Warriors’ Draymond Green hosts a Los Angeles Clipper at his house as bond with ‘brother’ Branden Dawson stays strong

Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green (23) flexes his muscles against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) flexes his muscles against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND – Warriors forward Draymond Green had a Los Angeles Clippers player over at his house on the eve of Wednesday’s game between the rival teams.

For Clippers second-round draft pick Branden Dawson, Green offered advice as he always has to his former Michigan State teammate who is welcome any time.

“I had a brother in my house,” said Green, who has long been a thorn in the side to the Clippers. “I don’t care if he plays 40 minutes a game, he’s going to always be welcome at my house regardless of what team he plays for.”

Green was a senior and an All-American when Dawson was a freshman and former McDonald’s All-American finding his way at Michigan State. Now Green has an NBA championship ring while Dawson has been inactive to start the season with the Clippers.

Green doesn’t claim to know what it is to be inactive, but he often speaks to Dawson and has offered words of wisdom.

“I do know how it feels not to play, and you’ve just got to continue to work,” Green said. “One thing I’ve told him was just continue to work in the gym, on game days. Get there early, and get you a workout in. You’re only going to come in and do your 15-minute pregame? Ahhh. That ain’t going to keep your ready for what you need to be ready for when your number’s called. Because one thing about this league, I don’t I’ve ever seen anyone in this league not make it because they never got a chance. Everybody gets a chance. It’s about if you’re ready when that chance comes around.

“So just making sure he stays ready. And be a sponge. On that team, he’s got a lot of vets and a coach (Doc Rivers) who’s been around the ringer. He’s played. He’s been around the league forever. Just be a sponge. Listen to those guys, and do your rookie duties.”


Warriors 119, Grizzlies 69: No message to the rest of the league needed when it’s about ‘Just Us’

OAKLAND – The big, bad Warriors have embarrassed one Western Conference contender in a 50-point win while Stephen Curry hung 53 points on another in the previous game.

With gaudy, record-setting performances nightly, the Warriors are reminding the rest of the world that in case you missed it, the defending champs will be a major threat to win another title.

But ask the Warriors if there is a message to send to the rest of the league, and they deny it.

“At this point, how many statements can we make?” Draymond Green said.

The Warriors already have one banner to point to and the reigning MVP, too. As coach Steve Kerr kept saying before the season, they no longer have to carry the burden of not having won it all.

So, it’s just about themselves right now.

“Our mantra is ‘Just Us,’ so we continue to focus on just us, just ourselves,” Ezeli said. “We’ve got to keep improving.”

The “Just Us” mentality came out of the Mark Jackson era, and the Warriors have kept it around as a way of reminding themselves to tune out the noise.

On the issue of being lucky winning the championship, the Warriors had their say and have since all but returning fire toward the doubters.

Heading into the Clippers game can be seen in some ways as a fun diversion for the Warriors, who otherwise have their eyes on continuously getting better in advance of their next playoff run.

“It’s about us,” Curry said. “It’s not really about sending a message.

“We know we’re capable of being a better team than last year.”


Klay Thompson: Warriors could reach 70 wins, possibly threaten to match Chicago Bulls’ record of 72


Warriors guard Klay Thompson believes his team will have a chance to improve its record from last season and possibly make a run toward the Chicago Bulls’ cherished record of 72 regular season wins.

The 1995-96 Bulls team remains the only NBA team to ever reach the 70-win mark in the regular season. Thompson revealed he thinks the Warriors could become the second team to do so after being asked Sunday about actually breaking the Bulls’ record.

“That’s going to be a tough one,” Thompson said on a Google Hangouts Q&A with ShotTracker, a wearable tech company he partnered with. “We’ll try. There are so many good teams. We’ll try. We did get 67 wins last year, which was an amazing feat. We might be able to get 70. It’s going to depend a lot on health, obviously, and a lot of lucky bounces that go our way.

“Seventy-two wins, that’s a lot of wins, man. I don’t know if that will be done again, but hey man, we might be the team to do it just because we reached 67 last year. And if we stay focused and we take every game serious, we should have a chance to reach 70. It won’t be easy. It will be extremely difficult, but you know what? Why not?”

The Warriors are currently off to a 3-0 start after their 67-15 record last season tied for the sixth-most regular season wins in league history.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr played on the Bulls’ 72-win team with Michael Jordan. Last season during Golden State’s hot start, Kerr laughed off questions about the Warriors keeping up that pace.

“What I remember from that year is there were about 10 games where Michael just decided, ‘We’re going to win,'” Kerr said. “And every other team on Earth would have lost those 10 games.

“He wanted to break that Lakers record of 69 wins, and so he decided we would do it, and so we did it, and there’s only one Michael.”


Warriors 134, Pelicans 120: Luke Walton, Alvin Gentry experience different emotions watching Stephen Curry

NEW ORLEANS – Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry threw up his hands numerous times after Stephen Curry made plays during a 53-point Saturday night.

Gentry last season turned the Warriors into the NBA’s highest-scoring offense. On this night, he was dumbfounded as to why his Pelicans players weren’t able to mount a challenge.

“In the third quarter, he just didn’t feel us,” Gentry said of when Curry scored 28 points. “If you allow him to play that loose, then the result’s going to be that.

“We’ve got to get into him a lot more. Yes, he made some tough shots, but we let him off the look also by letting him get over the top of screens. We weren’t supposed to do that.”

Gentry is comfortable enough with his old championship squad that he made a brief visit to the Warriors’ locker room after the game. He expressed disappointment in his postgame comments after the loss left the Pelicans 0-3 on the season.

Gentry knew all too well how not to go up against the Warriors’ offense he helped build.

“We’re trying to match basket for basket, and that won’t work out against that team right there,” Gentry said. “If you want to match basket for basket, you’re going to lose every time.”

On the other bench, there was joy watching Curry from Gentry’s former co-workers.

“I don’t think from the head coaching seat you get to enjoy it as much the other people in the arena, but I’ll watch it on the flight home tonight,” Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton said. “That was remarkable what he did out there.

“He hits incredible shots, and the first couple times I was on staff here, I’d go nuts on the bench there. nd now, you’re kind of like, ‘OK, that was awesome, but that’s what he does.’”


Warriors 112, Rockets 92: Stephen Curry explains his four crossover dribble: ‘You’re trying to be creative’


Warriors guard Stephen Curry was asked about his dribbling display against the Houston Rockets on Friday and needed a moment to recall which play it was.

If you watched the game, you’d remember it. For Curry, it’s another day at the office weaving past three defenders and flicking a no-look pass with his left hand.

“I think I went for a hesitation,” Curry said. “I was thinking about shooting, and I threw it ahead of me kind of splitting the defense, and at that point it’s just trying to get him (the third man) off-balance a little bit. The same thing like the Clippers game last year, I got a rhythm. I just couldn’t stop until I finally got a window to get the ball to Festus (Ezeli). I was trying to have it on a string and be able to make that play.

“I’ve done four crossovers before, but never in like that little, tight space and situation and try to throw a left-handed pass. All that, you’re trying to be creative.”



Festus Ezeli’s agent on potential contract extension: ‘There’s no pressure on either side to do anything’

Festus Ezeli’s agent said Friday that any contract extension offer from the Warriors would be looked at, and he declined comment on whether or not the player has received one as of yet.

There has been stated mutual interest in the 6-foot-11 Ezeli staying long term with the team he won an NBA championship with, but also uncertainty from both sides as to whether or not a deal would get done by the Nov. 2 deadline.

“Festus is happy where he is,” said Ugo Udezue, one of Ezeli’s agents. “He’s happy playing basketball. There’s no pressure on either side to do anything. We don’t have any worries in regards to that.”

Ezeli can either get a deal done by Monday, as the Warriors have been known to lock up their players closer to deadlines. Or, he can become a restricted free agent next summer when the salary cap will skyrocket.

Udezue said it wasn’t an issue in contract talks that the 26-year-old big man hasn’t yet played a completely healthy season.

“Everybody knows what Festus can bring to the table as a basketball player when he’s healthy,” said Udezue, adding that Ezeli was in the best shape this season.

Ezeli will make his first start of the season in place of an injured Andrew Bogut against the Houston Rockets.


Warriors’ Andrew Bogut explains why he had championship ring placed on middle finger

Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson (11) celebrates with the NBA championship trophy with teammates and owners Peter Gruber and Joe Lacob after the Golden State Warriors 105-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the NBA Championship at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Klay Thompson (11) celebrates with the NBA championship trophy with teammates and owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob after the Golden State Warriors 105-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the NBA Championship at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Warriors center Andrew Bogut explained Wednesday why he had his championship ring placed on his right middle finger by CEO Joe Lacob during pre-game festivities the previous night.

“Oh, I just follow the Australian way, mate,” Bogut told 1116 SEN in Melbourne. “That’s the finger that Australians wear the ring on. It’s pretty easy to trick people over here with that. They kind of believed it.”

Bogut had mentioned the ring on the middle finger last month when Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald asked on KNBR about the mindset of the team given the criticism it took from other NBA teams after the championship.

“I’ve actually got my ring fitted for my middle finger so they can kiss that one,” Bogut said.

Former teammate David Lee smiled and told reporters about Bogut having his ring fitted for the middle finger, “Oh, will you stop, Bogut? I love Andrew for that reason. I think I actually saw him put in on his middle finger. That’s a guy that actually would do that, and I’m not surprised at that whatsoever. He’s a great guy.”

Lee clarified he would have his ring on his ring finger.