19

Warriors’ Stephen Curry looks to improve on defense as new assistant Ron Adams sees the potential

LAS VEGAS – The Warriors’ Stephen Curry is the latest star player that defensive guru Ron Adams will get to help, and the new assistant coach likes what he sees in the guard’s length and quickness.

“I think he has all the prerequisites to be a good defensive player, and he shows that at times,” Adams said.

“A lot of the good offensive players are inconsistent in their defense. Kevin Durant when I was with Kevin (as an assistant in Oklahoma City) was like that. Kevin was a really good defensive player when he puts his mind to it, but other times he doesn’t apply what he can do always. I like what Curry brings.”

Defense also happens to be an area where Curry talked Tuesday about strengthening this offseason in order to make it second nature. He’ll get a head start later this month in working on it for Team USA in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s defense even as most of the outside attention is focused on his offensive game.

“With the amount of talent we have on the (national) team, being able to…stand out, you’ve got to be able to put that pressure on the offense and use that athleticism that we have,” Curry told Sirius XM. “That’s one of our strengths, so that’s something that I know Coach K loves to do, and I’ve got to be ready for it.”

With the Warriors, Curry will have a respected coach in Adams who actually coached his father during Dell’s one season in Milwaukee.

“Curry is a brilliant player and at times has been brilliant defensively, and I think the trick there is to simply get him brilliant more of the time,” Adams told KNBR.

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Video: Warriors’ Steve Kerr shot back at official, but doesn’t score first coaching technical foul

LAS VEGAS – Warriors coach Steve Kerr got up off the bench, took five steps out to the 3-point line and had sharp words for an official while pointing right at him.

Warriors summer league player Michael Watt had been whistled for a moving screen and squatted down in disbelief at the foul. It ended up being Watt and not the usually mild-mannered Kerr who actually picked up the technical foul during the Warriors’ 89-88 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“It wasn’t mine?” Kerr said after the game, smiling. “I thought I got it. I was kind of pleased with myself. Damn, I guess I’ll have to get one next game.”

Kerr even in the moment joked about picking up what he believed to be a technical while coaching in his third professional game, pointing and smiling at someone he knew across the court after sitting and calming down.

Those close to him realize the first time will be a milestone.

“Congrats to my dad on his first technical foul as a coach!” his son, University of San Diego guard Nick Kerr, tweeted. “First of many…”

Tweeted former broadcast partner David Aldridge, “My friend Steve Kerr just went all Travis Bickle on the refs. #T’dup.”

Alas, the first technical will have to wait. But maybe the big explosion will come sooner than later.

“He might take some on purpose the way guys do from time to time,” former broadcast partner Marv Albert, who called the game, said last week. “I don’t see him getting carried away.”

While talking about his expected laidback sideline personality, Kerr said last week, “I’ll probably pick up a T in my first game, you know?”

27

Warriors’ Bob Myers looking at trades, but wants Steve Kerr’s staff to coach ‘pretty good’ current roster

Warriors general manager Bob Myers has joined coach Steve Kerr has in saying that he likes the team’s current roster.

Those sentiments don’t rule out a Warriors trade for Minnesota star Kevin Love being made this offseason, but they are letting it be known that they are fine standing pat.

“We want to give this coaching staff a chance to coach a roster that we think is pretty good,” Myers told Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald on KNBR on Monday. “It doesn’t mean we think we’re championship-ready. We’re always looking to do things. But we do think the roster is good and young, and we’d like to see what it can do with the new staff.”

The Warriors in the offseason have brought in a new coaching staff under Kerr, signed backup guard Shaun Livingston and feel that a healthy Festus Ezeli will add another valuable rotation player they didn’t’ have last season.

Somewhat similarly, Minnesota president and coach Flip Saunders has indicated that he does not have to trade Love by the start of the season and could be content trying to contend for the playoffs with his big man.

If a deal is to be made, young players such as Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes could become Timberwolves. But the Warriors continue to say they’d like to keep the current group together.

“What I think people often do and maybe sometimes make the mistake doing is pull the trigger quickly on your roster without giving it time to develop,” Myers said. “And we think we’ve got a lot of youth, and we do think we’ve got a higher ceiling than 51 (wins last season).”

“We like our roster. Obviously if you’re not good enough, you’ve got to make changes, but we think we’re good.”

21

Warriors interested in bringing free agent Brandon Rush back to Golden State

LAS VEGAS — The Warriors are among the teams scheduled to attend a workout for free agent guard Brandon Rush, who tore an ACL while with the team in 2012 before playing in 38 games for Utah last season.

The Warriors at this time can afford minimum contracts due to salary cap constraints, but could look to bring Rush back to the team after he averaged 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 67 games with Golden State before getting injured.

“Rush was great,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told KNBR on Monday. “Everybody that’s been a fan saw how good he was for us, so if he’s healthy, and he can play, which we hear he can — we’ll go watch him and see — it’s a good addition if we could get him.

“You don’t know what the price would be, but we like Brandon.”

Myers, who said he would like to sign two more players, is also interested in bringing back center Jermaine O’Neal.

“We like those two guys because we know ‘em a little bit,” Myers said. “We’ve had them in the organization. It’s nice to bring back players that you know and have been around.

“Both those guys are great guys.”

17

Jerry West: Warriors ‘don’t want to mess with’ Stephen Curry-Klay Thompson backcourt

LAS VEGAS – On the eve of Jerry West’s scheduled arrival to the NBA Summer League, the Warriors executive board member spoke of the team wanting to keep Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson together.

The Warriors have yet to relent on handing over Thompson in a trade for Minnesota’s Kevin Love. Asked on KNBR about the balance between cohesion and major change, West indicated where he and others in the organization stood.

“When you have a premier backcourt, you don’t want to mess with that,” West told Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald. “I don’t think anyone does.

“And for us to have two young players back there who like each other, very cohesive and more importantly are going to we think get better and get better together, even though you want to add a quality player, we’ve got a real quality backcourt. It’s hard to get rid of something that’s really good.”

West said the signing of backup guard Shaun Livingston alone improves the Warriors, who he noted dealt with numerous injuries last season when they won 51 games.

“I like our team,” West said.

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Marv Albert gets call, early look of former broadcast partner Steve Kerr coaching Warriors

LAS VEGAS – TNT broadcaster Marv Albert is doing the play-by-play on NBA TV for tonight’s Warriors-Lakers summer league game, but Albert has already gotten a look at former partner Steve Kerr in action.

Albert attended the Warriors’ game on Saturday to watch Kerr coach his second professional game, as the two are close from spending plenty of time together at TNT.

“A little twisted, which I like,” Albert said of Kerr’s sense of humor.

Said a smiling Kerr: “Well Marv should know. He’s got one, too.

“We always had a lot of fun together on the air and behind the scenes. Marv is a really witty guy and very well-read and cultured, so it was always fun to talk to him about basketball and everything else. We had a great eight years together.”

Albert recalled that he could have seen that Kerr would become a coach as he noticed his partner would ask NBA coaches a lot of questions in interviews with them before games.

“He was always in contact with Gregg Popovich and Phil Jackson and constantly asking questions to the point they basically would tell him to get lost,” Albert joked.

Albert noted that Kerr has “great relationships” with officials and doesn’t expect many technical fouls being called on him.

Albert also disagreed with the idea that Kerr was too nice for the coaching profession.

“I think you can be a nice guy,” Albert said. “There’ll be times maybe he’ll raise his voice. And win. You can. There’s been evidence of that. You don’t always have to be screaming at people.”

Albert, the former New York Knicks broadcaster, saw Kerr wrestle with his decision to choose the Warriors over coaching for Jackson in the Big Apple.

Kerr made the right call in picking Golden State and has what it takes to keep up with the demands of the job, according to Albert.

“Look at the difference in the franchises in the way they’re run and in the way the teams are,” Albert said. “Just look at the rosters. I don’t think there’s no contest. And plus, he’s a West Coast guy.

“Steve always looks so healthy. He’s a California guy. He’s in the sun a lot.”

3

Jermaine O’Neal mulls career decision as Warriors keep in touch with veteran free agent

LAS VEGAS – Free agent center Jermaine O’Neal is considering retirement after playing for the Warriors last season, and the team is staying in touch with him in the event he chooses to return for a 19th NBA season.

“I have some career decisions coming up to make and I can’t think of a better place to make them at,” the 35-year-old O’Neal wrote on Instagram on Monday, posting a video of his vacation in the Bahamas.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers is O’Neal’s former agent and could look to bring back the 35-year-old on a one-year contract for around the veteran’s minimum, which is what the team would be able to afford due to salary cap constraints.

O’Neal averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 44 games last season, missing 28 games due to injuries and three games in order to rest. He began the playoffs starting in place of an injured Andrew Bogut and appeared in a Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers despite a bone bruise on his knee.

“That was a difficult for him as you know to leave Dallas and his family,” Myers said of playing last season instead of retiring to his offseason residence. “But I’ve talked to him a couple of times. We keep in touch. He’s still deliberating what he wants to do, and I told him we’d stay in touch as to what we want to do.”