Will Warriors’ Andre Iguodala start? Steve Kerr likes what he sees off the bench as Andrew Bogut makes a prediction

OAKLAND – Coach Steve Kerr continues to like what he sees with Andre Iguodala coming off the bench as the team’s sixth man.

Kerr said after Tuesday’s preseason win against the Los Angeles that Iguodala was the Warriors’ best player on the floor for the game.

“He’s so smart and figures everything out,” Kerr said.

“He made his shots. He defended. He was fantastic.”

Kerr has said he could take the decision on whether Iguodala or Harrison Barnes starts on opening night down to the wire. For now, the pairing of Iguodala with guard Leandro Barbosa in running the second unit has been effective in Kerr’s mind.

“It seems to be a good fit because LB’s a scorer, he’s a runner,” Kerr said. “Andre is a facilitator and kind of a point-forward and yet at the other end, Andre can guard the bigger wings and LB is more used to guarding point guards, so I like the combination quite a bit.”

Starting Barnes could help get the young player going after he looked dramatically better playing as a starter in his rookie season.

“Obviously Andre can play any time in the ball game,” executive board member Jerry West told KNBR. “He’s a great team player, and he wants to do what’s best for the team, and I think sometimes Harrison does play better with the starters.

“Harrison needs to slow down a little bit. Sometimes he goes a little bit too fast, and maybe this will help him.”

Center Andrew Bogut wrote in his NBA Australia blog before Tuesday’s game about his prediction that Iguodala will ultimately retain the starting role the veteran has had for his entire career.

“He’s played really well in that role because he’s so versatile but you’ll see him return to his starting spot,” Bogut wrote.

“I think heading into the season our starting line up will remain the same but regardless of that, Iggy is a pro and he’ll play whatever role the team needs him to play but I can’t see things changing too much.”


Mark Jackson talks up Klay Thompson, recalls how coaching and religion intersected with Warriors

Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson at a time when the team is negotiating a contract extension for Klay Thompson said he expects the guard will ultimately receive a maximum-salary contract.

“He’s a guy that will make a boatload of money and in my opinion the best two-way shooting guard in the world, and it’s not even close,” the ESPN analyst said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters.

“He’s got to get (the max contract).”

Jackson was fired in May after leading the Warriors to back-to-back playoff appearances and overseeing the rise of Thompson and backcourt mate Stephen Curry.

Jackson said the Warriors’ backcourt is among a number of teams that can claim to be the best, adding about Curry and Thompson, “I would be biased to say that they are.”

Jackson didn’t address a question about where the Warriors fit in with the rest of the NBA’s contenders, but reminisced about his former team on Tuesday in an interview with Los Angeles-based Christian talk radio station KKLA.

Asked if at Golden State he was given the freedom to help shape the lives of his players, Jackson said, “I will give them credit for that. They knew who they were hiring, and I had a platform, and it was incredible to see.”

Jackson, a pastor at his church in Reseda, recalled that during weekend road trips in Los Angeles, he would invite players to either come to church or go to the gym and then have a “busload of guys” show up to church.

Jackson said he was “crazy enough” to believe that Curry saw his ankle problems healed because God blessed the point guard who was “bold enough” to come to the altar at his church.

“I was able to witness, share, testify and when necessary use words,” Jackson said. “It’s not like I was hitting them over the head with the Bible.”


Warriors say there’s no excuse for underachieving at Oracle Arena

The Warriors open their home schedule tonight at Oracle Arena after a season when the team suffered numerous losses to lesser competition.

Coach Steve Kerr hopes to turn around that trend after the Warriors’ 27-14 home record last season under Mark Jackson befuddled co-owner Joe Lacob, who said the team not showing up at times to play at home was “a little disturbing.”

“I talked to the guys today before shootaround about dominating our home floor,” Kerr said. “There’s no excuse for us not to. I mean, we’ve got a lot of talent. We have the best crowd in the league. It’s electric in there. We should be able to feed off of the energy from the fans and our own play. And in the West, if you’re going to survive, you better take care of your home court because the road’s going to be tough.”

The point of emphasis for Kerr was heard loud and clear by center Andrew Bogut.

“I think it’s obvious that last season it was five or six games where just absolutely laid eggs and lost…at home,” Bogut said. “For whatever excuse it may be – whether we came off a long road trip or whatever – that’s something we’ve got to be better at.”


Warriors sign rookie guard Sean Kilpatrick

The Warriors signed rookie free agent guard Sean Kilpatrick on Monday, rounding out their training camp roster at 20.

Kilpatrick, 24, was not drafted after being named to the Associated Press’ All-America first team while playing as a senior for the University of Cincinnati last season.

The 6-foot-4 Kilpatrick averaged 20.6 points per game to lead the American Athletic Conference.

“Excited to be apart of this organization and start my career on the correct foot!” Kilpatrick wrote on Instagram.


Warriors’ Andre Iguodala explains why he’s helping Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green get paid

OAKLAND – Andre Iguodala said it last season. He said it during the offseason. And he’s said it this preseason that he wants to help his friend and Warriors teammate, Klay Thompson, get paid at a time when he’s due for a contract extension.

“Hopefully he’ll continue to realize I should get like 0.1 percent (of his next contract) or something like that,” Iguodala joked earlier this week.

Iguodala says all this with a smile. He got his big contract in 2008 and another with the Warriors last offseason. Now it’s time for him to help others along, explaining that it’s part of a credo he learned from older teammates who helped him while coming up in the NBA.

“I would do that for any teammate,” the 30-year-old Iguodala told Sirius XM earlier this week. “And I would want it – a teammate like that, a guy to say, ‘Hey, this guy has our back and he wants me to get paid. He’s going to help me in any way possible.’

“It’s not just Klay, but I want Steph (Curry) to maximize his career. I want him to get paid as much as possible on and off the court. Draymond Green’s in a contract year, too, so I’m going to be looking to give him a couple extra. He’s going to fill up the basket a little bit more with me on the court with him as well.

“It’s just about taking care of your teammates, and I learned that early on playing with (Philadelphia 76ers teammates) like Kevin Ollie, playing with guys like Aaron McKie. And then Andre Miller, he was perfect for me. He was a big reason why I got the (six-year, $80 million) deal that I got and why I played at the level I played with when I was in Philly.”

Iguodala got paid with a large contract at age 24. He’s now a National Basketball Players Association vice president who thinks about the best interests of players around the league.

Last season, Iguodala deferred to Curry and Thompson, explaining that he was looking to fit in during his first year on the team. This season, he’s saying he wants to be more assertive. But if he can establish a stronger bond with his younger teammates by being unselfish on the court, Iguodala is going to do so.


Warriors’ Andrew Bogut is not much of a baseball fan

Warriors center Andrew Bogut wasn’t among the players who attended Game 3 of the National League Championship Series in a suite at AT&T Park on Tuesday.

That’s because being from Australia, he didn’t have much of an understanding of the sport.

“I didn’t grow up with it,” Bogut said. “I just understand the rules from asking guys the last couple of years. I’m not into games. We have to sit there for six or seven hours. I just can’t do it.”

Jokingly asked if he saw the five-run home run that was hit (Giants left fielder Travis Ishikawa actually hit a three-run triple), Bogut said, “No. I know they won though, right?”

The Giants did win 5-4 to take a 2-1 lead in the seven-game series. It’s unlikely Bogut will be following the rest of the postseason for America’s pastime.

“I like action sports, so tennis, soccer, basketball, where there’s constant movement,” Bogut said. “No offense to people who do (like baseball). I know it’s a great drinking game to watch. Good to have a couple of beers from what I’ve heard. You’ve got to do something. So I’ll have to give that a try one day.”


Warriors’ Stephen Curry a dark horse MVP candidate

Warriors guard Stephen Curry is being mentioned as a candidate in the preseason to eventually walk away with the NBA’s Most Valuable Player honor this season.

The Las Vegas betting site Bovada lists Curry as having 28-1 odds to become the MVP. That’s tied with Houston’s James Harden as having the ninth-best chance out of all NBA players.

LeBron James and an injured Kevin Durant remain the favorites in Las Vegas, but Curry could sneak in there as a dark horse candidate, according to writers at NBA.com when asked who could do it with Durant out.

“So I’ll go with Stephen Curry, with the idea that the Warriors will improve offensively (into the top seven in efficiency) and win 50-plus games again, with Curry averaging something in the range of 25 points and 10 assists,” John Schuhmann wrote.

Wrote Jeff Caplan: “I’ve been a believer since the day Steve Kerr was hired that Golden State is going to have a fun and loose squad that will play the same way. They’ll maintain the defensive principles, but Kerr will usher in a much more appealing, go-go offense that is going to play right into Curry’s hands. He’s set to go bonkers, folks, and the Warriors (health be with them) will follow.”

There is also preseason respect for Kerr, who Bovada listed as the odds for him winning NBA coach of the year honors at 10-1. That’s tied for fourth with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Doc Rivers.