Warriors legend Nate Thurmond passes away at age 74


Warriors legend Nate Thurmond passes away at age 74

OAKLAND -– Nate Thurmond, voted one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history and a member of the Warriors organization for more than four decades as both a player and a Community Relations Ambassador, passed away this morning in San Francisco at the age of 74 after a short battle with leukemia.

Considered one of the best centers to ever play the game of basketball, Thurmond was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1985. A seven-time NBA All-Star, he earned NBA All-Defensive First or Second Team accolades five times. His Warriors jersey #42 was retired on March 8, 1978, one of six players to have his number retired by the Warriors along with Alvin Attles (#16), Rick Barry (#24), Wilt Chamberlain (#13), Tom Meschery (#14) and Chris Mullin (#17).

Over a 14 year NBA career – the first 11 of which were played with the San Francisco and Golden State Warriors – Thurmond held averages of 15.0 points and 15.0 rebounds per game, including averaging 20.5 points and 22.0 rebounds during the 1967-68 campaign to join Wilt Chamberlain as the only Warriors to post at least 20 points and 20 boards in a single season. “Big Nate,” who was selected third overall by the San Francisco Warriors in the 1963 NBA Draft following his collegiate career at Bowling Green, remains the franchise’s all-time leader in rebounds (12,771) and minutes played (30,735). Thurmond became the first player to record an official quadruple-double as a member of the Chicago Bulls, tallying 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists and 12 blocks against the Atlanta Hawks on October 18, 1974 (see attached for the box score provided by the Elias Sports Bureau). Following his illustrious playing career, Thurmond spent more than 30 years as a valued asset to the Warriors’ community relations department.

**Warriors Statements on the Passing of Hall of Famer Nate Thurmond**

Joe Lacob, Warriors Owner: “We’ve lost one of the most iconic figures in the history of not only our organization, but the NBA in general, with the passing of Nate Thurmond. Nate represented this franchise with class, dignity and humility as both a player and community relations ambassador for over 40 years. Without a doubt, he is one of the most beloved figures to ever wear a Warriors uniform and both a Hall of Fame player and Hall of Fame person, hence his #42 jersey hanging from the rafters at Oracle Arena. On behalf of the entire Warriors organization, our thoughts and prayers go out to his entire family, including his wife, Marci. We’ll miss his presence in his customary seats at our games next season, but his legacy will live forever.”

Rick Barry, former Warriors player and Hall of Famer: “Nate was one of the greatest centers to ever play the game and I was privileged to call him a teammate and dear friend. He battled his illness until the very end, like a true Warrior. His legacy is one of passion, fierce competitiveness, a love of basketball and selfless devotion to others. My heartfelt prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.”

Al Attles, former Warriors player, coach, General Manager and current Community Relations Ambassador: “Although I had prepared for this news for the past several days, I was heartbroken and devastated when I was informed of Nate’s death earlier today. In typical Nate fashion, he did not let many people know about his illness and how serious it was and, unfortunately, it proved to be one of the few things in life tougher than him. Looking back, he was as ferocious as any player in the history of the game on the court, but one of the kindest and nicest souls in his everyday life. He was just a terrific human being who I loved and respected more than words can describe and, fortunately, I was blessed to spend a great deal of time with as a teammate, coach and, most importantly, a friend for a good portion of our adult lives. For that, I am extremely thankful.”

Jerry West, Hall of Famer and Warriors Executive Board Member: “This is an extremely difficult day for me. We have lost an incredible person and someone whom I admired as much as any player I ever went to battle against on any level. Nate Thurmond was, without a doubt, one of the fiercest competitors that I played against during my entire career. He played with unbelievable intensity and was simply a man among boys on most nights, especially on the defensive end. On the other hand, off the court, Nate was about as caring and loving as they come, extremely kind and gentle. He was the total package as an athlete and as a man and someone we should all aspire to emulate. I’ll miss him dearly.”

Golden State Warriors media services 

Warriors' Draymond Green was 'a kid in a candy store' in first game back

Warriors' Draymond Green was 'a kid in a candy store' in first game back

Draymond Green returned from an 11-game absence in the Warriors' 116-108 home victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. According to Golden State's power forward, he could barely contain his excitement.

"I felt like a kid in a candy store the last few days," Green said after the game, "just getting to play again."

Green's prolonged absence was due to a sprained right big toe, a pesky injury for someone who often finds himself battling bigger bodies in the paint. In his first chance to test out that toe in live game action, Green came away no worse for the wear.

"It felt good, really had no issues at all," Green said of his toe. "And afterwards I still feel the same, which is always important."

Based on his stat line in the victory, it appears Green didn't miss a beat. He accounted for seven points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and a block in the win, while reassuming his position as quarterback of the defense. He did have a favorite play in his first game back, but it happened to be on offense.

With the game clock winding down at the end of the first half, Warriors guard Stephen Curry saw Green wide open next to the Timberwolves' basket. He lobbed Green an alley-oop, but rather than finish the play himself, Green made an acrobatic pass to Klay Thompson on the wing, who promptly drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

When asked to explain why he made the pass, Green provided a very honest answer.

"Realistically, I was gassed," Green described during his postgame press conference. "I had no energy to go for the layup and I saw Klay open.

"Steph threw me a lob. There was no way I was catching a lob."

Green is known for his passion on the floor, and his time away from the game and his teammates was admittedly tough on him.

"I was just excited to be back out there," Green told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke immediately following the victory. "You know, I always want to bring what I bring to this team. That's communication, that's defense, try to push the tempo a little bit and I think, you know, as I get my feet back under me, get my legs back under me, I'll continue to get better at it."

Green certainly didn't look too rusty in his first game back, and if he continues to get better, well, that's bad news for the rest of the league.

As Green departed his postgame interview with Burke, she asked him what he feels building within the team given that the Warriors are getting healthier and currently riding a four-game winning streak.

"A run," Green said with a smirk.

With Green back in tow, what's to stop them?

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 116-108 win over Timberwolves

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from 116-108 win over Timberwolves


OAKLAND – The Warriors returned to Oracle Arena Monday night after an 11-day road trip and kept things rolling, with a 116-108 win over the Timberwolves.

The Warriors (19-9) extended their current winning streak to four games.

While the return of Draymond Green bolstered the defense, the trio of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combined for 86 points to lead the offense.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' victory before a sellout crowd:

Draymond is back and, wow, he makes an impact

After missing 11 consecutive games with a sprained right big toe, Green was anxious to get back on the court -- and it showed.

He posted a rather typical stat line: seven points, 10 rebounds (a team-high), seven assists and one block. But those numbers don’t convey his overall presence nearly as well as him being plus-11 in 31 minutes.

Green was a ball of energy from the start, spurring the Warriors to a 13-0 lead barely three minutes into the game. Bringing it from both ends, he rarely let up.

The Warriors' defense, which was so solid in their previous game last Friday in Milwaukee, took on an even more feral look with Green leading the attack.

So much for not joining the 3-ball revolution

As the rest of the NBA launches with abandon from beyond the arc, the Warriors have insisted they will maintain their offensive identity, which is to shoot 3-pointers not in volume, but upon opportunity.

There were opportunities on Monday and for the second straight game, the Warriors hoisted with regularity. They were 19-of-43 (44.2 percent) from deep. The 43 attempts were nearly 13 above their average of 30.1 per game. This is the first time this season the Warriors attempted more than 40 3-pointers in back-to-back games.

Curry had 36 points and was 7-of-14 from deep. Durant had 22 points and was 4-of-7.  Thompson also was 4-of-7 and finished with 26 points, as the Warriors outscored Minnesota 57-21 from beyond the arc.

If the Warriors keep this up, they’re going to have some explaining to do.

Cruel third quarter defense took over the game

After the Timberwolves shot 52.2 percent from the field in the first half, the Warriors came out for the second half with a much more aggressive mentality on defense.

The turned up the heat, tightened up their switches and locked up Minnesota, forcing six turnovers -- leading to 11 Warriors points -- and limiting the Timberwolves to 4-of-18  (22.2 percent) shooting in the third quarter.

That was enough to hike their six-point halftime lead (63-57) to 14 (91-77) entering the fourth frame.

The Timberwolves never pulled closer than within eight points in the final quarter.