Dan Feldman

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors
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Steve Kerr: Every American should be ‘disgusted’ with killings of blacks


The Warriors have steadily gotten behind Colin Kaepernick’s national-anthem protest about the mistreatment of American blacks by police.

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green have voiced support.

Now, their coach is joining them.

Steve Kerr, via Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:

“Probably one of the best things that’s come out of the Kaepernick issue is that people are talking. It’s a good thing,” Kerr said during a pre-camp news conference at the Warriors facility. “No matter what side of the spectrum you’re on, I would hope that every American is disgusted with what is going on around the country. And it just happened two days ago in Tulsa, with Terence Crutcher.

“It doesn’t matter what side you’re on with the Kaepernick stuff, you’d better be disgusted by the things that are happening.”

“Colin, when he met with Nate Boyer and decided to kneel instead of sit, acknowledged his respect for military and really clarified the message that what this is really about is unarmed black people being killed, indiscriminately, around the country – and then it happens again two days ago,” Kerr said. “That’s the message. That’s what matters.

Kerr is spot on.

Kaepernick’s demonstrations have sparked much-needed conversations about police brutality. Those conversations must continue.

It’s OK to admit you don’t have a perfect solution. It’s fine to say the issue is complex.

But the first step is acknowledging the problem – and it’s not someone kneeling for the national anthem, a superficial gesture. Don’t be mad about someone’s posture for a song. Be mad about people having their constitutional rights trampled. That’s far more meaningful.

Thunder GM: Mitch McGary still coming to training camp despite drug suspensions, roster crunch

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 16:  Mitch McGary #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center on March 16, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Mitch McGary didn’t do himself any favors by getting another drug suspension.

The Thunder forward was hit with a minimum 10-game ban last week on top of the five-game ban he drew this summer.

“For me, I’m disappointed in the fact that he’s in that situation,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Wednesday in his first statements since the suspension was announced. “We’re not privy to the NBA’s program, so I don’t have a whole lot of information. All I can say to you is that I’m disappointed. Then from there, I don’t think I have to expand past that.”

Presti said McGary will be with the team when training camp begins Saturday, but the Thunder have a surplus of skilled post players. Steven Adams and Enes Kanter, both rapidly emerging young players, likely will log a large share of the minutes, and the team added veteran Ersan Ilyasova and rookie Domantas Sabonis in the offseason. Wily veteran Nick Collison is still hanging around.

That doesn’t leave many minutes for a guy who barely played last year and will miss at least 15 games at the start of this season.

“He’ll be with us in training camp with an opportunity to compete,” Presti said. “All that being said, I think it’s going to be a competitive camp. We’ve got probably more deserving players lined up to come to camp than we have roster spots.”

McGary had drug issues in college. He tested positive for marijuana his sophomore year at Michigan and faced a suspension, prompting him to enter the 2014 draft. The Thunder took him in the first round, and Presti said at the time that he was not worried about McGary’s past.

After his initial five-game suspension was announced in July, McGary apologized to the organization, teammates and fans in a statement released by the team.

“I clearly made a mistake and for that I apologize to the organization, my teammates, and our fans,” he said. “I realize there are only so many opportunities given to you and I need make sure that as a person and as a player, I take accountability and ensure that this does not happen again.”

It happened again, and now he has created extra pressure for himself. Sabonis, who played for the Lithuanian national team at the Summer Olympics, is a promising prospect.

“Anytime as a young player you’re exposed to that level of competition, being amongst teams, professionals with the Lithuanian national team, I think it’s great,” Presti said. “He obviously is coming off a tremendous program, working a tremendous program at Gonzaga, and now with the national team. Now he’s going to carry that experience toward the Thunder.”

Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter (at)CliffBruntAP

Mo Williams says he’ll return to Cavaliers, retire after season

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 31: Mo Williams #52 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after hitting a three point shot during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Quicken Loans Arena on March 31, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers defeated the Nets 107-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Mo Williams
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Mo Williams opted into the final year of his contract and then reportedly considered retirement without telling the Cavaliers about his intentions.

It seems he just revealed them.


Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

Williams will provide the Cavs with a veteran option behind Kyrie Irving at point guard. This way, they won’t be stuck with relying on rookie Kay Felder if the No. 54 pick isn’t ready to join a contender’s rotation.

Unfortunately for Cleveland, Williams might not provide steady production himself. The 33-year-old couldn’t sustain his early success last season after multiple injures.

Williams is due $2,194,500 this season. I don’t think this is the case, but if he is trying to extract a buyout from the Cavaliers by threatening to grind through the year rather than preemptively retiring (which would take his salary off the books), this could be a step. They need to believe he’d play to pay him a partial salary in a buyout. Again, I take Williams at his word about playing another season. It’s just hard to square his reported lack of communication with the team prior.

And though I believe Williams intends to retire after the season, next June is a long way off. He wouldn’t have to look far to find someone who changed his mind about retirement.

Report: NBA, union preemptively discussing how to handle national-anthem protests

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16:  A general view during the national anthem before Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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I expect NBA players to kneel during the national anthem in protest of the mistreatment of black people in America, following the lead of Colin Kaepernick.

How will the NBA respond? The rulebook says, “Players, coaches and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines or on the foul line during the playing of the National Anthem.”

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

I’m glad both sides are talking now. We all know this issue is coming. Better to find a resolution before it becomes a mess.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been progressive on social issues. He’s also beholden to the league’s owners and corporate partners. That has left him in a bind before.

I doubt he wants to fine players for breaking the anthem rule. They key is finding a compromise he deems permissible.

Kevin Durant says he doesn’t care enough about opponents to hate them


How could Kevin Durant join Golden State, the team that just eliminated the Thunder? Didn’t he loathe the enemy Warriors?

And how could Durant say he’s still cool with Russell Westbrook after leaving Oklahoma City? Hadn’t Durant just turned Westbrook into the enemy?

Durant on Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons:

When you step in between the lines, that’s when we compete. That’s when we’re going to go at each other. That’s what I’m going to do what I do in my zone and what you’re going to do what you do.

But I don’t carry that with me as soon as I step off the court. I don’t care about you that much even to try to want to hate you. You hear what I mean? I hear all the time that Michael hated such and such, Isiah hated such and such. I’m not thinking about about you at home when I’m on my couch for me to hate you that much. That’s just not who I am.

So, when we play, I’m not even thinking about you. I’m worried about how I’m going to dominate.

So, I’m not going out and meeting Russell by his car and wanting to talk to him. Or he’s not going to want to fight me. I don’t care about all that stuff. I’m going to go in there when we play, I’m going to hoop the way I’ve always hooped my whole life, and I’m going to compete the way I’ve always competed. The work doesn’t stop. I really just got a different jersey on.

This seems like a healthy attitude for Durant. Intrinsic motivation and a work/personal-life separation are noble goals.

But it also seems the unhealthily obsessive attitudes of players like Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas leads to championships. Ever listen to players brag about a team putting their families on hold to focus on a playoff run? We celebrate the devotion to team, but it’s also kind of sick.

Yet, how can the players with a balanced approach keep up on the court with players so menacingly focused on basketball? The best team, not the one with the most inner-peace, wins.

One potential solution: Join Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson on a team so talented, it might win without developing as extreme of a cutthroat mentality as past champions.