him to play ... he's got opportunity, which is the key when you're a professional athlete."

Did Cronin give him any advice throughout the draft process?

"When he made the decision to go professional, I told him it shouldn't be based off where he's gonna get drafted. It should be based off of: Is he ready for grown men to try to rip his head off. You're trying to take somebody's job.

"These guys are grown men and they have wives and children and bills, and it's not what you see on television."

Evans will be introduced at a press conference on Monday at 11am PT.

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