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Warriors’ Harrison Barnes reflects on Kobe Bryant and the night the Lakers star suffered Achilles rupture

Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) dribbles past Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball Western Conference playoff series Friday, May 15, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) dribbles past Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball Western Conference playoff series Friday, May 15, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

OAKLAND — Kobe Bryant will play in his final NBA game before retirement while the Warriors go for win No. 73. Before the games, Harrison Barnes reflected on Bryant.

Barnes was a rookie on April 12, 2013 when while guarding Bryant and getting called for a foul, the Los Angeles Lakers star ruptured his Achilles.

“I don’t think about it often, but as a rookie, that was one of the craziest basketball experiences of my life just guarding one of my idols and seeing him get hurt and thinking that he may never play basketball,” Barnes said Wednesday.

“It’s been great to obviously see him come back and be able to play and do that type of stuff, but at the time, it was super scary. I’m glad he was able to rehab from that and get back on the court.”

The feeling of the Achilles injury was such that Bryant in that moment asked Barnes if he had kicked him, hoping that was the reason for his discomfort.

It was not, and Bryant was never the same after that despite playing in his 107th game since the injury tonight.

“Kobe is the best player in this generation,” Barnes said. “Just everything he’s done for the game. Personally, just in the competition that we’ve had, he’s just been a great, great friend and mentor. And for the game, I think everybody in this generation has been influenced by him.”

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Warriors’ Andrew Bogut expects Harrison Barnes, Marreese Speights will get ‘a lot of money’ in free agency

Golden State Warriors' Harrison Barnes (40) shoots and makes a 3-point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes (40) shoots and makes a 3-point basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter of Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND – Warriors center Andrew Bogut expects that his teammates in contract years will ultimately be rewarded for the season the team is having.

That includes Harrison Barnes, who is averaging a career-best 11.3 points per game, yet has seen his field goal percentages drop from last season. Barnes, who missed 16 games due to a sprained ankle, will become a restricted free agent this offseason after reportedly rejecting a four-year, $64 million offer from the Warriors before the season.

“We’re winning,” Bogut said Tuesday when asked about Barnes. “A lot of guys are sacrificing numbers and minutes and roles on this team, and that’s why we’re a great team. Harrison’s had great games, he’s had bad games just like everybody else on this roster. So I don’t anticipate it affecting his contract situation and all that. I mean, someone’s going to be giving him the max. Let’s be honest. Someone’s going to give him close to the max. There’s always a small-market team that would love a guy like Harrison as their No. 1, No. 2 option. So I don’t think it’s going to have any bearing on his financial future.”

Bogut also highlighted the contributions of Marreese Speights, who in the final year of a three-year, $11 million deal after a slow start has emerged into a 3-point shooting threat and played well after Festus Ezeli underwent knee surgery.

Ezeli last week conceded that it wasn’t an “ideal” contract year for him missing an extended of period of time.

But Bogut believes that the Warriors on this team will be paid handsomely.

“I think people know that everyone on this team is more valuable than their contract says just from the basis of what they’ve given up,” Bogut said. “You look at a guy like (Andre) Iguodala and even Mo Speights right now, Festus, all these guys probably could make more on other teams.

“Mo’s been absolutely huge for us this season, and someone’s obviously going to give him a lot of money. Hopefully, it’s us.”

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Warriors’ Harrison Barnes suffers right knee sprain in preseason game

barnesdunkOAKLAND – Warriors forward Harrison Barnes suffered a right knee sprain in the second quarter of Tuesday’s preseason game against the Denver Nuggets and is expected to miss the rest of the contest.

Barnes suffered the injury and did not immediately return to the sideline after halftime, as Andre Iguodala took his place in the lineup after halftime.

Harrison Barnes started in every game for the Warriors last season as they won the championship. He averaged 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Barnes, 23, can sign a contract extension with the Warriors by the Oct. 31 deadline or become a  restricted free agent next summer.

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NBA Unveils “Big Logo” Sleeved Jerseys for Christmas Day Games

BIG Logo_Harrison Barnes

 

The NBA unveiled the special jerseys to be worn by the ten teams playing on Christmas Day.  They are short-sleeved and feature an enlarged team logo on the front.

Yes, the Warriors’ are yellow.

Despite the bad reviews from last year, which no doubt promoted the switch to the white sleeved jerseys this year, adidas put the Warriors back in yellow. But they won’t be alone.

“They’re cool,” point guard Stephen Curry said. “It’s nice to be playing on Christmas Day to showcase them off. Like I’ve said, as long as we shoot well and get the win, they look good.”

The Clippers, Lakers, Bulls, Heat, Thunder, Knicks, Nets, Rockets and Spurs will also join the sleeved-jersey gang.

Here are looks at the rest of them, plus the commercial featuring Stephen Curry (I like Brooklyn’s the most, hands down.)

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Warriors’ Harrison Barnes Out for Saturday’s Games vs. Sacramento Kings

Warriors forward Harrison Barnes will not play Saturday’s game against visiting Sacramento, a team source confirmed.

Clearly, his left toe inflammation still isn’t healed enough for action. Barnes hasn’t played since an Oct. 7 preseason game against the Kings. He hasn’t practiced with the team since either.

No timetable has been set for Barnes return. He’s listed as day-to-day. Coach Mark Jackson announced on Tuesday he would miss the first two games and be re-evaluated. Jackson said the goal is for the injury to completely heal so the issue doesn’t linger.

The team hasn’t revealed the details of Barnes’ injury — such as what’s causing the inflammation, how it happened, how its being treated or how long Barnes could be out — which is usually up to the player.

The Warriors’ bench could certainly use Barnes, who Jackson said will be the sixth man when he’s healthy. Golden State’s second unit has struggled to score the first two games.

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David Lee, Stephen Curry Shine as Warriors Beat Los Angeles Lakers in China

No, I’m not in China. But I did watch the Warriors’ 100-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Beijing on Tuesday. As far as the Warriors are concerned, it’s already fair to call the trip to China can be considered a success if only for reason: it got David Lee going.

For the first time this preseason, Lee looked like the All-Star he is. Part of it was the matador defense of Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol. But most of it was the liveliness of Lee. He was simply quicker and more explosive than his Lakers front-court counterparts, and he had various elements of his game was clicking.

That’s a vital step for the Warriors to round into form as the regular season news. They have hardly looked like the team expected to be a force in the Western Conference. But you could see some signs that’s starting to happen.

Lee had 31 points on 12 of 16 shooting in the first of two games against the Lakers in China. Lee made his first seven shots – four layups, two jumpers and a turn-around out of the post – en route to 22 first-half points.

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Harrison Barnes Gets First Crack as Mark Jackson Experiments with Starting Lineups

ONTARIO, Calif. — Mark Jackson said he’s not into playing mind games. If he knew who his starters were for the season, he would just say it. He doesn’t, he assured. He’s still trying to figure out which lineup gives his Warriors the best chance to win.

It is with that context he revealed guard Klay Thompson, who has started 122 consecutive games with Golden State (including playoffs), will come off the bench for tonight’s preseason opener.

Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala will start in the backcourt, with Harrison Barnes, David Lee and center Andrew Bogut will start against the Los Angeles Lakers at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Is this insight into Jackson’s first choice, or is this his I’m-not-going-to-show-my-cards-early lineup? Is he anointing Barnes or motivating Thompson? Has Iguodala an automatic starter?

“Truthfully,” Jackson said, “there is zero to read into it.”

The Warriors, who have all five starters from last season, found themselves with a good problem to have by acquiring Iguodala — giving them six players capable of starting.

Curry, Lee and Bogut are etched in stone as long as they’re healthy, per Jackson. That leaves three wing players and two starting spots available. Jackson said he will use the preseason to experiment, figure out which five is the best fit. The odd man out will serve as the sixth man.

He said Thompson will get a chance to start this preseason. He also suggested you may see Iguodala come off the bench at some point in the exhibition.

“Don’t read anything into it,” Jackson reiterated. “It’s just the way we’re starting tonight. You could go either way. Klay and Iguodala (starting) or Klay and Barnes. … All those guys are going to play a lot. This is just the way I’m starting tonight.”

Here is a break down of each scenario:

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