OAKLAND — Optimism for the upcoming season and the national anthem — with a dash of tattoo talk — dominated the discussion on Monday at the Golden State Warriors’ media day.
Like their head coach and general manager, the Dubs’ players supported Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the treatment of black communities in this country with reactions ranging from fascination (Stephen Curry said he’d like to meet the quarterback to learn more) to frustration (Draymond Green wondered why people are obsessed with the act of sitting out the song instead of the intention behind it).
With practice scheduled to start today, it’s clear getting past the talk and into the action on the floor was the central concern for most players. Green posted on Snapchat on Sunday night that the proceedings for the media represented “the worst day of the NBA season.”
Some things are new for this team — Mike Brown replaced Luke Walton; David West and Zaza Pachulia succeeded Andrew Bogut; the jerseys added some new patches, and, of course, Kevin Durant — but one thing remains from the end of last season: impossibly high standards.
But aside from providing some decent photo opportunities that can only be used for memes in the future, media day was a confirmation of what we already understood.
— KD represents the ultimate upgrade over Harrison Barnes on the perimeter. (Or as Andre Iguodala put it, “There were some holes and some weaknesses that we had. And we got a monster that filled them all.”)
— This older, more mature group isn’t concerned with regular season glory. (“To be quite frank with you, I don’t want to win 74 games or 75 games,” Green said. “It’s brutal.”)
— West and Pachulia will be the tough guys who should draw charges and pick fights the stars can’t afford. (“Every team needs a tough guy,” Pachulia said. “Because without it, it’s very hard to play.”)
Everything about the day was consistent with what we’ve heard for months, down to Durant answering a question about him not joining the team if it had won the NBA Finals, “But they didn’t.”
Soon enough, Steph will be warming up in Oracle in front of hundreds while KD perfects his pick-and-pop jumper.