Warriors

Warriors' Steve Kerr tells hilarious story from 2014 Ron Adams interview

Warriors' Steve Kerr tells hilarious story from 2014 Ron Adams interview

Warriors assistant coach Ron Adams loves him some wine.

As Steve Kerr recently said on The Athletic's "Hoops, Adjacent" podcast, Adams is Golden State's resident "oenophile."

"When I interviewed Ron to come aboard with the Warriors in 2014, my assistant Nick U'Ren and I took Ron out to dinner," Kerr said. "We ordered a bottle of wine. It was an Italian restaurant and they didn't have any California Pinot, which is what we were looking for.

"And the waiter said, 'If you want, I'll bring you the Italian version of a Pinot.' We said great. So he brings back the wine, he opens it up (and) gives Ron the taste. You know, you swish it around. Well, Ron became the first person I've ever been to dinner with who sent it back.

"On a job interview (laughter). That took some guts. So yeah, he's the wine guy."

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

Back in March 2018, Adams shared his decision-making process to Grant Liffmann and myself.

"Steve is a big Pinot drinker. We decided at that meal that we were going to get a Pinot," he said. "I don't send a lot of bottles back. A bottle goes back generally if the corkage is bad or something like that.

"But the wine that was brought to the table was not very 'pinot-y.' So I was just trying to please Steve (laughter)."

[RELATED: Warriors guru Adams gratified as top NBA assistant coach]

It was the perfect explanation then, and remains the perfect explanation now.

We only can hope that Adams has enjoyed his fair share of wine (responsibly of course) while sheltering in place the last four months.

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Kirk Lacob reveals what convinced Warriors to draft Draymond Green

Kirk Lacob reveals what convinced Warriors to draft Draymond Green

Heading into the 2012 NBA Draft, there were some major question marks regarding Michigan State forward Draymond Green.

According to Warriors executive vice president of basketball operations Kirk Lacob, who joined the Runnin' Plays podcast this week, they had the same questions.

"We all liked him as a player, but we all had the same questions and concerns that everyone else did," Lacob explained. "Like what position is he? Is he really athletic enough? Can he shoot well?"

So what convinced the Warriors to select Green with the No. 35 overall pick in the draft?

"One of the top five interviews we ever had was Draymond Green," Lacob said. "We sat across from him and you just, just like now, it's so obvious now, but like ... the confidence, the IQ, the emotional IQ, like this guy had it all. And you sat there and you walk away from the interview like 'How do we not want to work with this person? How is this person ever going to fail?' " 

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

Despite all the concerns about his size and lack of refinement in his game, Lacob and the Warriors knew one thing about him: "There was no way he was going to fail."

It was not as if Green only impressed the Warriors with his words, however, as his draft workout was one to remember for Lacob.

"He came in and kicked everyone's butt," Lacob said. "He was like yelling and screaming, and I thought the other five guys were just going to quit basketball after ... he was just destroying people."

And yet, the Warriors waited until the second round to select the 6-foot-6 forward, and even had a pick at No. 30 overall in which they selected center Festus Ezeli out of Vanderbilt instead. Lacob recognizes that waiting until later in the draft can be misconstrued that they were not as convinced as they let on.

[RELATED: Where Draymond would go in 2012 re-draft]

"Look, we didn't take him until (pick) 35. We really wanted him and ultimately for us, he ended up at 35 because we thought that was the only way we could get him and Festus," Lacob explained. "We had done quite a bit of intel around the league, we looked at the teams between 31 and 34, and there is always the danger of someone trading in of course, but we did enough intel and we talked to his agent, we thought he would be there at 35 and we did not think Festus would be there, sometimes that's the way that works."

Lucky for the Warriors, Green did last until the No. 35 pick. And they were right -- he really did not fail.

Warriors keep tabs on offseason Klay Thompson on social media just like you do

Warriors keep tabs on offseason Klay Thompson on social media just like you do

Klay Thompson is one of the most interesting athletes on the planet. Whether he’s playing chess with his bulldog Rocco, chillin’ on his boat or captivating a billion people in China, there’s always intrigue about what the Warriors star is up to now.
 
Kirk Lacob, the Warriors’ executive VP of basketball operations, keeps up with Klay in the summer the same way we all do: Social media.
 
“I haven’t gotten to see him in person, but by all accounts, he’s doing great. I’ve seen lots of videos online, which is usually how we keep track of Klay in the summer, so nothing has changed,” Lacob said with a laugh on the "Runnin’ Plays" podcast.

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

 
Klay is a man of mystery, leaving Instagram bread crumbs here and there. He might pop up at a playground, then disappear from public view for weeks. Lacob knows generally Klay has been with his family in Southern California, or at his house in the Bay Area, but exact locations can be a manhunt. Klay’s not big on quickly answering phone calls or texts.
 
So ... how do the Warriors keep track of him?
 
“Some days you know where he is, some days you don’t," Lacob explained. "It depends which medium you try to reach out to him on. We actually had a whole ‘Where’s Waldo’ game we played a couple weeks ago where (senior VP of communications) Raymond Ridder was trying to get to him for something. Raymond literally tracked him down in person.”
 
Ridder gave Klay and Warriors staff daily updates, then hourly updates, to pin down a rendezvous spot. Finally, Ridder sent the word: “I found him, we’re good.”
 
“I think Klay kind of likes that,” Lacob said. “He likes it when Raymond is chasing him.”
 
The intrigue continues for how Klay is feeling about 13 months after ACL reconstruction surgery. The last time Klay played at game speed was June 13, 2019, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. That season, Klay averaged 19.5 points per game with a 40.2 three-point percentage.
 
“This is going to be a long time for him not to have game action,” Lacob said. “It is hard to get your rhythm back. But it seems like he is in great spirits and great shape. He’s shooting a lot, from what I’ve heard.”
 
A smile then came over Lacob’s face.

“I have often been with him when he starts doing this ...” Lacob said, pausing the conversation to look at an invisible basket and mime a right-handed shot. “And it’s like, 'What are you doing?' ”

"I just -- it feels good," Klay told him. "I need to shoot.”

[RELATED: Why Klay thinks it's 'hard time to play' during NBA restart]
 
Lacob believes the number one thing that makes Klay happy in life is shooting a basketball. The No. 2 thing probably is Rocco.

“Maybe they’re 1A, 1B, I don’t know,” Lacob quipped.
 
Thinking about Klay getting buckets made Lacob happy.

“Klay, if you watch this, I miss you, man. Text me back.”