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Warriors broadcaster Jim Barnett energized at age 70: ‘I don’t want to retire, OK?’

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – After an hour of preaching fundamentals, telling old stories about playing in the NBA, running through pick-and-roll drills and taking questions, Warriors television analyst Jim Barnett saw that the children wanted more.

As Barnett walked off the court, several Warriors basketball campers approached with even more questions. He bent down, put his hands on their shoulders and listened.

One boy who wanted a picture with Barnett saw his cell phone malfunction multiple times before there was a successful snapshot. Barnett looked him in the eye and praised him for not giving up.

Asked afterward about how he’s able to resonate with generations old and young, the 70-year-old Barnett smiled.

“I think kids can read you, and they can read sincerity, and they can read whether someone really cares about them,” Barnett said. “And I do care.

“I’m pretty transparent as a person. I wear my emotions on my sleeve…I’m a human being, and I think they recognize human beings no matter what age they are and no matter what age I am. I think there’s a way of connecting with them and talking with them and not talking to them and not talking down to them. I wish I could impart so much more information.”

Barnett at the Warriors Basketball Camp at El Camino High relished in his role as a team ambassador – a job he would have performed for Golden State without a major role on the broadcasting side had a “mutual agreement” to step aside from the booth gone forward.

Last season was supposed to be Barnett’s final season as a full-time broadcaster, but it didn’t work out that way. Fans voiced their desire for Barnett to return, and a replacement never materialized. In the end, there was a mutual decision to have him come back to broadcast all the games.

“Right now in my brain, I’m thinking I’m just going to keep doing it as long I can, as long as I’m able to do it and do a good, credible job, and as long as people want me,” Barnett said. “I’m not thinking of retiring right now.

“The way I feel right now, if you said, ‘Can you do it for three or four more years,’ I’d say ‘absolutely…’ I don’t want to retire, OK? I can’t think about retiring and sitting in the house in Orinda. And what the hell am I going to do? I can’t play tennis anymore. I’m not very good at golf.”

Entering his 30th season calling Warriors games, Barnett turned 70 earlier this month. He recently walked up the spiral staircase of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris without a problem with his knees and believes that it’s the game and interacting with younger generations passionate about the game that keeps him feeling young.

Barnett said he had “mixed” emotions about last season but that he was energized for what’s to come.

“What’s happened is that whole affair has made me rethink everything and not take anything for granted, so it’s kind of made me younger in a way because I’m going to work harder,” Barnett said. “I worked harder last year.

“I’m going to bring everything that I have, and I still have a lot of energy…I have enthusiasm and passion, and that never dies.”

1

Warriors’ Steve Kerr watches, learns from Pete Carroll, loses to Seahawk in shooting contest

The Warriors’ Steve Kerr went out of his way to pick the brain of Bill Parcells in preparation for a future in coaching, and in his quest for knowledge, he turned to another Super Bowl-winning coach in Pete Carroll on Wednesday.

According to Seahawks.com, Kerr attended Seattle’s training camp in Renton, Wash. in order to “soak in Carroll’s coaching philosophy” before his first season as Warriors coach.

“As a young coach I just like to see people at work,” Kerr told Seahawks.com. “And Pete obviously is one of the best. He’s one of the most intriguing people that I’ve met and that I’ve sort of watched over the years as a football fan.

“I’m thankful that he gave me the opportunity to come visit with him.”

Kerr, who might raise eyebrows in the Bay Area by visiting with Jim Harbaugh’s archrival, is well aware of the history between the 49ers coach and Carroll judging from his tweet on the night of the Seahawks’ 43-8 Super Bowl win.

“As Pete Carroll keeps throwing the ball in an attempt to get to 50 pts, somewhere Jim Harbaugh is watching saying ‘what’s your deal?.’” Kerr joked in the tweet.

Carroll, who goes by the motto, “Always Compete,” gave Kerr a close look at his style of coaching. At the start of a team meeting, Carroll broke the ice by pitting wide receiver Bryan Walters in a free throw shooting contest against Kerr, the NBA’s all-time leader in career 3-point shooting percentage.

In the contest to see who could make more shots on a recreational hoop in 30 seconds, Kerr lost 6-4.

“I was more nervous for that moment than I was when I played in the NBA.” Kerr told the website. “It was so cool to be amongst the Seahawks with coach Carroll calling me up. It was almost surreal.”

6

Warriors’ Klay Thompson not just a shooter as he continues to expand game on offense

Warriors guard Klay Thompson is at USA Basketball training camp not only vying for a spot on the FIBA World Cup team, but also working to improve his offensive game even more.

“I feel I’m a great spot up shooter so I’m trying to do everything off the bounce as much as I can,” Thompson told LetsGoWarriors. “Just making me more dangerous, just getting in a rhythm, just trying to tighten up my handle.”

Thompson is an accomplished shooter from long distance and last season began to become a more dynamic scorer. He shot a career-high 44.4 percent from the field while also increasing the number of 2-point field goal attempts and trips to the free throw line.

Thompson’s ceiling is one reason why the Warriors have been hesitant to trade him to Minnesota for Kevin Love. Former coach Mark Jackson told The Dan Patrick Show last week he wouldn’t do that deal, either.

No longer does Thompson rely on his 3-point shot, as at 6-foot-7 he can post up and continue to become more effective off the dribble in order to make plays and get to the line.

“I think the one thing he needs to do, he needs to be able to get the ball to the basket more,” Warriors executive board member Jerry West told KNBR earlier this month. “He just can’t settle for jump shots.

“You just can’t make shots outside all the time. You’ve got to be able to make a lot of shots from a lot of different areas, and I think he has the ability to do that and showed it last year at times particularly in the second half of the season.”

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry looks to improve on defense as new assistant Ron Adams sees the potential

LAS VEGAS – The Warriors’ Stephen Curry is the latest star player that defensive guru Ron Adams will get to help, and the new assistant coach likes what he sees in the guard’s length and quickness.

“I think he has all the prerequisites to be a good defensive player, and he shows that at times,” Adams said.

“A lot of the good offensive players are inconsistent in their defense. Kevin Durant when I was with Kevin (as an assistant in Oklahoma City) was like that. Kevin was a really good defensive player when he puts his mind to it, but other times he doesn’t apply what he can do always. I like what Curry brings.”

Defense also happens to be an area where Curry talked Tuesday about strengthening this offseason in order to make it second nature. He’ll get a head start later this month in working on it for Team USA in coach Mike Krzyzewski’s defense even as most of the outside attention is focused on his offensive game.

“With the amount of talent we have on the (national) team, being able to…stand out, you’ve got to be able to put that pressure on the offense and use that athleticism that we have,” Curry told Sirius XM. “That’s one of our strengths, so that’s something that I know Coach K loves to do, and I’ve got to be ready for it.”

With the Warriors, Curry will have a respected coach in Adams who actually coached his father during Dell’s one season in Milwaukee.

“Curry is a brilliant player and at times has been brilliant defensively, and I think the trick there is to simply get him brilliant more of the time,” Adams told KNBR.

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Video: Warriors’ Steve Kerr shot back at official, but doesn’t score first coaching technical foul

LAS VEGAS – Warriors coach Steve Kerr got up off the bench, took five steps out to the 3-point line and had sharp words for an official while pointing right at him.

Warriors summer league player Michael Watt had been whistled for a moving screen and squatted down in disbelief at the foul. It ended up being Watt and not the usually mild-mannered Kerr who actually picked up the technical foul during the Warriors’ 89-88 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“It wasn’t mine?” Kerr said after the game, smiling. “I thought I got it. I was kind of pleased with myself. Damn, I guess I’ll have to get one next game.”

Kerr even in the moment joked about picking up what he believed to be a technical while coaching in his third professional game, pointing and smiling at someone he knew across the court after sitting and calming down.

Those close to him realize the first time will be a milestone.

“Congrats to my dad on his first technical foul as a coach!” his son, University of San Diego guard Nick Kerr, tweeted. “First of many…”

Tweeted former broadcast partner David Aldridge, “My friend Steve Kerr just went all Travis Bickle on the refs. #T’dup.”

Alas, the first technical will have to wait. But maybe the big explosion will come sooner than later.

“He might take some on purpose the way guys do from time to time,” former broadcast partner Marv Albert, who called the game, said last week. “I don’t see him getting carried away.”

While talking about his expected laidback sideline personality, Kerr said last week, “I’ll probably pick up a T in my first game, you know?”

27

Warriors’ Bob Myers looking at trades, but wants Steve Kerr’s staff to coach ‘pretty good’ current roster

Warriors general manager Bob Myers has joined coach Steve Kerr has in saying that he likes the team’s current roster.

Those sentiments don’t rule out a Warriors trade for Minnesota star Kevin Love being made this offseason, but they are letting it be known that they are fine standing pat.

“We want to give this coaching staff a chance to coach a roster that we think is pretty good,” Myers told Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald on KNBR on Monday. “It doesn’t mean we think we’re championship-ready. We’re always looking to do things. But we do think the roster is good and young, and we’d like to see what it can do with the new staff.”

The Warriors in the offseason have brought in a new coaching staff under Kerr, signed backup guard Shaun Livingston and feel that a healthy Festus Ezeli will add another valuable rotation player they didn’t’ have last season.

Somewhat similarly, Minnesota president and coach Flip Saunders has indicated that he does not have to trade Love by the start of the season and could be content trying to contend for the playoffs with his big man.

If a deal is to be made, young players such as Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes could become Timberwolves. But the Warriors continue to say they’d like to keep the current group together.

“What I think people often do and maybe sometimes make the mistake doing is pull the trigger quickly on your roster without giving it time to develop,” Myers said. “And we think we’ve got a lot of youth, and we do think we’ve got a higher ceiling than 51 (wins last season).”

“We like our roster. Obviously if you’re not good enough, you’ve got to make changes, but we think we’re good.”

21

Warriors interested in bringing free agent Brandon Rush back to Golden State

LAS VEGAS — The Warriors are among the teams scheduled to attend a workout for free agent guard Brandon Rush, who tore an ACL while with the team in 2012 before playing in 38 games for Utah last season.

The Warriors at this time can afford minimum contracts due to salary cap constraints, but could look to bring Rush back to the team after he averaged 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in 67 games with Golden State before getting injured.

“Rush was great,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers told KNBR on Monday. “Everybody that’s been a fan saw how good he was for us, so if he’s healthy, and he can play, which we hear he can — we’ll go watch him and see — it’s a good addition if we could get him.

“You don’t know what the price would be, but we like Brandon.”

Myers, who said he would like to sign two more players, is also interested in bringing back center Jermaine O’Neal.

“We like those two guys because we know ‘em a little bit,” Myers said. “We’ve had them in the organization. It’s nice to bring back players that you know and have been around.

“Both those guys are great guys.”