29

After Missing On J.J. Hickson, the Warriors Settle on Mickell Gladness

A day after their attempt to sign big man J.J. Hickson was squashed, the Warriors signed free agent center Mickell Gladness to a 10-day contract.

A 6-foot-11, 220 pounder out of Alabama A&M, Gladness will be in uniform for tonight’s game against the host Houston Rockets.

Gladness appeared in eight games this season for the Miami Heat, totaling two points, 11 rebounds and a block in 28 minutes. He signed his second 10-day contract withMiamion Feb. 28. The Heat opted not to sign him for the remainder of the season.

A player is allowed to sign a maximum of two 10-day contracts with one team. After that, the team must sign him for the remainder of the season or waive him.

Prior to joining the Heat for their 2011-12 training camp, Gladness appeared in four games for the Dakota Wizards, the Warriors’ NBA Development League team. He averaged 7.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 20.8 minutes per contest.

Overall, Gladness – who went undrafted in 2009 – has appeared in 81 D-League games over three seasons, averaging 4.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

It will be interesting to see how much time Gladness gets. Golden State needs some help on the front line (since right now David Lee is the back-up center). With that said, it stands to reason rookie big Jeremy Tyler should be getting most of the minutes at center. He certainly should get more than Gladness.

But in his first career start, Tyler totaled just 15 minutes. Warriors coach Mark Jackson hasn’t hid the fact that winning is his priority. He can stamp that is Gladness gets 25 minutes tonight and Tyler gets 15. Of course, he should be prepared for the backlash. Because Warriors fans know more than anyone else that this is the time of year to see what the youngsters can do.

25

Warriors Miss Out on PF J.J. Hickson, Who Portland Claimed Off Waivers

Warriors missed out on J.J. Hickson, who was awarded toPortlandon Wednesday.

Hickson – a 6-foot-9, 242-pound power forward in his fourth season — was waived last week by Sacramento. Golden State wanted to sign him, but didn’t have the $2.35 million under the cap needed to claim him off waivers. Even before the Stephen Jackson trade, in which they took back Richard Jefferson and T.J. Ford from the Spurs, Golden State didn’t have enough cap space.

The Warriors only hope was that Hickson cleared waivers and the Warriors signed him as a free agent. Rules allow teams to sign players to the minimum despite being over the cap. According to a multiple sources, Hickson was interested in joining the Warriors.

But Portland, which put in the claim, was awarded Hickson. If the Warriors were able to bid for Hickson off waivers, they probably would have gotten him since the bidder with the worst record gets the player.

Golden State, after trading big man Ekpe Udoh toMilwaukee, is in need of front line help. But Hickson was more than just a body. Before flaming out inSacramento, Hickson built a reputation as a promising young big man inCleveland. In 80 games with the Cavaliers last season, he averaged 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in 28.2 minutes.

This season, with the Kings, he averaged 4.7 points on 37 percent shooting with 5.1 rebounds in 18.4 minutes before getting waived. But the Warriors wanted to chance to see if Hickson’s decline was situational. If they could get him to return to form, he would have been an ideal piece for the Warriors now-depleted bench.

18

David Lee Refuses to Sit Out Despite Another Lost Season

Now’s about the time you’d expect a sore knee to crop up for Warriors forward David Lee.

The seventh-year veteran came to the Warriors hoping his days of meaningless end-of-season basketball were over. Having spent five years playing out the string in New York, and having his postseason hopes dashed last year, Lee finds himself once again with nothing tangible to play for.

What’s more, two of the starters he’d grown used to playing with are now in Milwaukee, another is on the shelf with ankle problems, and the big man he’s longed to play alongside is out until next year. Who could blame Lee for wanting to shut it down, too?

Well, he doesn’t.

“At this point,” Lee said after Tuesday’s shootaround, “it’s about continuing to demand respect by playing hard night in and night out.”

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24

Warriors in On-Going Talks to Keep First-Round Pick

The Warriors have been engaged in discussions with Utah that may lead to Golden State keeping its first-round pick.

The Warriors’ first-rounder will go to the Utah Jazz (via New Jersey) if the Warriors don’t land one of the top seven picks. But I’m told Golden State general manager Larry Riley has been working for months on securing a lottery pick for the Warriors.

Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob broke the news when he said during a KNBR interview Tuesday morning: “We think we can get our pick back.”

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68

Why Joe Lacob Got Boo’d

Let me start by saying in no way did Joe Lacob deserve the treatment he received Monday night. That was the NBA version of a public stoning. It hasn’t been a full two years since Lacob and Peter Guber won the auction for the Warriors. He has officially been the owner for a mere 16 months. He hasn’t even had time to accrue that kind of venom – which was worthy of Chris Cohan or Donald Sterling or Clay Bennett should he find himself introduced for some reason in Seattle. Not even the trading of Monta Ellis – which was a good trade on multiple levels – justified that historic humiliation.

What’s more, Chris Mullin certainly didn’t deserve that. Though the love for Mullin was obvious and overt, the night where he was supposed to be the star of the show is now dominated by Lacob’s treatment. We should be talking about Mullin, what he meant to the franchise, how he’s back after a few years of being an outcast, where he ranks among the all-time greats. Instead, we’re talking about Joe Lacob and the nerve of Warriors fans.

MULLIN: “As the greatest fans in the NBA as everyone stated, sometimes change is inevitable and its going to work out just fine with your support and patience. Use that passion in teh right direction. This thing is going the right way.”

BARRY: “One second here. C’mon people. You fans are the greatest fans in the world, as everybody has said that. Show a little bit of class. This is a man I’ve spent some time talking to. He’s going to change this franchise. This is crazy. Seriously. C’mon. You’re doing youselves a disservice. … I know he’s going to do it, so give him the respect he deserves.”

With that said, by my estimation, it is far too simple to write off that debacle as the classlessness of Warriors fans. As an isolated incident, the behavior of Warriors fans was nothing short of unnerving. But it would be borderline clueless to view the reaction what sounded like a large portion of nearly 20,000 fans in a vacuum.

What happened Monday night was a culmination of events. It has been building for some 20 months and it came to a head during Mullin’s special night.

Here is why Joe Lacob got booed.

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54

Warriors’ Co-Owner Joe Lacob on the Wrong Side of Sports History; Boo’d Relentlessly at Chris Mullin’s Jersey Retirement

What started as a nostalgic journey down memory lane turned sour as soon as Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob grabbed the microphone.

The jersey retirement ceremony of Golden State Warriors legend Chris Mullin, at halftime of Monday’s game against Minnesota, was rolling along smoothly. Marked by funny stories, a video tribute and a rousing ovation for Mullin.

“This is where it all started for me as a pro,” Mullin said. “I came in as a young man. I made mistakes. I worked hard to redeem myself. And by the grace of God I am here today. I grew up right here in front of you. You, the Warrior fans, were a huge part of my success.”

But it was soon taken over by relentless boos at Lacob.

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17

Warriors Planning to Go After PF J.J. Hickson if He Clears Waivers

The Warriors will make a run at signing fourth-year power forward J.J. Hickson if he clears waivers.

Yahoo! Sports first reported that Hickson, once a promising young big man with the Cavaliers, reached a buyout agreement with Sacramento on Monday and the Warriors were a top suitor. Golden State doesn’t want to claim him off waivers and pay the remainder of his $2.35 million for this season. But they will try to sign him once he becomes a free agent.

The Warriors are hurting for size on the frontline after trading second-year big man Ekpe Udoh in a package to put to acquire Milwaukee Bucks’ injured center Andrew Bogut.

With Sacramento, Hickson averaged 4.7 points on 37 percent shooting with 5.1 rebounds in 18.4 minutes.

In 80 games with the Cavaliers last season, Hickson averaged 13.8 points and 8.7 rebounds in 28.2 minutes.

When asked why Hickson’s production had fallen off so much, one team source said, “I don’t know, but we want to find out.”