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B. Wright Looking to Get Off to Healthy Start

I was asked post these, so I am acquiescing, getting my TK on … 

By Marcus Thompson II

mthomps2@bayareanewsgroup.com

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Brandan Wright, starting for the white team in Wednesday’s open-to-the-public practice, took a pass in the paint with his back to the basket.

With one dribble, he turned toward the middle and jumped, stretching over the reach of defenders Andris Biedrins and David Lee, easily dropping in a left-handed hook. It was a move that jogged a memory.

“You did see some flashes,” coach Keith Smart said. “And he’s shown that through camp.”

Many fans may have forgotten Wright was even on the team. Certainly, the expectations for Wright have diminished for the player Golden State acquired by giving up fan favorite Jason Richardson. Wright’s relevance has waned because he’s played only 77 games in his three seasons, including none last year, thanks to left shoulder injuries. The addition of Lee — who was signed to a six-year, $80 million contract by the Knicks then traded to the Warriors — didn’t help Wright’s cause.

But Wright promises to remind everyone why the franchise once had high hopes for him. He’s off to another good camp. His teammates and coaches are pleased at what he’s shown so far. At Wednesday’s practice at Oracle Arena in Oakland, he was the best among the reserves, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds and three assists.

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“Oh yeah, people are sleeping on me,” Wright said. “But I like that. I know I’m going to surprise a lot of people.”

Wright said his shoulder isn’t an issue anymore, that “you’d have to drop a


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thousand pounds of bricks on my arm for my shoulder to pop out again.”

 

If that’s true, it would be a long time coming.

Jan. 7, 2009. That’s when the shoulder issues began for Wright.

Late in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers, trying to block a dunk by forward Pau Gasol, Wright partially dislocated his right shoulder. He would play just eight games the rest of the way.

After an offseason of getting his shoulder together, Wright was a beast in training camp in 2009. Then-coach Don Nelson even called him the best player in camp. But on Oct. 2, 2009, a defender hit his arm hard enough to reinjure his shoulder. This time, it was bad enough to require season-ending surgery.

He’s headed for free agency at season’s end. Instead of competing for a starting spot, he’s now fighting for back-up minutes thanks to the addition of forward David Lee. Instead of playing some center, he’s going to be used some at small forward a bit by Smart.

And he’s no longer a core youngster, but a role player with question marks.

“I know after last year, people swept me under the rug,” Wright said.

Wright said he went back to the basics this offseason. He worked on his ball-handling, his post game, his shooting, his jump hook.

Smart said he is going to ease Wright into the mix, since he hasn’t played for such a long time. Wright said he still isn’t back to his old self, but he’s almost there, still working on his conditioning, timing and confidence.

“He’s a guy who we’re going to need,” Lee said. “He’s done some good things in camp. He’s going to really help us off the bench.”

NOTE: Forwards Rodney Carney (right hop contusion) and Louis Amundson (lower back stiffness) sat out the open practice.

Marcus Thompson

  • sfhand

    Thanks for posting this here. I check your blog everyday, and often multiple times, for updates. Not being into social networking the twitter thing doesn’t do it for me. I wonder if there is a way you can post to one or the other and have it be included in both…

  • W’s in 2010

    MT2, thanks for tweeting from open practice since I wasn’t able to go. I hope you do the same for the Clippers game!

  • http://Yahoo! PeteyBrian

    It was nice to see Brandan Wright healthy and playing well. I think he can get minutes at the 3 or the 4. He was very active. I cringed when he hit the floor – an injury waiting to happen!

  • WetLunGz

    Hey Marcus thanks,
    I’m trying not to get too excited about bwright cuz every yr I get excited and his shoulder disintegrates….do u think he can actually make the switch to sf? My n my bro were talking bout that when we first drafted him cuz he does have a midrange jumper, but can he move quick enough to guard opposing sf? I guess will see tonight, or rather well hear tonight cuz I haven’t seen nething saying game is on tv…and did anybody see barcelona beat the lakers? Awesome….

  • commish

    I know it is only one game, preseason at that, but BW did not look like a guy who is playing for big contract this season. I was underwhelmed by his energy and movemement. Problem is I was hoping (and I guess expecting) a lot more–something like Lin showed in a few minutes of quality and energetic play.

  • WetLunGz

    I agree commish, although pretty soon I’m going to be tired of the lin hype…there’s no reason he should be getting the loudest ovation at a game…monta, curry, lee, should all b liked more than lin atleast until lin play a real nba game. But as much as it bugs me I won’t let it cloud my judgement, I think he was a good pick up, and as long as he keeps playing hard and hustling, he will actually earn all the hype he’s getting now. Ps haven’t checed yet did we win sun?

  • urrie

    Dislocating shoulders are easy to fix by surgery. The problem is usually that the joint is too loose. The surgical repair is usually just to tighten the ligaments. I had a similar operation on both shoulders and after 6-7months rehab they were perfect. Doctor told me the success rate is %95. Not sure why Wright didn’t get the operation after the first dislocation – I’m sure the doctors had their reasons – but had he gotten it he wouldn’t have missed all of last year.

  • urrie

    Also Marcus, no need for you to go TK on anything. You are way a more talented journalist, writer, and basketball analyst than Kawakami. He’s a big douche.

  • Bob

    Why has the Cohan deal not closed? Hearing rumors that buyers are looking for another $100 million to get the deal closed.

    If true, only Cohan could have screwed up the sale. He could sell to a group that needed to raise money or he could have sold at a higher price to a guy that could write a check (Ellison).

    Cohan made a ton of money from ruining a franchise. I get the feeling the new owners are going to be more concerned with money than with winning.

  • http://yahoo duane

    Brandan Wright is ready to step up and contribute greatly to this team. I hope Smart will give him a good chance. We were able to trade Randolph for Lee because we have Brandan who is probably more all around even though his has not played much in his short career. Being idle can also be an advantage to a young player. It can make hime savour the game from a different prospective, that being just loving to play the game and show what you got. I am very excited about these Warriors. The team is loaded with talent. Go Warriors and finish 45-37!