OAKLAND — Steve Kerr plans to wait until the game actually begins before welcoming back former Golden State Warriors reserve guard Leandro Barbosa.
“I don’t generally go out on the floor until right before the game,” Kerr said before the Dubs hosted Barbos and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday evening. “So, it’s probably more once he gets in and gets right nearby [the bench]. That’s what happened in Phoenix last week. We kind of said hello once the game started and there was a dead ball.”
During Barbosa’s two seasons at Oracle Arena, the Warriors won their first ring in 40 years and made a pair of Finals appearances.
Already, Kerr and the Warriors have welcomed back ex-Dubs Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes with the Dallas Mavericks and Mo Speights (during the preseason) with the Los Angeles Clippers. Now, Barbosa joins the list.
“These guys were really integral parts of what we’ve done the last two years,” Kerr said. “But more than that, just great teammates [and] really fun people to be around everyday.”
“That’s kind of the nature of the NBA. People move on and you kind of have to just go forward and remember the good times and maintain those friendships despite people playing different places or coaching different teams.”
Phoenix’s Klay Thompson
Before the matchup with the Suns, Kerr offered praise for 20-year-old guard Devin Booker.
“He was great last year and he put some huge games and he’s a future All-Star,” Kerr said. “He’s talented, does a lot of things well and he’s got good size and is a good competitor. So, I’m a big fan.”
The second-year player has averaged 20.3 points per game in the opening weeks of the season, and Kerr agreed that his game is similar to that of Klay Thompson.
“He’s got a great shooting touch and similar size [and] versatility,” Kerr said. “So, it’s a good comparison.”
Kerr’s League Pass scouting report
Even with his busy schedule with the Warriors, Kerr said he still finds time to keep on with the rest of the West via NBA League Pass.
The head coach complimented the Los Angeles Clippers for their impressive continuity, noted how James Harden is fitting perfectly into the offensive system devised by Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni and has been keeping on eye on his protege, Luke Walton.
“We’re not surprised [by] the atmosphere that Luke has helped forge,” Kerr said of Walton, who has guided the Lakers to a 6-4 start.
“That team has been down for the last few years and Luke has made it a point to go in there and lift everybody’s spirits and have some fun. I think the combination of that with their young talent maturing has really made them a tough team.”