OAKLAND — The Warriors won’t look to re-sign center Jermaine O’Neal to fill their open roster spot, according to general manager Bob Myers, who two days earlier had left the door open to such a move.
O’Neal, 35, averaged 7.9 points and 5.5 rebounds in 44 games for Golden State last season and became a vocal leader. After 18 NBA seasons, O’Neal is considering retirement.
“He’s not going to come to (training) camp,” Myers, who is O’Neal’s former agent, said Thursday. “We’re going to go with our guys, our three centers we have — (Andrew) Bogut, (Festus) Ezeli, (Ognjen) Kuzmic.
“I think he’s still processing what he wants to do, still in the process of figuring it out. But for our purposes, he’s not going to be with us…He probably won’t be with us next year. The reason is nothing detrimental in regards to him, but we just have three guys that we have at the position, so he’d (have been) the fourth center, so that’s more why. Nothing negative. He was fantastic for us last year.”
Warriors center Andrew Bogut is expected to get more involved in the offense under Steve Kerr and agrees with his new coach that ball movement is the key to helping the team improve.
“He doesn’t want to go to one or two guys, he wants to move the ball around and make sure the offense is free-flowing and I’m a firm believer as he is that ball movement can cure a lot of things offensively for you,” Bogut told NBA Australia. “Our star players like Steph Curry will still get their points because they’re so talented and they can score 10-15 points in quick three- or four-minute bursts. On top of that, if we can get some ball movement with the talented players we have on this team we’re going to be pretty dangerous.”
Bogut, who averaged 7.3 points and a career-low 1.7 assists last season injury, said his fractured rib that caused him to miss the playoffs healed in the summer, adding, “I woke up one morning in late June and it felt great.”
General manager Bob Myers said Tuesday that Bogut has a clean bill of health and has been playing pickup for the past few weeks. That will allow Kerr to utilize Bogut more on offense.
“I think Bogut is a very underrated passer,” associate head coach Alvin Gentry told KNBR last month. “He’s very good in that elbow-post area, and so is David Lee. David Lee is a very good passer in that elbow and that high-post area, so we’re going to try to utilize some of that. That in turn I think will…allow Steph to come up with some easy baskets where he’s not working so hard to create shots for himself.”
Warriors forward Harrison Barnes spoke of last season being “a bad season,” and among the ways he’s looking to improve is by committing himself to rebounding.
“I’ve got to mix it up this year,” Barnes told The Champs Podcast. “I’ve to get in there, get in the fray a little bit. First two years, I never rebounded well.
“I’ve got to help the team.”
Barnes, who has averaged 4.1 rebounds per game in two NBA seasons, said he worked to change his body, shedding off excess weight and dropping his body fat percentage.
“I tried to make myself a little more elusive this summer so I could kind of dip and dive,” Barnes said.
“You have to make your body’s in good shape, but a lot of it’s mental. It’s just saying like, ‘Look, when that board gets off the glass, I’m going to go get it by any means necessary.’”
SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors center Marreese Speights said Friday he wants to concentrate on playing basketball rather than his pending legal issue.
Speights, 27, had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence in Tampa. The next court date is scheduled for October while the team is wrapping up its preseason schedule.
Asked if he had remorse for the events leading up to his Aug. 5 arrest in his home state, Speights said, “I’m just really trying to focus on just basketball right now. All of that other stuff will fall in place.”
Speights after telling at-risk students at Visitacion Valley Middle School about overcoming obstacles as part of the Warriors’ Back to School in the Bay initiative wrote on Instagram, “never would say I am (perfect) but I am growing as a person that can help change (a kid’s) life!!!”
The 6-foot-10 Speights averaged 6.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game last season after signing a three-year, $11 million contract. He resolved this offseason to come into training camp in better shape so that he wouldn’t repeat the slow start he had last season.
“They’ve been going good,” Speights said of his offseason workouts. “I’m getting better every day. There’s always more room to improve, so we’ve got another week for that and camp.
“I feel way better, and all my teammates and coaches and people realize it too, so that’s a good feeling.”
SAN FRANCISCO — Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that while Danny Ferry made a mistake with comments that caused the Atlanta general manager to take a leave of absence while embroiled a racial firestorm, Kerr was supportive of his former teammate.
“He’s a man of high character, I can tell you that,” Kerr said. “And I feel for him. He did make a mistake. It was a very poor choice of expression. It’s a difficult issue, but it’s one that needs to be discussed.”
Ferry while on a conference call with the Hawks ownership group that was recorded in June described then-free agent Luol Deng as someone who has “got some African in him,” adding, “He has a storefront out front that’s beautiful and great, but he may be selling some counterfeit stuff behind you.”
Kerr played alongside Ferry for three seasons in Cleveland and two seasons in San Antonio, winning a championship together with the Spurs in 2003. Both went on to become general managers.
“All I can say is with my own relationship with Danny, and I know I’ve got a lot of teammates from all over from San Antonio, Cleveland — it doesn’t matter whether they’re black or white or what race or religion — everybody who knows Danny knows that he’s a good person,” Kerr said. “And it’s just a difficult time for him, and he made a mistake, so hopefully he can get through it. But he’s got our support. It’s about all you can do.”
SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors will no longer hold a portion of their training camp in Napa due to earthquake damage.
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck Aug. 24 caused damage throughout the area, including the hotel where the Warriors had been scheduled to stay while holding three days of two-a-day sessions, coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday.
Training camp begins Sept. 30 at the Warriors’ practice facility in Oakland, where all workouts will now be held
“It’s disappointing for Napa, and we thought we could have a really good experience up there, and it would be sort of be a good sort of the time for the players to get away together,” Kerr said. “But logistically, there’s no place better than our facility. So it’ll be great. I just feel bad for the people in Napa who had gone out of their way to really set up a comfortable spot for us, and it would have been fun for us just to be in their community for a few days.”
Kerr said one factor in the decision to no longer practice in Napa was that the Warriors would spend plenty of time on the road in the preseason. Six of their eight games are away from home, including games in Des Moines, Iowa, Kansas City and Hidalgo, Texas.
“We’ll have plenty of bonding time, that’s for sure,” Kerr said.
Warriors centers Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli after being unable to play in the postseason due to injuries enter training camp with high hopes from the team despite their medical histories.
Bogut, who spent the offseason recovering from a fractured rib, played in 67 games last season while also missing time with shoulder, ankle and pelvic/groin issues.
“Bogut’s good,” general manager Bob Myers told Sirius XM on Wednesday. “I was just watching him play pickup about 10 minutes ago. But obviously he’s had these random acute injuries that you just get frustrated by. I know he does. But he had a healthy year last year.
“We’re hoping – and I know he is – for a healthy season.”
Ezeli missed all of last season recovering from major right knee surgery and then when it appeared he would return to the court in NBA Summer League, he was held out from games due to shin inflammation in the same leg.
Myers said Ezeli “should be ready to go,” though it appears unclear if the big man will be ready for the start of training camp when it opens Sept. 30.
“Festus is coming along,” Kerr told KNBR. “He’s now running on the floor. We’re hopeful that he’ll be ready to go when training camp starts, but it’s sort of a process, and we’ll let it unfold. But we feel good about where he is physically and that he’ll be a big factor this year.”