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T.J. Ward skips OTA session for Game Five of NBA Finals

Broncos safety T.J. Ward, a Bay Area native, loves the Golden State Warriors. He loves them so much he married them, sort of, with a huge tattoo of the team’s logo on his left side/back.

He also loves them enough to skip a day of OTA practice to watch Steph Curry and company win Game Five of the NBA Finals. But during a Monday meeting with the media, Kubiak didn’t know Ward missed practice to attend a basketball game.

Said a reporter: “T.J. Ward was spotted at Game Five yesterday --"

Kubiak interrupted with a little smile, “Was he? That’s where he was?”

“That’s where he was, and not spotted out here,” the reporter said. “Any issues there?”

“No. he wasn’t here,” Kubiak replied. “It’s voluntary, like I said.”

Yes, it’s voluntary. And coaches can get in trouble if they say anything to suggest it isn’t voluntary. But no head coach worth his whistle would be happy about a player not giving an appropriate head’s up regarding the decision not to attend an offseason practice, or regarding the reason for his absence.

Ultimately, it’s Ward call regarding whether he does or doesn’t attend. But at some point he’ll be required to show up, and there’s a way to handle things that minimizes the chances of the head coach finding a way to make his point without inviting scrutiny from the NFL Players Association.