Kent Bazemore Takes His Game to Another Level

bazemoreKent Bazemore did everything he set out to do during NBA Summer League.

He showed strides in his offensive game and improved his grasp of team defense concepts. He all but locked up a roster spot on Golden State, emerging as a dominant player in Las Vegas. He led the Warriors’ summer league squad to the inauguaral championship, averaging 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 30 minutes.

Ian Clark, who dropped 33 on Phoenix on Monday, won the championship game MVP. And Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas won MVP of the Summer League. But Bazemore leaves Las Vegas with the respect he no doubt earned.

Now, he said, it’s time to get back to work.

“I’m not satisfied at all,” Bazemore said in a phone interview. “It would be easy to relax and feel like I’ve accomplished something – I’ve proven people wrong about me. But I’ve got to keep working. I really feel like I can be a good player in this league and have a great career.”

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Warriors Fans Taking Support To a New Level

For years, many presumed that if Golden State ever fielded a winner, Warriors fans who were loyal through lean years would show up in droves. Well, after one winning season, the Bay Area is doing just that.

Golden State has sold 2,900 new season tickets this summer — second only to the Sacramento Kings, who recently got new ownership and kept the franchise from moving to Seattle.

The Warriors now have 13,600 season-ticket holders, the most in franchise history and the second-largest STH base in the league. (Most teams shoot for 10,000 as a goal.)

This surge in ticket sales for Golden State is despite a 20 percent average increase in ticket prices.

“Joe (Lacob) and Peter (Guber) knew it would happen,” said Warriors president Rick Welts. “But I think they both would be hard-pressed to see it happen so quickly.”

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Toney Douglas Officially a Warrior: “I can seize the moment”

Guard Toney Douglas officially inked his one-year, $1.6 million deal with Golden State on Thursday in Las Vegas. He said the Warriors are the perfect fit for him when I caught up with him for a phone interview.

DOUGLAS: “It’s an uptempo team. They have a great coach in Mark Jackson. They added Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights and Jermaine O’Neal. They whole starting five back. For the team this year, the sky’s the limit. Go far in the playoffs, that’s the goal. … Now it’s about (making) the Western Conference Finals and getting an NBA championship.”

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Warriors Officially Ink Marreese Speights


The Warriors officially introduced big man Marreese Speights, who signed his three-year, $11 million contract on Friday. He will be wearing the No. 5 – “My Memphis number.” – and hoping to fill the void left by forward Carl Landry, who signed with Sacramento.

What do you think you bring to this team?

“I bring another big man who really knows the system, knows how to run the court. I bring some toughness, a guy who wants to win.”

You felt like this was this the best fit?

“I talked to my agent about it and we feel like this is a great fit. A good group of guys they’ve got right now and a great coach. So you can’t get better than this.”

You went from a playoff team in Memphis to Cleveland. Looking forward to being back on a team expected to make the playoffs?

“That’s what you really dream for when you’re in the league, to be on a team that makes the playoffs. A great city like this, and a great organization, a great coach, and a great group of guys — that is always a great fit.”

What would you say is your best attributes?

“I’m competitive and want to win. I feed off the fans.”

You ready to play center?

“I play both (center and power forward). It doesn’t matter to me.”

Carl Landry got a lot of open mid-range jumpers. You look forward to getting your share?

“Carl, he’s got a pretty good game. He kind of plays like me a little bit … But I like to shoot my midrange when it’s open. I like to roll to the basket too when that’s open.”

The Warriors will need some inside toughness and scoring

“I bring that. I bring more, too, so I just can’t wait.”

Can you contribute defensively?

“Through my career in the NBA, I’ve been growing, trying to play better defense. I learned from those guys in Memphis. They taught me a lot.  So I feel like I bring some defense here, too.”

Golden State and Memphis are expected to be two of the better teams in the West?

“Yeah, it’s going to be weird because all those guys (in Memphis) are like my brothers. But it’s the league and time passes.”

Your thoughts on playing with a fellow Florida Gator in David Lee?

“It’s going to be fun to play with him. He’s competitive. He wants to win. He’s a good guy.  So it’s going to be fun playing with him, knowing he played for the same school I did.”

When you two talked, what did he tell you?

“How the fans are so great. How the organization and coach Mark Jackson is. So I’m just excited to get ready.”

You look forward to playing with Steph?

“Oh yeah. That’s one of the best guards in the league now. It was so fun to watch him play in the playoffs. You wonder how it feels to play on his team.”

How different of an environment is Oracle?

“It’s different because it’s a little older and the fans are right on top of you. And it’s always sold out. I’ve never seen it not sold out. The fans are always there and loud. They let you have it, too.”


Warriors Pick Up Team Option on Mark Jackson’s Contract

Golden State coach Mark Jackson now has two guaranteed years remaining on his contract. Wednesday, the Warriors picked up the team option it had on the last of his four-year.

Prior to today’s move, Jackson had only this season guaranteed, which made him a virtual lame duck. By guaranteeing his contract for the 2014-15 season, Jackson gets some security and Golden State’s front office gets another year to evaluate Jackson.

Jackson’s team finished 2011-12, his first as a head coach on any level, with a 23-43 record. That season was still considered a relative success since, after management traded away the Warriors’ best player at the time, the Jackson’s patchwork roster showed some resilience down the stretch. His second season, armed with a dramatically upgraded roster, saw marked improvement. Jackson led the Warriors to a 47-35 record and the franchise’s first playoff berth since 2007. Only the Brooklyn Nets had a better improvement than Golden State.

Then in the postseason, the Warriors upset Denver in the first round before taking San Antonio to six games. This was despite point guard Stephen Curry and center Andrew Bogut battling injuries, and having to rely on three rookies in the regular rotation.

That run gave Jackson credibility as a head coach and earned him another guaranteed year on his contract. Now, Jackson has a new challenge of coaching a team with expectations. Success this season would likely lead to a contract extension next offseason.


Warriors Add Jermaine O’Neal, Toney Douglas

Golden State continued filling out its roster on Tuesday. Sources confirm reports the Warriors have reached agreements with guard Toney Douglas and center Jermaine O’Neal. Both are thought to have signed one-year deals.

Douglas gives the Warriors a veteran guard off the bench who is known for defending. He can also shoot the 3 pretty well. He’s not a traditional point guard, which Golden State seems to need, but he is someone who will be able to defend and make a play.

O’Neal, entering his 18th season, showed he still has something left in the tank last season for Phoenix. He averaged 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.7 minutes off the bench. The 6-foot-11, 34-year-old center figures to be a reliable place holder to back up Andrew Bogut while Festus Ezeli recovers from knee surgery.

Here is a look at the Warriors’ depth chart at this point:

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Warriors to Add Big Man Marreese Speights

The Warriors have agreed to a deal with free agent big man Marreese Speights.

Sources confirm reports that the 6-foot-10, 245-pound big man will get a multi-year deal from Golden State, which he will officially be able to sign when the moratorium ends on July 10. ESPN’s Marc Stein was first to report agreement. Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears reported it is a three-year deal.

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