Brian Scalabrine says Warriors’ coaching staff will be ‘better,’ players ‘better organized’ under Steve Kerr

Former Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine thinks Golden State will have a better coaching staff this season compared to the one he was a part of under former boss Mark Jackson.

Asked on Sirius XM how the Warriors might have improved in the offseason, Scalabrine pointed to new coach Steve Kerr’s staff.

“Probably you’ll have to say that they probably got a better coaching staff,” Scalabrine, who was reassigned in March to the Santa Cruz Warriors’ staff, told the station Wednesday. “And I was a part of that staff (last season). But at the end of the day, if you think about adding Steve Kerr and the three guys…Ron Adams, who was in Chicago when we were there, he’s a great coach. Alvin Gentry, who’s one of the best offensive coaches in the NBA.

“Steve Kerr has put together a great staff and if they could just be better organized…If you think, the Warriors were last in the NBA in turnovers. They turned the ball over more than anybody else in the NBA, but they were third in the NBA in defense. A lot of that had to do with the defensive coach, Darren Erman, being there. I mean just completely taken to defense, studying the film and getting guys in the right position. But if they can just piggyback off of that, not be 30th in the NBA in turnovers (they finished 27th in regular-season turnovers per game), be 10th, you know, take care of the ball, with those offensive weapons in Steph Curry, Klay Thompson…”

Scalabrine cited philosophical differences with Jackson for his reassignment and said despite it all that Warriors ownership offered an opportunity to interview for a position after Kerr’s hiring, he told a Boston radio station Tuesday.

Ultimately, Scalabrine chose to go back to the broadcast booth and call Boston Celtics games for Comcast SportsNet New England.

Still, he has high hopes for his former team after keeping up with Kerr and his staff’s progress at NBA Summer League.

“If the Warriors could somehow take care of the basketball…get five to seven more attempts up as opposed to turning the ball over, which allows the easy bucket on the other end, if they can take care of the basketball, which I think they will because they’ll be better organized, then I think that they’re a team that can beat the San Antonio Spurs.”


Warriors invite Aaron Craft to training camp, to sign ex-Ohio State point guard to partially-guaranteed contract

Undrafted point guard Aaron Craft reached agreement on a one-year, partially-guaranteed contract with the Warriors on Wednesday after playing for their NBA Summer League team, according to agent Lance Young.

Craft, 23, accepted the Warriors’ invitation to training camp after the Warriors learned reserve point guard Nemanja Nedovic suffered a foot injury while training for the Serbian national team in preparation for the FIBA World Cup. Nedovic is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on Thursday, according to the Warriors.

Craft averaged 7.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.4 assists in five summer league games for the Warriors last month, earning high praise from coach Steve Kerr, a longtime admirer. Playing for the Warriors in Las Vegas after coming from Philadelphia’s summer league team in Orlando, Craft more than doubled his minutes.

“Excited & grateful for the opportunity to take part in the @warriors training camp!” Craft tweeted. “The work has only just begun… #Blessed #Hungry.”

A two-time Big Ten defensive player of the year for Ohio State, Craft helped lead the Buckeyes to the Final Four as a sophomore in his first year as a starter.


Ex-Warriors center Hilton Armstrong signs one-year contract with Turkish team

Center Hilton Armstrong, the journeyman who emerged as a contributor last season on the Warriors’ playoff team, signed a one-year contract with Besiktas Integral Forex, the Turkish team announced Wednesday.

The Warriors last week waived the 6-foot-11 Armstrong, who appeared in 15 regular-season games and all seven postseason games.

A six-year NBA veteran, Armstrong averaged 12 points and 7.4 rebounds in 32 games last season for the Santa Cruz Warriors to earn multiple call-ups to Golden State before being signed for the remainder of the season.


Brian Scalabrine: Warriors ownership offered chance to interview for job after Steve Kerr’s hiring

The Warriors let go Mark Jackson and his entire coaching staff after the season, but the team showed interest in retaining Brian Scalabrine for a position on new coach Steve Kerr’s staff, Scalabrine told a Boston radio station Tuesday.

Scalabrine, whose differences with Jackson led to his reassignment to the Santa Cruz Warriors in March, told 98.5 The Sports Hub there was no shortage of coaching jobs available to him as he returned to Comcast SportsNet New England to broadcast Boston Celtics games in order to spend more time with his wife and three children.

“At the end of the day, when they hired Coach Kerr, the ownership offered me a chance to interview, and at that point, I realized they really wanted me to stay within the organization and be a coach at whatever position, whether it was a bench coach or player development,” Scalabrine said in his first statements to the media since his reassignment. “And I just felt like at the time, it probably wasn’t the best move.”

While Scalabrine thanked Jackson for the opportunity and said he enjoyed his time with the Warriors, the 36-year-old former NBA player referred to his one season of being an assistant as his “fiasco with coaching” and indicated that he knew three months into the job that it wasn’t the right one for him.

“Mark gave me a great opportunity to be on the bench, and then when I got there, I think to win in this league you have to drive and push, and I feel like the players will respond to that,” Scalabrine said. “And I think that was the biggest thing about this disappointment in our staff as a staff, right? We could have done more, and we didn’t, and I think he kind of sensed that.

“At the end of the day, to say it was a difference of philosophy, a difference of opinion, I mean, that’s really what it was. And I’m so used to seeing like a Doc Rivers and a Tom Thibodeau (his former coaches), and it kind of threw me for like kind of a loop and a surprise that it was not as hard-pressing as I thought it was going to be.”

Jackson had cited philosophical differences when he removed Scalabrine from the bench midseason and after his firing said the former NBA championship-winning player showed him “disrespect.” Scalabrine said he decided on taking a “less stressful” job in broadcasting Celtics road games that offers a better quality of life after going to Santa Cruz as an NBA Development League player development coach.

“You’re back to like the basics, right, where man, it’d be so great to make it to NBA again, and it brought some perspective to my life,” Scalabrine said of his time in Santa Cruz. “I really enjoyed being around them, coaching them. I didn’t enjoy the travel. It literally was the worst compared to what I’m used to, but I think it was a good thing for me to go through. It really helped solidify my decision.”


Warriors informed Nemanja Nedovic suffered stress fracture in right foot while training with Serbia

The Warriors were informed guard Nemanja Nedovic suffered a stress fracture in his right foot while training with the Serbian national team for the FIBA World Cup, a Warriors spokesman said Tuesday.

The Warriors are waiting to review X rays to confirm the fracture after Nedovic reportedly suffered the injury while scoring five points in eight minutes in Sunday’s 82-69 exhibition win against Bosnia in Italy.

A team doctor told Mondo.rs that Nedovic would return to Belgrade for an MRI exam on what’s believed to be a fracture of the fifth metatarsal, adding that he would need to have it immobilized for three to four weeks if the fracture is confirmed.

Nedovic could be the second Warriors player on the Serbian team to miss the World Cup, as center Ognjen Kuzmic has already been ruled out due to a stress reaction in his left leg.


Warriors’ Marreese Speights arrested for allegedly driving under the influence in Tampa

Warriors center Marreese Speights was arrested on a second-degree misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence early Tuesday in Tampa on the morning after his 27th birthday, according to the Tampa Police Department.

Speights was arrested at 3:31 a.m. ET and later submitted to two tests showing breath alcohol content levels of .103 and .106 percent, according to the incident log. Florida’s unlawful breath alcohol level is .08 or above.

Speights became involved in a traffic stop due to a failure to yield right of way while pulling out of a driveway in a black 2012 Bentley, according to the incident log. An officer detected indicators of impairment, and after Speights agreed to roadside field sobriety exercises, the player was arrested and transported to a breath testing facility.

The 6-foot-10 Speights, who according to the incident report was cooperative, was booked and later released from Hillsborough County Orient Road Jail on $500 bond, according to Tampa police.

“We are aware of Marreese Speights’ arrest this morning on DUI charges in Florida and are in the process of obtaining additional information,” a statement issued by the Warriors read, citing an ongoing legal matter in declining further comment.

Neither Speights nor his representatives returned messages seeking comment.

Speights, who won a national championship playing for the University of Florida, averaged 6.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in his first year of a three-year, $11 million contract with the Warriors last season.


Ex-Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine returns to broadcast booth, parodies LeBron James

Former Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine announced Monday he will return to his old job and serve as a television analyst for Comcast SportsNet New England, covering the Boston Celtics.

In doing so, Scalabrine parodied LeBron James with his own version of the “I’m Coming Home” essay and joked about being demoted to the Santa Cruz Warriors last season.

“So I took my talents to Golden State searching for their championship and I really believed we could do something magical if we came together,” wrote Scalabrine, who had won popularity and an NBA championship playing for Boston. “But then I was sent down to the D-League where we flew to Hidalgo, TX on commercial flights with no first class sitting next to a 7’2” center named Ognjen Kuzmic. There was nothing magical happening down there, no matter how much we came together. And that’s when I knew it was time to come home.

“I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted…and gather some great press based on another recent NBA signing…in almost the exact same way. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Mark Jackson didn’t get along.”

Jackson has said Scalabrine showed “disrespect” during his first season as an NBA assistant coach, leading to a reassignment to Santa Cruz in March. The demotion led to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski to report that Golden State had “an increasingly dysfunctional atmosphere,” a characterization that hung over the team as it made the playoffs.

After the Warriors were eliminated, Jackson was fired. Scalabrine, who finished the year with Santa Cruz as a player development coach, was also let go. Now, both of them will be in the broadcast booth next season.