OAKLAND – With a drink in his right hand and an NBA Finals cap on his head, Warriors owner Joe Lacob stood in the locker room and recalled the past. Of course, not all of it was pretty.
“No one can understand except for my fiancée all the things we went through the early years,” Lacob said Thursday after the Warriors beat the Rockets to win the Western Conference championship. “There was a lockout, if you remember. A sexual harassment thing to remember. We had to change over the roster. We had to wait to see if we would get the seventh pick.
“We had to change a lot of the employees in this organization.”
After all that, the Warriors are in the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years. Lacob through the years has said he would deliver a championship. The Warriors are now four wins away from achieving just that.
“I know there were a lot of promises early on, a little bravado,” Lacob said. “A lot of that was just goal-setting there for an organization to turn it around.
“Everyone has a goal, and that goal is not finished. We haven’t achieved it yet.”
One employee who was fired was Mark Jackson, who had taken the Warriors to their two previous playoff appearances. He was in the building as an ESPN broadcaster. Steve Kerr was the rookie coach who took the reins and won 67 games in the regular season.
“He’s been fantastic all year long,” Lacob said. “I mean, it doesn’t get any better. He’s done everything. He’s succeeded. He’ll probably never as much credit as he deserves because it’s really hard to do what he did coming in with all the expectations to go from good to great.
“Everything that Steve first said in the interviews, he did.”
OAKLAND – Klay Thompson developed concussion-like symptoms after the Warriors won the Western Conference championship on Wednesday.
Thompson left the game in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 104-90 win after being kneed in the head by the Rockets’ Trevor Ariza and received stitches for an ear laceration, according to coach Steve Kerr. The team later announced he had been put through a concussion evaluation during the game and began not to feel well after the game.
Thompson was kneed with 9:31 left after Ariza left his feet only to catch the side of the head on the way down to the ground.
“He is a good shooter, so you don’t want to give him any open 3-pointers,” Ariza said. “I was just trying to run and contest it. He happened to be leaning forward, and my knee hit him in the face.”
The Warriors will have seven days off before Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena on June 4.
Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry (30) celebrates in the third quarter of Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
Away from your TV and need to find the latest Warriors score? Or looking for an opinion on the Dubs’ play during the game? Follow the action through the eyes of our experts Wednesday at 6 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals between the Warriors and Houston Rockets.
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Here’s a transcript from this morning’s post-shootaround chat with Stephen Curry. Reporter questions are paraphrased and in italics.
How do you feel?
I’m feeling great, all things considered. I’m ready to go tonight.
Any other symptoms come up?
Not really. I had a good night’s sleep after the game. It was nice to be able to stay in Houston. I had a little bit of lingering effects yesterday, just soreness from the fall and all that. But nothing really long-term I have to worry about. Continue Reading
Stephen Curry watches his shot during Wednesday’s morning shootaround in Oakland.
OAKLAND — Stephen Curry declared himself good to go for Wednesday’s Game 5 against the Houston Rockets as the Warriors aim to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years.
Curry, injured in that scary fall two days ago in Game 4, said he hasn’t experienced any delayed concussion symptoms and the only thing bothering him is some bruising and soreness from the fall.
“I’m feeling great, all things considered,” Curry said Wednesday morning after the team’s shootaround at its downtown practice facility. “I’m ready to go tonight.”
Curry said he got a good night’s sleep at the team’s Houston hotel on Monday and the flight home Tuesday went well. Continue Reading
HOUSTON — Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard will not be suspended for Game 5 of the Western Conference finals after the NBA announced Tuesday it would not reclassify his foul of the Warriors’ Andrew Bogut to a flagrant foul 2.
“Howard was trying to extricate himself from Bogut and recklessly hit him in the face with an open hand,” NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn said in a statement. “The contact was unnecessary but was not deemed excessive by the officials working the game with the aid of the replay center. And we don’t see a reason to modify that call.”
Howard was assessed a flagrant foul 1 after his left arm struck Bogut in the head in Game 4 on Monday. Upgrading the foul upon a league review could have led to a fine and/or suspension.
Asked if he wanted Howard suspended, Warriors coach Steve Kerr laughed and said, “I’m not answering that.”
Rockets coach Kevin McHale indicated that he felt Bogut fouled Howard first, and that didn’t get called.
“Bogut grabbed him, and as always, the second foul gets called,” McHale said.
“He swiped his arm back because he felt Bogut grabbed him…The one thing we learn is we should be the first to grab.”
With the Warriors bandwagon getting more crowded every day, here’s the very least any fan needs to know to keep up:
Game 4 of the Warriors vs. Rockets Western Conference Finals is Monday at 6 p.m. PT in Houston. The Warriors hold a 3-0 series advantage in the best-of-7 series and the game is televised on ESPN. A Warriors victory Monday would send Golden State to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1975.
If you’re looking to enjoy the game alongside a lot of Warriors fans in the Bay Area, here are where the Warriors’ official watch parties are being held:
Tribune Tavern (401 13th Street, Oakland)
SoMa StrEat Food Park (428 11th Street, San Francisco)
Pedro’s Cantina (128 King Street, San Francisco)
Era (19 Grand Avenue, Oakland)
Sauced BBQ & Spirits (2300 First Street, Livermore)