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Skinny Warriors looking to pick up the pace

Andrew Bogut has lost about 15 to 18 pounds. Draymond Green shed about 20. David Lee is now looking like he should be standing in front of Abercrombie & Fitch. Jermaine O’Neal is hardly looking like a guy entering his 18th season.

Clearly, the Warriors took advantage of the offseason. The improved conditioning has already impacted training camp. The pace is faster. The energy is high.

“They are in shape,” coach Mark Jackson said, “and now its just a question of developing chemistry and a sense of what we are trying to do on both ends of the court.”

He wants the Warriors to play at an even faster pace now that all are healthy and his big men are conditioned to run. Jackson said he isn’t content with just going small to pick up the pace. But he wants to run even with his big men in the game.

Jackson said since his guys – most of whom have been working out in Oakland since early September – came to camp in shape, he doesn’t have to worry about that. He said there’s no need to go “White Shadow” on them and have them running lines.

Instead, Jackson has already begun diving into the playbook.

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1

Stephen Curry Leaves Nike for Under Armor

Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry has decided to leave Nike and sign a new deal with the up-and-coming brand Under Armour, according to multiple sources.

Curry will debut is new allegiance at the Warriors’ media day on Friday.

His contract with Nike expires at the end of September. His rising stardom, coming off the Warriors’ playoff run, prompted Under Armour to go hard after Curry. After months of negotiations with both companies, Curry made the surprising move to leave the shoe giant, who he signed with as a rookie, to become the face of the new kid on the block.

Many in the sneaker world will view this is a risky, gutsy move by Curry. Nike, according to a Forbes report in April, owns 34 percent of the basketball shoe market. The Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, dominates 58 percent of the market. Under Armour has 0.6 percent of the market.

Under Armour is mostly known for its football equipment. Curry is the big splash the brand was looking for to give its basketball line credibility. Other endorsers of Under Armour include Detroit point guard Brandon Jennings, Charlotte guard Kemba Walker, New York guard Raymond Felton, Sacramento guard Greivis Vasquez, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and Warriors guard Kent Bazemore.

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Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes Invited to Team USA Minicamp

Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will participate in Team USA’s minicamp in Las Vegas in July, according to sources. And point guard Stephen Curry is back in the national team mix, too.

The camp this summer is for Team USA officials to get a good look at the promising young players in the NBA. Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George will reportedly participate as well.
Thompson was part of the select team that practiced against the national squad in advance of the 2012 games in London. Barnes, named first-team All-Rookie, shined under the bright lights of the NBA playoffs to emerge as one of the league’s bright young talents.
Curry will not participate in the camp next month but he will show up in Las Vegas to meet with Team USA coaches. He is back in the national team’s pool of players and will be invited next summer to try out for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup (formerly the World Championships) in Spain.
Curry was on the 2010 USA squad that won the gold medal at the World Championships in Turkey. However, he wasn’t selected for the pool of players invited to try out for the London Olympics.
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Dwight Howard is a Long Shot for Warriors, but Worth A Shot

It only makes sense the Warriors get mentioned in the third annual Dwight Howard saga. They had cameos in the first two and they were awful. Now, Golden State is a successful, attractive destination in the NBA. And even though he doesn’t need to these days, co-owner Joe Lacob still loves the pursuit of the big fish.

So the fact that reports surfaced about Howard being interested in the Warriors is expected, if not redundant.

But is this even possible? Sure. In the same way it was possible for the Warriors to win a title. Except there were a few MAJOR obstacles in the way, namely San Antonio, Memphis and Miami. Golden State’s acquisition of Howard too has major obstacles. The first one being it’s only late May so the likelihood is Howard has NO IDEA what he wants yet.

Here are some other obstacles:

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David Lee Named All-NBA; Stephen Curry is Not

All-Star forward David Lee was named third-team All-NBA, the league announced Thursday.

Lee is the first Warrior to make All-NBA since Latrell Sprewell was first-team in 1993-94. Back in February, Lee became the first Warriors’ All-Star since Sprewell in 1997.

Lee was the only player in the NBA to average at least 18 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. He’s the fifth Warrior to post those numbers in a single season. The other four: Wilt Chamberlain, Nate Thurmond, Jerry Lucas and Neil Johnston. Led led the NBA with 31 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, the most since Thurmond in 1971-72. Golden State was 25-6 in those games.

Despite a monster second-half of the season, Warriors point guard Stephen Curry was not selected.

MARK JACKSON: “Happy for and proud of David Lee. It is well-deserved. As far as Steph, the great thing is that the world now knows, even if the voters don’t.”

Here are the selections:

First Team

Forward           LeBron James, Miami                       595

Forward           Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City         555

Center              Tim Duncan, San Antonio                392

Guard               Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers                 521

Guard               Chris Paul, L.A. Clipper                   537

Second Team

Forward          Carmelo Anthony, New York            397

Forward          Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers               132

Center             Marc Gasol, Memphis (38)                295

Guard              Tony Parker, San Antonio (16)         273

Guard              Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City 306

Third Team

Forward          David Lee, Golden State                      79

Forward          Paul George, Indiana                          73

Center             Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers             203

Guard              Dwyane Wade, Miami                        145

Guard              James Harden, Houston                    253

Curry totaled 72 points, the most of any guard not selected (next was Ty Lawson with 8 votes). But Curry was well behind Wade, who had the fewest points of any guard selected.

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Carl Landry on Returning to Warriors: “Everything Here is What You Want”

Stephen Curry, after being serenaded by about 6,000 fans at Oracle Arena for Wednesday’s rally, talked to the crowd about the future of the Warriors.

“We just need to get some people back,” Curry said, then he paused and turned to stare at forward Carl Landry.

Landry has one year left on his contract, paying him $4 million. But he has an option to skip the last year and become a free agent. Time is ticking on him to decide and he said he is feeling the pressure.

He called it the hardest decision of his career.

CARL LANDRY: “I mean, this is the best team I’ve ever played for on this level, especially as far as chemistry. And the scary thing is we’ve been together one year.”

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry Listed in the Starting Lineup

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (sprained left ankle) was listed in the starting lineup. Coach Mark Jackson said before the game he’d be “shocked” if Curry didn’t play.

Curry, who rolled his left ankle in the fourth quarter of Game 3 on Friday, was officially listed as a game-time decision. He has received ’round-the-clock treatment on his left ankle, which he initially sprained in Game 2 of the first round series against Denver on April 23.

“If he’s on the court, he’s pretty much the ball handler and the guy running show,” Jackson said.

Before tipoff, Curry jumped roped in the hallway outside the locker room and did other movement tests. He then took to the court where he ran lines and did some defensive sliding movements to further test his ankle.
Jackson said he spent time with Curry on Saturday. He said Curry was the same as usual, laughing and joking. He made multiple trips to the facility on Saturday for treatment.

Curry said after Saturday’s practice, which he sat out, that he expected to play. But everything was on hold until he saw how his ankle responded overnight. Jackson said Curry can play, he won’t be limited.