Didn’t get to blog from the Warriors’ open practice on Sunday night because of more pressing concerns (hello, Andris Biedrins; good-bye, contract extension), but if you weren’t one of the 6,000 or so on hand at Oracle Arena (according to the team’s estimate), here’s a recap of what you missed:
** There weren’t as many cutting comments from Don Nelson, who was wearing a microphone that broadcast over the public-address system, as there were last year. (Somewhere last night, Zarko Cabarkapa shuddered reflexively, as though reliving a bad experience.) Maybe that was because someone forgot to put out the lozenges that are usually in the little built-in trays in the scorer’s table at Oracle Arena. Nelson reached into the tray for some throat relief but came up empty, much to his chagrin.
Stephen Jackson was also mic’d up — at least until he picked up a technical foul during the scrimmage portion of the practice and then yanked the microphone off.
** The identities of the top performers during the scrimmage were hardly surprising: Baron Davis and Monta Ellis. Playing for the blue team (the starting unit), they combined to score 62 points in a 92-91 win, getting to the cup almost at will.
** Al Harrington wore a pair of gray sweatpants to provide a little more padding in case he fell on his bruised tailbone. The only problem: the sweat began to wick and show through from the waistband down in a somewhat embarrassing pattern.
** The capper to the evening, of course, was the center-court hazing of the newbies. Kelenna Azubuike tried to teach the steps for Soulja Boy’s “Crank That” to a quintet composed of the four rookies — Marco Belinelli, Stephane Lasme, Kosta Perovic and Brandan Wright — plus second-year center Patrick O’Bryant. (Apparently, POB’s duck-duck-goose game from last season was not enough to get him off the hook.)
The results were just one step short of a trainwreck:
This prompted Harrington to try and step in, with three young volunteers from the crowd, for more remedial training. As the results weren’t much better, maybe they should have just shown this on the overhead screen instead:
Afterwards, Belinelli could only shake his head in bemusement: “In Italy, it’s not like this.”
Biedrins tried to be diplomatic: “The Europeans are my buddies, but they didn’t do so good. But it was a lot of fun, and at least they tried. That was the best part.”
For his part, Harrington wanted nothing to do with his pupils.
“They should all be fined. That’s the worst rookie orientation I have ever been around,” said Harrington, who’s entering his 10th NBA season. “Everybody gets an F. I give Las a D, because he tried, but all the rest of them get Fs.”
– Geoff Lepper