Todd Fuller vs. Kobe Bryant: a tale of the tape

To go along with the story I wrote about the Warriors taking Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant. which you can read here, I did a side-by-side breakdown of their respective careers through Sunday’s games. Enjoy:


x                                                                                        Fuller                  Bryant

NBA Seasons                                                                           5                          20

NBA games played                                                             225                     1,311

Minutes                                                                             2,500                  47,717

Points Scored                                                                       835                 33,029

Scoring Average                                                                   3.7                       25.2

Best scoring average year                                                  4.1                       35.4

Most points in an NBA game                                              18                           81

Three-point baskets                                                              0                     1,722

Rebounds                                                                             674                    6,929

Assists                                                                                    46                    6,229

Steals                                                                                     34                     1,911

Blocked shots                                                                       60                        633

Shooting percentage                                                        .422                       .449

Free throw percentage                                                   .668                       .836

College games played                                                       115                             0

All-NBA first team selections                                              0                           11

NBA MVP Awards                                                                 0                            1

First-team all-defensive selections                                     0                            9

All-Star Game selections*                                                    0                          18

All-Star MVP Awards                                                           0                            4

Playoff appearances                                                              1                           15

Career playoff games                                                         10                         220

NBA Finals MVP Awards                                                     0                            2

Career playoff scoring average                                          2.6                     25.6

NBA championships                                                               0                           5

*–Counting this season, in which he is the leading vote-getter for the 2016 game

To go with it, here’s a list of players who were still available after the Warriors took Fuller with the 11th pick in 1996 (all played at least 10 years in the league):

  1. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
  2. Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento
  3. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
  4. Jermaine O’Neal, Indiana Pacers
  5. Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cleveland Cavaliers
  6. Derek Fisher, Los Angeles Lakers
  7. Othella Harrington, Houston Rockets

Undrafted. Ben Wallace, Detroit Pistons




Stephen Curry pays tribute to Kobe Bryant in advance of Lakers star’s final visit to Oracle Arena

Stephen Curry’s first contact with Kobe Bryant came when he was a 19 year old sophomore at Davidson University. He attended Bryant’s annual skills camp in Orange County and soaked in the knowledge of a player who had already established himself as an NBA icon.

“That was when I was a shooting guard, so it was cool,” said Curry, grinning.

The next encounter came when he entered the league in 2009 and actually had to play against Kobe. Curry readily admits his heart was pounding and he was awestruck when he stepped on the floor against a player he had watched so many times growing up.

“I got that moment out of my system maybe the third or fourth preseason game I ever played,” he recalled. “We played them at the Forum. It was pretty cool to be in that building for one, but also go against Kobe for the first time. After that, you kind of had to be ready to go. You can’t have that star-struck moment any more.
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Kerr won’t be returning vs. Denver, but Curry should be

Rumors that Steve Kerr would be returning to the bench Saturday night as Warriors head coach turned out to be premature. The Warriors announced Kerr would not be coaching against the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena and that Luke Walton would once again coach the team. Club media relations coordinator Raymond Ridder added that Kerr was puzzled as to how the rumors of his Saturday return even got started.

So while Kerr’s situation remains on hold, the Warriors did at least offer some bit of good news — Stephen Curry, who missed the last two games with a leg contusion, should be back in action against the Nuggets. He was upgraded from questionable to probable, and Curry himself said when asked, “probably.” After working out at the morning shootaround, Curry said he was feeling much better after a few days rest and treatment from the injury originally suffered in last Sunday’s victory over Sacramento.

Curry said the impact spot of his injury was on his left leg was on his shin but that it radiates throughout his entire lower leg. He said he thought he might play in the Houston game, but admitted it was a wise decision for him not to play.

Kerr was present at the shootaround but did not talk to the media. The coach, who has missed the first 32 games of the season due to complications from off-season back surgery, made his first extended road trip to Dallas and Houston and apparently came through that trip well. But his return remains a mystery.

Curry said Kerr was looking good, however, and when asked when he thought his coach might return to the bench, he said, “I’m guessing pretty soon.”

Elsewhere on the injury front, center Festus Ezeli (toe) and forward Harrison Barnes (ankle sprain) were listed as doubtful for the Nuggets game, while guard Leandro Barbosa (shoulder sprain) was ruled out.


Warriors 120, Kings 101: Curry brothers miss another chance to hook up against one another

Stephen Curry’s brother Seth finally got to play some extended minutes against the Warriors Saturday night. The problem was, the 9 1/2 minutes he received from Sacramento Kings coach George Karl all came in the fourth quarter, by which time his bro was long gone from the game.

Steph Curry played 30 minutes in the Warriors’ 120-101 victory over the Kings, but after Golden State blew out to a 29-point lead in the third quarter, he sat for the entire fourth quarter — for the fourth consecutive game.

So the Currys are now 0 for 2 this year in their dream of playing against one another, something they’ve never done in an organized game. It was weird for Steph, because Seth came in and played well, scoring nine points by hitting all three of his 3-point attempts (he was 3 for 4 overall) and also dished a couple of assists.

“Actually, when his brother hit the first 3, I looked down to see if Steph was cheering or if he was yelling that we left him open,” said interim coach Luke Walton.

Curry mused that it must be fate that he and Seth can’t hook up one-on-one.

“I looked at Luke for a second to see if he’d put me in to guard him for a possession or two, but that was about it,” Steph said.

As for how he reacted watching Seth make his three 3-pointers, he said, “I told (Walton) the first one he made, I forgot where I was and went up with my hands to clap, like I was watching him play at Duke or something, and then I realized he was on the other team. So I had to kind of act like I was mad … but I wasn’t.

“Draymond called me out on the second 3, because I was shaking my head,” Steph continued. “He said, `Stop shaking your head, you know you’re happy.’ Which I was.”


Remembering the Washington Capitols of 1948-49, who would likely be awed by these Warriors now on their heels

The Warriors are on the cusp of tying a remarkable team record and possibly breaking it — best-ever start to an NBA season. The mark is 15-0, and Golden State can tie it Sunday in Denver then potentially break it Tuesday at home against the lowly 2-10 Los Angeles Lakers if they can get by the 6-7 Nuggets.

The record has stood for 67 years, and it was equaled by the 1993-94 Houston Rockets. We know a little bit about those Rockets, who not only went 15-0 to start, they won seven more in a row after their first loss and were 22-1 at one point. They only wound up winning 58 games, but nonetheless captured the NBA title behind Hakeem Olajuwon with role players like Kenny Smith, Otis Thorpe, Vernon Maxwell, Robert Horry, and even a former Warrior, Mario Elie.

But what of the 1948-49 Washington Capitols, who established this venerable record? What do we know about them? Not much. For starters, it wasn’t even the NBA then — it was the Basketball Association of America, and it wouldn’t become the NBA until a year later when the BAA merged with the National Basketball League.
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Warriors 119, Nuggets 104: Ezeli has created a pleasant problem in the post with Bogut’s return close

Andrew Bogut might be back Saturday night in Sacramento, but more likely Monday night at Oracle against Detroit. When he finally comes back, though, it might not be as the starting center.

Festus Ezeli simply has been too good with the first unit. He scored a career-high 16 points Friday night against Denver, hit all seven of his shots, played splendid defense, ran the floor like a demon and he is flourishing playing with the first unit, specifically with Stephen Curry and Draymond Green lobbing balls to him at the rim. Festus is catching and stuffing everything thrown his way. He’s actually averaging double figures (10.3 ppg) just on dunks and clean-up stuff around the basket, which two years ago would have seemed an impossibility.

Ezeli is clearly the Warriors’ future at center. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the year but there’s no way Joe Lacob and Bob Myers let this kind of young, emerging big man get away. They’ll match any offer, and chances are it won’t even come to that. The Warriors will pay him whatever the market dictates before someone tries to pry him away.
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Stephen Curry “responds” to Ty Lawson’s claim that he dogged it on defense last season

Stephen Curry definitely got wind of comments made by Ty Lawson, the former Denver Nuggets point guard now with the Houston Rockets, about why the NBA MVP was so successful in the playoffs last year.

Lawson told Yahoo Sports earlier this week, “Steph Curry needed someone to go back at him. I thought Steph was just chillin’ on defense – and then going crazy on offense. He looked like he was just putting shots up and not working so much on the defensive end … he wasn’t really working at the other end.”

Curry just shook his head and smiled when asked about it Saturday.

“It’s funny,” he said. “That’s all I’ve got to say. It’s funny.”