Warriors

Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Westbrook on Pachulia's flagrant foul: 'I'm going to get his ass back'

Late in the first half of Wednesday's game between the Warriors and Thunder, Russell Westbrook collided with Zaza Pachulia.

Pachulia appeared to hit Westbrook in the face. The Thunder guard hit the floor and rolled around for a few seconds before bouncing back up.

The officials reviewed the play and assessed a flagrant foul on Pachulia.

After the game, Westbrook was asked about his vantage point on the play and he didn't hold back.

"I don't know. He hit me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said.

He was then asked if he noticed Pachulia standing over him.

"I didn't see that until just now, but I don't play that game. I'm going to get his ass back. Whenever that is, I don't know, but I don't play that game," Westbrook said.

Westbrook's comments were brought to Pachulia after the game and the Warriors center offered this rebuttal.

"I can't worry about that kind of comment. I'm part of an amazing team and we have a great goal of winning a championship. I'm all in with my energy, 100 percent. So we're thinking about this team, staying healthy, moving forward, getting better, getting to the playoffs and playing for the championship. That's what I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about those kind of comments.

"That team is not there, so they may be thinking about other stuff like getting me back. Okay, you can get me back. But again, it's my 14th year, we all know what my game is, to play hard, not dirty. If it was a hard foul, it was a hard foul. It wasn't dirty at all. I'm not worried about this," Pachulia told the media.

Westbrook will get that chance on February 11 when the Warriors travel to Oklahoma City.
 

Steve Kerr backs Colin Kaepernick, dissects issues preventing QB's NFL return

Steve Kerr backs Colin Kaepernick, dissects issues preventing QB's NFL return

NFL players’ protests of social injustice -- in the form of kneeling during the national anthem before games -- quickly became a hot-button issue among Americans, and President Donald Trump routinely mentions it at rallies across the country.

Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who first kneeled during the anthem, seems to have paid a heavy price for his protest. He hasn’t played in the league since 2016, and he reportedly has no prospects of joining a team anytime soon.

That bothers Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who recently told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole that he believes patriotism isn’t standing for the anthem. It’s doing something good for others -- which NFL players routinely do.

“That’s what drives me crazy about the uproar over the NFL players who have knelt in a fight for social justice. So many of them have given so much to their communities -- given not just money but time,” Kerr said in the latest installment of a five-part interview only available on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app. “I read a lot about Malcolm Jenkins in Philadelphia and what he’s done in his community. And Chris Long. And people like Colin Kaepernick who have given $1 million to charity.

“I’m so proud of so many athletes who are out there in their communities, knowing the power they have and the financial resources they have to make a change. That’s patriotism to me. The anthem is just kind of a symbol for that.”

Trump’s camp believes kneeling disrespects the military and the nation, while those on the other side say it’s a necessary statement to call attention to a large societal issue.

Kerr said he doesn’t care one way or another if the anthem is played at sporting events, and that he backs Kaepernick “100 percent.” But Kerr also understands why an NFL team might be hesitant to sign the quarterback, right or wrong.

“I see this incredible intersection of modern media and propaganda meets capitalism meets racism. It’s all meeting at the same time,” Kerr said. "… But I also see this entire media frenzy that surrounds it.

“And if I’m a GM of a team, I know the minute I sign Colin Kaepernick, it’s like signing Tim Tebow. Or it’s like signing, you know, one of the Ball brothers. And that’s probably a bad analogy. But it’s going to come with a storm. So even if your heart’s in the right place, and you go, ‘You know what? This is all BS,’ I want my team to be able to function. And I want to bring in a backup quarterback. But I don’t want a news conference every single day. I could see a GM going, ‘Man, I don’t really want to deal with that.’ That’s modern media. That’s modern American life.

“So all these forces come together and, unfortunately, they create a stone wall for Kaepernick and others. But they expose all these different dynamics of modern life in this country. Some of it is racism. Some of it is fake patriotism. And some of it is this mass media, this monster that needs to be fed every day. It can be overwhelming.”

To watch the full Kerr interview, download the MyTeams app, and stick around all season for complete Warriors coverage as they go for the three-peat.

Steve Kerr provides insight into the biggest challenge facing Damian Jones

Steve Kerr provides insight into the biggest challenge facing Damian Jones

Damian Jones made his first career start in the Warriors' season opener on Tuesday. He exceeded expectations.

The 23-year old registered 12 points, three rebounds, two assists and three blocks in 27 minutes vs the Thunder. Jones went 6-for-7 from the field and simply looked comfortable and like he belongs.

After practice on Thursday, Steve Kerr was asked about Jones' performance and what the biggest obstacle will be moving forward for the big man.

"I think the biggest challenge for DJ is just seeing the patterns in front of him that he's gonna see night after night defensively," Kerr told reporters. "Offensively, he's doing great. 

"Defensively, he's done some really good things but he's seeing different pictures, certain sets that teams run. Everybody runs stuff that's designed to put the defense in a predicament -- pull the center away from the rim, pin away for a great shooter.

[RELATEDDamian Jones is 'going to learn a lot' vs. next two Warriors opponents]

"And he's got to be in the lane patrolling but he also has to get out to a shooter -- those are difficult schemes to recognize and to understand."

Jones will face a stiff challenge on Friday night when the Warriors face the Jazz in Utah. He will have to stay attached to Rudy Gobert and protect the rim, while also facing isos from Donovan Mitchell and Dante Exum. And if he finds himself guarding Joe Ingles, he can't give the lefty any space/clean looks.

Jones was selected 30th overall in the 2016 draft, but he logged only 174 minutes over his first two NBA seasons combined. This is essentially his rookie campaign.

Kerr is confident that Jones will continue to grow on the defensive end and recognize what the opposition is trying to accomplish on any given possession.

"Every game he's gonna get better and better with that," Kerr said.

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