Warriors wanted to sleep but couldn't resist Blazers-Nuggets marathon


Warriors wanted to sleep but couldn't resist Blazers-Nuggets marathon

HOUSTON -- Steve Kerr had a plan late Friday night, but it was foiled by a group of men toiling nearly 2,000 miles away.

“I wanted to go to sleep,” the Warriors coach said after shootaround Saturday. “But I couldn’t, just like everybody else.”

Shaun Livingston had the same plan. The veteran guard’s eyes wanted to close, but he couldn’t help himself.

“Yeah, I was ready,” he said. “But that game kept up.”

“That game” was Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals in Portland between the Trail Blazers and the Denver Nuggets. It went into overtime. Then another OT. Then a third. And, finally, a fourth before the Blazers prevailed, 140-137.

Despite the two-hour time difference -- which put the end of the Portland-Denver game well past 1 a.m. in Texas -- the Warriors were watching because they have a 2-0 series lead over Houston in the other conference semifinal.

“I was in bed early, getting my sleep,” veteran wing Andre Iguodala jokingly said. “It’s important for our four-OT game, right?”

Then came the truth, as it usually does with Iguodala.

“Nah, it was exciting basketball, two teams fighting it out. No subs. Just gutting it out.”

Nuggets center Nikola Jokic played 65 of a possible 68 minutes. Portland got 60 minutes from CJ McCollum and 58 from Damian Lillard.

Asked if he could imagine playing 65 minutes in a game, Kerr demurred.

“No. That was usually my totals for the postseason, in 20 games,” he said, not bothering to point out that he made three starts in 128 playoff games. “[That was] incredible. Both teams, the resilience. That was a great basketball game.”

Might being riveted to a game late Friday affect the Warriors on Saturday night for Game 3 against the Rockets? They don’t believe so.

“The guys are young,” Kerr said. “They’ll get over it quickly. They’ll be all right.”

[RELATED: Why Kerr insists Iggy is worth every penny]

Kerr pointed to “getting some early stops” as the first indication of how mentally and physically the Warriors will be.

“We’ve got be ready to take their initial punch and be ready to counter,” Iguodala said. “I’m sure they’ll come out throwing blows, being ready. I’m sure that’s the message that was sent through the whole team, no matter who’s in the game. We’ve got a must-win situation.

Watch footage of young Klay Thompson meeting Michael Jordan in 1998

Watch footage of young Klay Thompson meeting Michael Jordan in 1998

Klay Thompson has been around the NBA his entire life, both during his father Mychal Thompson’s career and now as an All-Star guard for the Golden State Warriors.

In May, Thompson spoke to the media about the first time he met Michael Jordan, when he was at a Portland Trail Blazers game in 1998. Klay and his family were living in Lake Oswego, Ore. at the time, and his dad was able to get the boys a chance to meet MJ and Scottie Pippen after the game.

Footage has now surfaced of that encounter, featuring the trio of Thompson boys meeting the NBA Hall of Famers for the first time.

Despite the lack of sound, it’s clear that the boys were blown away -- as just about any basketball fan at the time would be -- by the chance to meet NBA royalty.

[RELATED: Warriors' Klay Thompson will return 'late next season,' father Mychal says]

Klay, of course, had the least star-struck reaction as he just got his autograph and walked away, while his brothers stuck around.

I'm sure Jordan had no idea that he was signing an autograph for a kid who would grow up to win three NBA championships and receive two All-NBA accolades, all before his 30th birthday.

NBA rumors: Lakers to sign Dwight Howard as DeMarcus Cousins replacement

NBA rumors: Lakers to sign Dwight Howard as DeMarcus Cousins replacement

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is just a movie, but this is for real: Dwight Howard is expected to be back in Los Angeles and sign with the Lakers, six years after his first run in purple and gold. 

Howard's agent told The Athletic's Shams Charania the center has completed a buyout with the Grizzlies and will sign with the Lakers once he clears waivers. 

This comes after the news that former Warriors and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL nearly two weeks ago. Cousins, who signed a one-year contract with the Lakers this offseason, was expected to be L.A.'s starting center this season, but that now could fall to Howard. 

Though ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Howard's contract with the Lakers is non-guaranteed, it's likely he makes the team. L.A. currently has just one natural center on their roster, former Warrior JaVale McGee, and he's better suited as a lob threat off the bench. 

That's the problem. McGee and Howard essentially fill the same roles for the Lakers. They both can swat shots and finish dunks. Besides that, they don't offer much. 

Howard also has dealt with multiple injuries in the past and only played in nine games last season with the Washington Wizards due to a gluteal injury. In his last healthy season, the 33-year-old averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Charlotte Hornets during the 2017-18 campaign. 

Replacing Cousins with McGee is a downgrade for the Lakers, but an upgrade for the Warriors and Kings when it comes to playoff seeding. Golden State is viewed as having a similar regular-season record as L.A. next season while the Kings are looking to end a 13-year playoff drought. 

[RELATED: Six Warriors storylines you should watch for next season]

The last time Howard was a Laker, things went haywire on and off the court in Hollywood. Will the script be flipped this time? 

Howard could have quite the redemption story, but it would be a bold bet by an outsider.