If newly acquired center Andrew Bogut plays basketball as well as he works a room,GoldenStatewill be pretty good next season.
Before Friday’s game against visitingMilwaukee, the Warriors unveiled their prized possession. And the 7-foot, 260-pound Australian had already made himself at home.
“He’s very polished,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “He’s a great guy. He’s got a sense of humor. … He’s a people guy. He felt very comfortable around the guys.”
Members of the organization, and many Warriors fans to boot, all but drooled at his size and charisma. Bogut said he was overwhelmed by the positive feedback he’s received. He said he embraces the pressure that comes with being looked upon as the franchise’s answered prayer for a big man.
“It is something I’m fine with,” Bogut said of the expectations. “But looking at our roster, we’ve got a lot of guys that can play. It’s not like I’m coming into a D-League team, where everything’s kind of aimed at me.”
The trade deadline has passed, the Warriors are done dealing. So Warriors general manager Larry Riley, surveying the fruits of his labors, felt good enough to make some pretty bold statements.
“Frankly, ladies and gentleman, we’ve changed the organization. We’ve changed the Warriors organization in terms of the way we do business and our roster.”
“I don’t want to sit in front of the media and make a comment I made last year: ‘I like our team, but I don’t like our record. That gets worn out pretty quick. It was time to go in a different direction and let’s go see if we can grab the brass ring.”
“There is no doubt in our mind that our roster has improved by leaps and bounds. … There is no doubt that the Warriors roster is a much better roster. The media used to ask me if this roster a playoff roster. And we’d have to look at it and say, ‘Uhhh, maybe so, maybe not.’ This is a playoff roster.”
The Warriors landed a first-round pick after all.
A team source confirmed Golden State traded Stephen Jackson to the San Antonio Spurs for small forward Richard Jefferson and a conditional first-round pick.
Jefferson’s contract is a year longer than Jackson’s. But the priority for Golden State was landing a pick in this year’s highly touted draft, since they might lose theirs. If Golden State doesn’t land a top seven pick, their selection goes to Utah.
Warriors forward Dorell Wright did not hesitate one bit in denying reports he wants the Warriors to trade him.
WRIGHT: “I never said anything about me wanting to go any where. I want to be here. I didn’t say none of that.”
Wright pointed to the fact that he is buying a house in the Bay Area as evidenced he’s committed to the Warriors. He said he never expressed any desire to leave to management and has no idea where the rumors came from.
Warriors executive board member Jerry West said guard Monta Ellis was maybe his favorite player but the trade was worth the risk. Actually, risk is too strong of a word.
“Frankly, I don’t see a risk here myself,” West said before Wednesday’s game atBoston. “I don’t. We get one of the best big men in the league. Period.”
I actually heard these words from a member of Warriors management, who could not officially talk about the trade because it wasn’t done yet, about the trading of guard Monta Ellis.
“This had to happen at some point. Who are we kidding?”
On the bright side, you can chalk up the Warriors’ jaw-dropping blockbuster trade – sending Ellis, second-year big man Ekpe Udoh and injured Kwame Brown to Milwaukee for center Andrew Bogut the fact that management finally accepted reality. It had already accepted the fact that major roster improvements were needed and had spent the last year-plus trying to make those changes.
But, in the end, after all the posturing and promises, Warriors’ brass agreed with most fans – they cannot win significantly with a backcourt of Ellis and point guard Stephen Curry.
Warriors PG Stephen Curry, who at shootaround said he was good to go, wound up sitting out Tuesday’s game.
After the game, he made comments we haven’t heard from him yet in dealing with his troublesome right ankle.
CURRY: “I’m kind of getting fed up with having to deal with this.”
Frustration over the trade? Certainly, Curry’s primary reason for playing through his injury was trying to help the team make the playoffs. The sentiment in the locker room was that the trade hurt their playoff chances. But Curry stopped short of saying he would shut it down for the season.
CURRY: “I’m just trying to get healthy. What that means, I’m not sure yet. … Those little incidents with my ankle, I just want to get that put behind me and move forward.”