Willie Cauley-Stein chose Warriors over larger Hornets contract offer


Willie Cauley-Stein chose Warriors over larger Hornets contract offer

Willie Cauley-Stein didn't hold back last year during Kings Media Day. The former lottery pick wanted a lot more money in the bank. 

“I’m ready to get paid,” Cauley-Stein told NBC Sports California's James Ham. “This is what we’ve got to do, that’s what type of focus I’m on."

Cauley-Stein certainly envisioned signing for more than $4.4 million this past offseason. He saw a big payday in his future as a free agent, but that didn't quite happen. Instead, the athletic center turned down more money to sign with the Warriors. 

The Hornets offered Cauley-Stein a $9-million contract, the San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau reported Wednesday, but the Kentucky product had something more important on his mind: Winning. 

Cauley-Stein signed a two-year deal with the Warriors on July 9, with a player option fir the second season. Coach Steve Kerr told the former Kings center that his skills in the pick-and-roll would fit perfectly with D'Angelo Russell. 

After four straight losing seasons in Sacramento, it's easy to see why Cauley-Stein would sign with the Warriors. He saw a future sharing the court with Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Russell. Instead, all three are hurt, and the Dubs are leaning on their rookies. 

[RELATED: Warriors' Chriss stays positive despite losing playing time]

Cauley-Stein missed the start of his first season as a Warrior with a left mid-foot strain. He now has played four games with the Warriors and is averaging 9.0 points and 5.3 rebounds over 16.5 minutes per game as he regains his strength and endurance. 

This isn't the start to the season that Cauley-Stein had in mind, but he doesn't seem to have any regrets joining Golden State.

Steph Curry, daughters soak in Sabrina Ionescu’s latest triple-double

Steph Curry, daughters soak in Sabrina Ionescu’s latest triple-double

Steph Curry has followed Sabrina Ionescu since her junior year of high school in Orinda. So naturally, when the University of Oregon basketball star returned to the Bay for the final time in her collegiate career Friday night, the Warriors star went to Haas Pavilion to watch her and the Ducks face the Cal Bears.

After Ionescu registered her seventh of the season and the 25th triple-double of her career in Oregon's 93-61 win, GOAT met GOAT, along with two special guests -- Curry's daughters, Riley and Ryan.

Curry clearly is a fan of Ionescu, who dropped 17 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in Berkeley. She is nine rebounds away from becoming college basketball’s first 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound, 1,000-assist player.

"Everything," Curry told Pac-12 Network's Kate Scott when asked what has impressed him about Ionescu since he first learned of her. "It's hard to pick one thing. Just her passion for the game, her leadership. She has got that winning mentality, and every night, she just appreciates being out on the floor and bringing it.

"She makes her teammates better but still plays her own game. The triple-doubles are nice, too, but she just has it all."

"Stats, they mean a lot," Curry added, "but when you get to watch somebody -- and, like I said, the passion that she brings, it's in her eyes. The competitive nature that she has, you can't teach that. She could be blessed with all the talent in the world, but if she didn't have that, she wouldn't be who she was."

Curry had great seats on the baseline at Haas, but he wasn't alone. He had his two daughters taking it all in with him.

"This is a pretty awesome experience," Curry said of being there with his daughters. "This is their first women's basketball game, so I'm excited to share that with them. Riley has been asking about it all day. 'When are we going? When are we going?' So, hopefully Sabrina teaches her something."

Curry isn't certain his daughters will follow in his own footsteps, but he believes they can learn plenty from Ionescu, both on and off the court.

"I think it's important in terms of role models that they can look up to," Curry described the gravity of Ionescu's impact. "I don't know if they're going to play basketball or not, but if they do, then I'm definitely going to put on some Sabrina clips and let them know this is how you play the game the right way."

[RELATEDAsk Kerith: What's the benefit of allowing Steph to play?]

Steph won't have to search long for those clips. As impressive as she has been, Ionescu is just getting started.

Mic'd-up Ky Bowman brings fun, passion to recent Santa Cruz Warriors practice

Mic'd-up Ky Bowman brings fun, passion to recent Santa Cruz Warriors practice

The Warriors are in the midst of one of the worst seasons in franchise history, currently averaging nearly four losses for every win. They only have two winning "streaks" so far, and in the face of constant losing, it would be completely understandable if the team's morale suffered.

Yes, there have been extended periods throughout the course of the season during which Golden State has hung its heads. After all, this is a stark contrast to the reality the franchise has recently become used to. But, thanks to an influx of new players, most of which are young and fighting for their NBA opportunities, the Warriors have managed to have plenty of fun amid all the losses.

Given what Ky Bowman said while mic'd up at a recent Santa Cruz Warriors practice, and it's easy to see why.

Have a look for yourself in the video at the top of the page.

He doesn't ever seem to slow down or stop talking, and it sure looks like his enthusiasm is contagious. Bowman has gone back and forth between Golden State and Santa Cruz this year, and he brings that lively spirit with him wherever he goes.

Thanks to his own determination, the hope is that he won't be making that trip much more often. After going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, Bowman signed a two-way deal with Golden State. However, he outperformed that, and the Warriors signed him to a standard, multi-year NBA contract on Feb. 7.

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: What's the benefit of allowing Steph to play?]

Bowman appears to be a part of the Warriors' future, which should include plenty more laughs.