Not shockingly, I’ve been hoping to land Charles Barkley for this podcast just about since I started this thing over a year ago, but until recently I failed to actually do the smart thing: Just ask him personally. I saw Charles in Oklahoma City during the Western Conference finals (while he was covering the series for TNT), he said sure, he’d definitely come on, I asked a few days ago for him to be on today’s show, and boom, here are these 30-plus tremendous minutes. We of course talked about the Warriors’ victory over Cleveland in Game 1 of the NBA Finals last night, and Charles noted he said all season that Shaun Livingston is the best back-up guard in the league. We also talked about the anger Barkley has stirred in Warriors fans over the years–I’ve always wondered why GSW fans allow themselves to get so riled up over one point, that Barkley doesn’t like the Warriors’ particular jump-shooting style and in this conversation he admitted … [Read more...] about Charles Barkley on the Warriors and much more: “If they win this championship, I’d have to say I was 100% wrong” (new “TK Show” episode)
First things first. Chances are Kevin Durant is going back to the Thunder. He’s become a pillar of the community in Oklahoma City, was a few minutes away from making the NBA Finals with his current team, and genuinely seems to be a guy who cares about loyalty. That said, there’s some interesting innuendo swirling around the Warriors’ pursuant of Durant. Three summers ago, the Warriors forced their way into the Dwight Howard free agency beauty pageant, a surprising development given the team’s still-lowly stature at the time. Howard (fortunately) went to Houston, but Warriors’ management learned at least two things from the experience. First, despite NBA rules, the face-to-face meetings between teams and Howard were the final stage of the process, not the opening salvo. There was anger among Warriors management that back-channeling by the Rockets with Howard’s circle had unfairly swayed … [Read more...] about Kevin Durant, the Warriors and Free Agency Wooing in the Modern NBA
How do you make the best even better? That question has hung over the Warriors all off-season and will linger once the substantial afterglow of last June’s championship finally fades. There is no easy answer to it. The jump from the lottery to the playoffs involved some obvious changes — like playing defense and letting the game’s best shooter take more shots. The jump from playoff team to championship contender required finer adjustments — to rotations, offenses and attitudes. If the Warriors are to take the last step — from champion to dynasty — they’ll need to become students of their own games. The Warriors will have the NBA’s biggest target on them from day one, and last season’s innovations will be old news, endlessly dissected by opponents. To move forward, the Warriors can’t simply settle for what worked in the past. They’ll need to take it apart, reimagine … [Read more...] about Steve Nash Joins the Warriors’ Winning Conversation
A rare and fairly brief Hotline foray into the world of the NBA, if only because most of the top draft prospects are collegians. And collegians are definitely on the Hotline radar. First, some parameters: * We’ll disregard the consensus top-two prospects, Blake Griffin and Ricky Rubio, and focus on the next 10 — meaning at least half the listed players will be available when the Warriors draft No. 7 (assuming they don’t trade the pick). * The ratings are based on long-term potential, which I’m defining as five years down the road. * I realize the GSW need a big point but have ranked players regardless of position. 1. PG Brandon Jennings, Europe: The L.A. product and former Arizona recruit was one of the two or three best players in the prep class of ’08 (at Oak Hill Academy). Needs work but can create his own shot and is highly skilled. 2. SG DeMar DeRozan, USC: Awesome athlete who didn’t come into his own until March, then scored whenever he felt … [Read more...] about NBA Draft Lottery: Options for the Warriors at No. 7
The Hotline doesn’t usually venture into GSW territory — that’s Kawakami’s kingdom — but I’m making an exception here now that we know the Warriors are picking 14th and not 3rd … Now that there’s a chance they could happily snag Robin Lopez at 14 and not have to agonize over Brook Lopez at 3. (Do Nelson/Mullin think B Lopez is worth the third pick? I’m not so sure.) Anyhow, I’m making the Hotline/NBA exception because 1) I have a decent sense for R Lopez’ skill set, 2) I spoke to an ultra-, ultra-savvy Warriors Watcher recently about this very topic, and 3) I ran this all past Kawakami, just to make doubly sure it made sense. There’s no guarantee the GSW will even have the option to select R Lopez at No. 14. He’s currently projected to go somewhere in the 20s, but I think that’s way too low and have thought that since the day he declared. He’s 7 feet, 20 years old, nasty, athletic and has top-tier … [Read more...] about NBA Draft lottery: Should the Warriors take Robin Lopez?