Justin Holiday claims final Warriors roster spot

OAKLAND – Guard Justin Holiday has claimed the 15th and final Warriors roster spot after the rest of the training camp invitees were waived Friday.

Holiday, a 25-year-old University of Washington product, last played in the NBA two seasons ago with Philadelphia, appearing in nine games.

After playing in Hungary last season, he was a standout on the Warriors’ NBA Summer League team in Las Vegas. In the preseason, he averaged 5.8 points, making 7 of 19 3-point attempts.

“I want to thank Coach (Steve) Kerr and the Warriors organization for giving me this opportunity,” Holiday tweeted. “I am excited to be playing for the best fans In the NBA and with one of the best teams. This will be a fun year. Most importantly I want to thank God, couldn’t have done it without him.”

The Warriors will look to send Aaron Craft, Sean Kilpatrick, James Michael McAdoo and Mitchell Watt – if they clear waivers — to their NBA Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz.

Veteran guard Jason Kapono has said he would return to his Danville home if he did not make the team.


Warriors’ Klay Thompson has confidence boosted by father, Mark Jackson saying he deserves max contract

OAKLAND – The deadline is a week from Friday for the Warriors to give Klay Thompson a contract extension or watch him become a restricted free agent in the summer.

His father, Mychal Thompson, has said on his radio show Klay is deserving of the maximum-salary contract he is asking for. Then ex-Warriors coach Mark Jackson supported the cause while on an ESPN conference call Wednesday with fellow broadcaster Jeff Van Gundy, who said he thought Thompson would get the max.

“You can take the ‘think’ out,” Jackson said. “He’s going to get it.”

Thompson said Friday he was hopeful a contract would come before the deadline and didn’t disagree with what his father and former coach said.

“It’s good to hear from guys like that because they both played in the NBA, and both were successful in the NBA and been around the game for so many decades,” Thompson said. “So if they think I’m that quality type of player, it makes me think highly of myself as well, you know?

“I know it’s my dad, Mychal Thompson, ‘yeah, whatever.’ But at the end of the day, he was a monster on the court when he played, so he knows what he’s talking about.”

Thompson’s teammates have also kidded him about his upcoming pay day, with Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry using their fingers to make money signs as he was introduced to the Oracle Arena crowd at Thursday’s open practice.

“Those guys are good teammates, man,” Thompson said. “They’re just looking out for me.

“Contract aside, I’m just going to go out there and try to be a better player than I was last year…As far as contract stuff, I try not to worry about it because then it’ll affect your game.”


Warriors point guards Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston pay tribute to Steve Nash

OAKLAND – Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said he was shocked that Los Angeles Lakers counterpart Steve Nash would miss the rest of the season with a career-threatening back injury.

Both were small-school guards who beat the odds and have become All-Stars in the NBA.

“He’s a guy that I looked up to heavily when I was in college, kind of studied a lot going into my NBA career,” Curry said Thursday. “We had a lot of similarities in how we played the game. But he changed a lot about how the point guard position is played. Obviously two MVPs, he got it done after not really being known coming out of college, so that’s a lot of similarities.

“You hate to see that career end like that, but I’m sure he’s happy with how things turned out after Santa Clara. It’s a pretty impressive resume and definitely a first-ballot Hall of Famer, a guy that we all benefitted from watching him play and playing against him.”

The Warriors’ Shaun Livingston took to Twitter to give his thoughts on Nash.

“Man, to hear the news on @SteveNash is tough!” Livingston wrote. “To win 2 MVPs in this league with his athleticism is a true testament to how skilled he was…

“Most impressively was how he brought people together. A true team player and winner! Point guards, if you want to learn how to run a team, watch clips on Steve Nash. Honor to compete against one of the best to ever run the position! #Salute.”


Warriors’ Brandon Rush disappointed he’s likely out for season opener

SAN FRANCISCO – Warriors swingman Brandon Rush said Wednesday he was disappointed to learn he isn’t expected to be able to play in the team’s season opener due to a lower back injury.

Rush was diagnosed with a sacral stress reaction, and he isn’t scheduled to have the lower back injury reevaluated until right around Wednesday’s opener at Sacramento.

“They shut me down, not letting me practice, not letting me do anything, really,” Rush said, adding that he’s having to wait three days for the inflammation to go down.

“But I’m feeling better…I’m very disappointed. I’m tired of sitting.”

Rush’s frustration comes two years after he tore his knee two games into the season with the Warriors, leading to his struggles last season in Utah coming back from the injury.

Andrew Bogut after missing Tuesday’s preseason win against the Los Angeles Clippers returned to practice, according to coach Steve Kerr. The center tweeted about what he thought might have been the cause of his minor illness.

“Special thanks to Hidalgo, Texas for this ever so fun stomach bug!” Bogut wrote, referring to the site of the team’s preseason game Sunday.


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.”