Why Kevin Love Must Be A Warrior

The Warriors have now reportedly added guard Klay Thompson to a package including forward David Lee for 3-time All-Star forward Kevin Love. My initial reaction? Hell yes! Hurry up and do it before the Timberwolves change their minds.


Love is a double-double machine with a deft passing touch, a sweet stroke from the outside and a nose for rebounds. He was in the top 10 for scoring this past season. Love would be the perfect compliment for Steph Curry as the faces of the franchise. The Warriors don’t lose anything with Lee, who is being grossly overpaid for his production. He’s due $30 million over the next 2 years, so Love would take his spot. He would play next to a defensive-minded center in Andrew Bogut, who when healthy, can be productive guarding the paint.

Draymond Green is the kind of player that hustles and manages to get under the skin of opposing players. Andre Iguodala is a terrific scorer, not to mention an effective perimeter defender. In other words, the Warriors have the pieces to get Love to the postseason for the first time in his career.

This is not too say that it will be easy to unload a young player like Thompson who has the potential to be a consistent. He was in charge of defending Clippers guard Chris Paul and did a fairly good job of it in the playoffs. His 3-point range seemingly has no limit as evidenced by his 41% shooting percentage. Knowing the luck of the Warriors from past trades, Thompson will likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer with a street named after him. Still, the Warriors need to make this happen. Will it get them past the first round of the Western Conference? That’s tough to do, especially with the Thunder, Clippers, Blazers, Rockets and Spurs standing in the way, but this is at least a viable step toward making a deep run a possibility.

Warriors Take Leap of Faith With Kerr

As a longtime observer of Warriors basketball and even covering it for a short period of time, my initial reaction about the Steve Kerr hiring by the Warriors was ‘meh.’ Don’t get me wrong now, Golden State was able to land the top name candidate out there, one that equally captivated Phil Jackson, who’s running things in Gotham, so he must be good, right? Listen, the Warriors in years past would never, ever be able to woo a high-profile head coaching candidate. It shows just how far the Warriors have come when a coach spurns the Knicks.


The Warriors take on a new coach.

Kerr has the championship pedigree as a player, has strong ties to the team brain-trust, experienced with personnel decisions as a former GM himself, but we have no idea how he will be as a coach. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. The same was said about Jackson when he was hired, but he eventually learned to motivate the team and instilled the need to play tough on defense. The players bought into it. His short-comings came out with his in-game strategy. Stephen Curry needed an offensive scheme that truly utilizes his talents more. Perhaps Kerr will provide that to him. From all the All-Stars being shipped off over the years from Golden State to the long playoff droughts, Warriors fans have endured a lot with an unwavering loyalty to this franchise.

It’s nice to have an ownership group declaring the goal to be the NBA Finals or bust, but on the other hand, expectations need to be somewhat tempered and realistic here. The Warriors have more or less really burst onto the scene as a force only over the last 2 years. It’s not like the Celtics with a long tradition of winning titles. Golden State is building something meaningful, but now they want it built at warp-speed with everyone living inside. We’ll never know if Mark Jackson would’ve been the answer. Golden State is now a pressure-cooker situation. Yeah, I never thought I would write that last sentence either, but that’s the new reality Kerr is walking into. Let’s hope, for his sake, he realizes what he’s walking into.


Owners Mostly Silent on Sterling

Donald Sterling’s name is now a fixture on Twitter with more days of trending sure to come. In the days and hours since the alleged explosive audio between Sterling and his girlfriend was released by TMZ, we’ve heard from all corners of the basketball and sports world. Hell, President Obama was asked about it on his trip to Malaysia, so you know it’s escalated to a global level. The one group we haven’t heard from is Sterling’s fellow owners.


The only one to respond was Michael Jordan, who says he was ‘outraged’ by the audio. Unless you personally share Sterling’s unappetizing views, who wouldn’t be? Heat owner Mickey Arison called the comments “offensive, appalling and very sad.” Outside of Arison and MJ, there’s been mostly silence from the rest of the owners. Zippo. Nada. Zero. Perhaps the most vocal and bombastic one of them all, Mark Cuban, has kept his mouth shut during this stinky mess, which must’ve taken every ounce of willpower to do.

There should be more owners sharing their disgust with Sterling, but their fraternity is clearly sticking together on this one. Maybe they’re petrified that some of their own foibles or inequities will be out examined and picked apart in the open. If anything, this needs to serve as a shining example of why there needs to be more minority owners not only in the NBA, but all sports leagues. Former commissioner David Stern deserves some of the blame here as well. Sterling, by all reports and or lawsuits, had a disturbing point-of-view about minorities and continued to do whatever he wanted so long as he kept lining everybody’s pockets. Stern was a forward thinker in many ways, but he whiffed on this one. He should’ve dealt with Sterling a long time ago.

Now Adam Silver must act swiftly and decisively to boot Sterling out of the league for good, although he’s not instilling a lot of confidence. Why does he need an investigation? Why not just ask Sterling straight up – Is this your voice? There isn’t a precedent for Silver to go on, but if Ron Artest was punished 86 games for going into the stands in Detroit, Sterling deserves the absolute harshest and stiffest penalty ever given.