Warriors

Why there's no DeMarcus Cousins timeline; what Warriors do at practice

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Illustration by Tara Funk

Why there's no DeMarcus Cousins timeline; what Warriors do at practice

Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, will take you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #askkerith

Tip-off

Let’s talk about timelines. Let’s talk about the fact that the Warriors have not given a timeline for DeMarcus Cousins’ return, despite positive comments from Steve Kerr that Boogie is practicing well, hasn’t had any setbacks, and is looking better every day. There’s a reason there’s no exact date on the calendar when he will play his first game this season.

Remember being on a road trip as a kid, and it felt like you were in the car for-ev-errrrr? Maybe you asked you mom, “How much longer?” And she said, “Ten more minutes.” So you watched the clock on the dashboard, noting each minute, and when 10 minutes passed and you still weren’t at your destination, you exclaimed, “Mom! YOU LIED!”

It’s easy to figure out your mom said 10 more minutes to shut you up. She bought herself some peace. But the Warriors don’t want to treat anyone like a kid. It’s better to say nothing during the uncertainty. They don’t want any “But you said …” stories. Recoveries vary from person to person. Achilles tendon rehab typically takes 10 to 12 months, and Boogie is within that window. But his recovery is his own.

The Warriors don’t want to box in Boogie with a specific date. If they did name a date and he missed it, then it would look like something went wrong. That’s unfair. It’s appropriate for the Warriors to be non-committal about a return date to let Boogie work at his own pace.

Steve Kerr has made it clear, with the wisdom of the training staff, that Boogie will get everything he needs to be physically and mentally ready to play again. He is navigating a long rehab, on top of being in a brand-new environment with the Warriors. That’s not easy.

Game On!

@IB_JBFL_OG How is it decided which player gets the halftime interview?

My producer and I have a quick conversation about five minutes before halftime to see who we want to talk to. We look at the box score to see who is performing well and who could give us some insight about a storyline that developed during the game.

Halftime interviews are short. I get one question, two questions tops. We like to feature a role player at halftime and save the main guys for postgame when I can get in four or five questions.

Sometimes the situation dictates a different strategy. If Steph goes off for seven first-half threes, we can’t ignore that and save him for the end. The viewers want to hear from him! It’s all about feeling out the situation to put on the best broadcast.

@RobinKristy What do the players do during half time? No doubt it varies ... but, do they change into clean/dry uniform? I know I would want to …

They can if they want to, but I don’t know how often halftime uni changes occur. There’s not a lot of time.

Players will talk to each other when they get back to the locker room, coaches will give some quick notes, and guys might look at their phones, hit the bathroom and get a nibble to eat. For example, Shaun Livingston sometimes comes out of the locker room with a PB&J. Some guys get a brief moment with the trainers. KD reads the box score as he walks down the tunnel back to the court.

Via IG @anniebananie58 Hi Kerith! Just curious if the players get free seats at all the games for their families/friends. Just at home games or at away arenas too? Are they court-side/almost court-side seats? Thanks for sharing the inside scoop with us!

Per the CBA, players get two tickets to every game, home and away. If they want more, they have options: ask other players, see if the general team allotment can spare some, or buy extras. Teams do their best to help other teams with good seats to purchase at face value.

The seats for friends and family are in the lower bowl, but courtside is extra. Some players buy season tickets so they have a consistent number of seats in the same place.

@KharmaPharma In light of the recent Bulls brouhaha -- how does the Warriors practice regimen and schedule work? (How often, what kinds of things do they work on, etc)

If you need background on the Bulls situation, read here. Quick summary: A new coach came in and conducted unnecessarily long and tough practices to assert his rule. The players basically mutinied.

Coaching is a balance between demanding the best from your players but knowing how hard to push, and when. Steve Kerr’s days as a player help him find the balance. He can ask himself, how would I want to be treated in this situation? Steve is in tune with when guys need rest. Remember, reaching the NBA Finals for four straight years means the Warriors have more mileage on their legs than other teams.

Practice is closed to reporters except for the final minutes when guys are doing individual work or group shooting exercises. We don’t see the nitty-gritty stuff, but generally speaking, the Warriors run plays at full speed, drill defensive things and watch film.

They don’t scrimmage often. Scrimmaging is full-court, 5 on 5, the closest thing to game speed without playing a game. Most guys don’t need to expend that kind of energy at practice to have good games. Nor do you want to subject your veterans to frequent scrimmages when they’re managing their bodies.

Boogie has been going to the G-League for practices/scrimmages because that’s an environment where it makes sense to have some tough runs to get his conditioning up.

Via IG @wilton_gary How do the players feel about playing on Christmas Day? In England we don’t do that, Boxing Day is the big day over here. Seems a tough ask to leave their families and play, wondered what they think?

It’s part of the job. They take it in stride. It might be tougher for the players with kids when their families are trying to preserve treasured Christmas traditions, but it is what it is.

NBA games on Christmas Day are a national tradition, at least. It’s a marquee day with lots of viewership. That feels special. Depending on what time tip-off is, players will have the morning free or the night free to celebrate.

(name withheld) Where is the old Warriors team?

(name withheld) Why don't they care about the fans? I pay a lot of money for tickets and I don't get why they're SOOOO disinterested in the regular season. I get that they'll flip the switch and walk through another ring, but it would be nice to get some value for these tickets when I watch ...

I withheld the names because I don’t want to go at these people directly, but I do want to scold this attitude. Grow up.

How come more losses early in the season means the Warriors don’t care about fans? Your money isn’t their first thought when they’re trying to win another championship. Have fans with this attitude listened to anything the Warriors have been saying about how hard it is to maintain success?

I can hear the whining now. But Kerith, they get paid millions of dollars. If *I* made millions of dollars, you can bet *I* would give it my all every night.

No, you wouldn’t. You would be smart enough to know energy isn’t infinite, and after making the Finals four consecutive years, your body would feel the wear. You’d discover where it’s possible to not exert yourself for preservation, because you learned that over three championship seasons. Some fan bases go a lifetime without seeing one championship!

It is a legitimate storyline to wonder how long the Warriors can continue their incredible winning clip, featuring a season where they went 73-9. They talk about complacency. They fight against it. But approach this storyline with understanding instead of entitlement. Give them the cushion to have ups and downs. There is no “walk through another ring.”

For the fans who need to hear this ... again ... here’s Steph talking about the feeling this season after Wednesday’s loss in Utah.

“The margin of error is a little bit smaller this year, but we understand that,” he said. “(We) get everybody's best shot against us, and it's been a grind. Nothing comfortable about this position we're in, in terms of like ... we want to get back to being dominant.”

He continued: "We've talked about it every year. Every year is different. Every year's going to have different challenges and present a different journey. But at the end of the day, we know what type of team we are. I think we're all bought in to what it's going to take to redefine that dominance.”

High Five

This week against the Grizzlies, Steph reached the 15,000-points milestone. He didn’t know the milestone was approaching until Warriors PR told him a moment before he sat down with reporters at shootaround.

I had a little wow moment when he was talking about his memories of his dad hitting the 10,000-points milestone. Steph recalled how big that felt, and that Dell Curry saved the game ball and framed it. Dell reached 10K in 1997 in his 11th season in the NBA.

If you want to read the AP story from Dell’s milestone night, here’s the link. Dell reached 10K while coming off the bench with a relatively healthy career. Steph reached 15K early in season 10 through some injuries. Incredible.

Steph said he’s thankful he’s playing in a different era than his dad, but the accomplishment remains. Steph is one of the best shooters the game has ever seen.

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.

Willie Cauley-Stein has need for speed after 'Top Gun' trailer release

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Willie Cauley-Stein has need for speed after 'Top Gun' trailer release

Warriors center Willie Cauley-Stein wants to take the highway to the danger zone on his way to Chase Center next season. 

Golden State's new big man tweeted a clip from the "Top Gun: Maverick" trailer Thursday afternoon, and the 25-year-old definitely has the need ... the need for speed. 

That'd be one way to take Warriors fans' breath away. 

[RELATED: Watch Steph get soaked in dunk tank at foundation launch]

Cauley-Stein told the Warriors he would be their wingman big man any day earlier this summer, signing a one-year deal worth a little more than the veteran's minimum because he couldn't turn down the chance to play with Steph Curry and Co. He averaged 11.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game with the Kings last season, but his ego arguably wrote a check his play couldn't cash after telling reporters last September that he was "ready to get paid."

Still, the No. 6 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft has plenty of potential, and will have plenty of motivation next season on a prove-it deal. If it is a strong enough combination to bring out the best in Cauley-Stein, he could find that loving feeling on the free-agent market next summer. 

Watch Steph Curry get soaked in dunk tank at 'Eat. Learn. Play.' event

Watch Steph Curry get soaked in dunk tank at 'Eat. Learn. Play.' event

Some NBA players can say they have dunked on Steph Curry, but can they say they dunked the Warriors star?

Curry and his wife Ayesha launched their "Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation" at a kickoff event in Oakland on Thursday, hosting nearly 1,000 kids for a day of activities. One of those activities was a dunk tank, and the two Currys -- one of whom forms one half of the Splash Brothers -- got very wet.  

The foundation aims to bring out the best in children "By fighting to end childhood hunger, ensuring access to education and enabling active lifestyles," according to its mission statement.

"[The kids are] having fun today, but obviously the back-end -- we're trying to create programs and do stuff that helps the entire youth in Oakland and the Bay Area," Steph said Thursday. "So, you gotta have energy for that."

Steph spent the first entirety of his first decade in the NBA in Oakland, but he and the Warriors will move to San Francisco's Chase Center next season. Despite the pending move, Ayesha said staying active in community efforts in The Town is necessary for the family.

[RELATED: Pelicans GM Griffin cites Warriors when talking philosophy]

"We hope to always be involved in this community," she said. "It's important to us." 

That community is better for their endeavors, and the Currys were wetter for theirs Thursday.