Warriors

Warriors' Marquese Chriss grateful for opportunity at redemption

Warriors' Marquese Chriss grateful for opportunity at redemption

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the last two weeks, Marquese Chriss has walked into Chase Center uncertain if he'd last in Golden State past training camp. 

Now, with a lack of frontcourt depth forcing Golden State to waive Alfonzo McKinnie, the team has made room for the former first-round pick. 

"I haven't heard anything officially," Chriss said Friday morning. "So just going into it like I have the past couple games and still trying to prove myself and trying to show that I belong here." 

Golden State's decision to choose Chriss comes as the Warriors are battling a thin frontcourt. On the eve of training camp, Warriors general manager Bob Myers announced big man Willie Cauley-Stein would miss most of October with a foot strain. Two days later, rookie Alen Smailagic rolled his ankle and Kevon Looney strained his hamstring in the same controlled scrimmage.

Adding to the peril, Spellman tweaked his back in the Warriors' first preseason game against the Lakers. As injuries mounted, Chriss -- who signed a non-guaranteed deal prior to training camp -- averaged 9.5 points, 8.3 rebounds in 22 minutes through four games. 

"It was kind of a perfect storm the way things happened. Obviously, I would never wish injury upon anybody," Chriss said.

Chriss' latest opportunity comes as the 22-year old is hoping to revitalize his career. He was drafted eighth overall by the Kings before being sent in a draft-night trade to the Phoenix Suns. He spent two seasons with the Suns, before playing stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets, garnering some reported character concerns along the way. 

"He was immature," former teammate Jared Dudley told NBC Sports Bay Area Friday afternoon. "But it's not a bad immaturity, he just had to grow up and they threw him into the fire and sometimes kids aren't ready for that." 

However, in his short time in Golden State, Chriss has been a model teammate in the locker room, garnering the praise of forward Draymond Green, who came to Chriss' defense this week. 

"[People] always want to blame the kid," Green said following Wednesday's preseason loss to the Lakers. "It's not always the kid's fault. He's getting older now, so he's not a kid anymore. But he came into this league as a kid, but it's never the organization's fault. It's always that guy. So I'm happy he's gotten the opportunity to show what he can really do because it's a prime example. But no one will still blame any organization. It'll always be the kid's fault, and it will be the next kid that comes in's fault and the next kid after that. So I'm happy he's gotten this opportunity."

"At the time Phoenix didn't have the infrastructure to manage and control people and to develop people at that time," Dudley added. "Three coaches in his year and a half. He was partially to blame, he was getting technical fouls, he was shooting bad shots but sometimes it's on the organization and they failed him."

On Friday, Chriss expressed appreciation for Green's words. 

"I appreciate him for having my back and I wholeheartedly believe what he said," Chriss said. "Being a person to go through things like that. Having a lot of blame on you for stuff you can't really control is tough and its growing pains with being in the NBA. I feel like it takes time to develop and learn.

"It bothers me when people try to come for my character," he added. "I know what type of person I am and I know how my mom raised me and I know how I want to represent myself and my family so that's the biggest thing for me is just showing that things that have been said are not true." 

As Chriss spoke Friday, Golden State's need for the 6-foot-10 big man was evident. A few feet from his media availability, Cauley Stein was just starting to get on-court work, while Looney -- who is hoping to play in the season opener Oct. 24 -- rehabbed on the other end of the court.

[RELATED: Steph lays out best-case scenario for new-look Warriors]

With the opportunity, Chriss will once again have an opportunity to rectify his career. 

"When I came here I was just ready to compete and ready to try to work for a spot and I had no idea that this many people were actually hurt," he said. "But it happened the way it did and I'm just happy." 

Mychal Thompson hilariously calls out Bomani Jones for Steph Curry take

Mychal Thompson hilariously calls out Bomani Jones for Steph Curry take

Bomani Jones does not believe Steph Curry is a bonafide superstar.

Mychal Thompson -- Klay Thompson's dad -- offered his thoughts on the matter Tuesday afternoon.

What's an "astromer" you ask? Not important. You get Mychal's point, and we certainly agree with him.

This whole topic started two weeks ago when Jones made a controversial statement on his podcast.

"This is my metric for (NBA) superstar -- do you have a chance to win a championship just because we got you?" he said. "We'll work the rest out, but if the first thing you tell me is that this guy plays for us, then we got a chance to do this ... 

"I feel like even with a healthy Stephen Curry, you gotta put some fairly specific things around him."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

This argument is very flawed, because every single superstar in NBA history has needed a strong supporting cast -- with role players who possess certain skillsets -- to have a "chance" at winning the title.

Steph simply has changed the way we look at potential championship rosters because in 2015 and 2016 he started doing things the league had never seen before.

On Monday afternoon, Jones pivoted to a different narrative to support his rationale for Steph's place in the NBA hierarchy.

"He's in that weird space on superstar. I am notoriously strict on who I call a superstar," Jones said on 95.7 The Game. "This doesn't have anything to do with Steph Curry. I'll name only three or four people in the league at a time as being superstars. I did JJ Redick's podcast and he made the point that if Steph doesn't get locked up by Kevin Love (in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals), am I saying the thing about him and his ability to get his own shot? Maybe.

"The more damning thing that happened in 2016, is the fact that when it was time to win a championship, the (Cleveland Cavaliers) were running ball screen, ball screen, ball screen until they got a 1-on-1 matchup with Steph Curry. And I don't know if there's ever been a player as good as Steph Curry where that would happen.

"And that's something that when we start thinking about who superstars have historically been -- larger players who can do everything, or be incredibly dominant centers ... in the eyes of many, (Steph) has a demerit on defense that is normally disqualifying for being legitimately seen as a great player -- even though he's a better defensive player than people give him credit for being."

[RELATED: Why Kerr shot down Bill Simmons' question about Giannis]

Ultimately, Jones is entitled to his opinion. And it doesn't sound like he is going to change his mind.

We just respectfully disagree.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Painful for Warriors' Steve Kerr, Draymond Green not being in NBA bubble

Painful for Warriors' Steve Kerr, Draymond Green not being in NBA bubble

When the NBA suspended the season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Warriors (15-50) boasted the worst record in the league.

For awhile, it seemed like there was a chance they would participate in the restarted season. But in the end, they were one of eight teams not included in the Orlando bubble.

"Obviously we were having a really rough season. It's been a grind this year," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday on "The Bill Simmons Podcast." "So when the Orlando thing happened, I don't think a lot of us were that disappointed to not be invited -- especially Steph (Curry), Draymond (Green), Klay (Thompson). The guys needed a rest. They just needed to get away.

"But now that it's going -- I talked to Draymond about it -- Draymond and I kind of both feel the same way, which is we kind of want to be there. We're missing out. These games look fun. The NBA is doing a great job. The games are competitive. The players look great.

"To not be there actually is kind of painful."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

It's not a surprise to hear this because Kerr and Draymond (along with Steph and Klay) are extremely competitive. They miss being involved in games that matter.

Yes, the entire franchise needed a breather after making five straight trips to the NBA Finals. And the 2019-20 season definitely could end up being a blessing in disguise.

But clearly some of the most important members of the organization are recharged, and champing at the bit to get back on the court.

[RELATED: Why Kerr shot down Bill Simmons' question about Giannis]

Don't forget what general manager Bob Myers said back in mid-July.

"I think it'll be hard for our guys to watch this thing go," the two-time NBA Executive of the Year explained. "I think it's easier now because the playoffs haven't started, and the Orlando thing is just still getting off the ground.

"But as competitors -- when you're used to being in the playoffs and you're not part of that party -- you feel that. Our guys will feel that. I think they'll watch some of the playoffs and it will motivate them."

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram