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Klay Thompson: Warriors aspire to Jordan-era Bulls success

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The Warriors have won two of the last three NBA titles, won a record 73 regular season games the season in between those titles, and are heavy favorites to repeat as champions this season.

For the Warriors, they want to keep their eyes on the big picture — not just another title this season, but climbing up with the greatest NBA dynasties of all time. Specifically, they are looking at the 1990s’ Bulls. The Jordan-era powerhouses, Klay Thompson told  ESPN’s Nick Friedell in a lengthy interview.

“What’s that, six championships in eight years?” Thompson said Saturday, when asked whether the Warriors were the closest thing the league had seen to the Bulls dynasty. “So we’re, what, like only a third of the way there? I think it’s close. We still have a long way to go, but I do see the fandom, the fanfare like the Bulls had in the ’90s.

“Every time the Bulls came to town, that was the ticket of the year. Now it’s when the Warriors come to town, that’s the must-see game. And we don’t take that for granted; that’s such a cool position to be in. We rarely play in front of a crowd that’s not sold out. That’s so special. It’s hard to really grasp that as a player. So I think it’s close. I still think we’re not on their level yet, but that’s what we aspire to be of the 2000s. We aspire to be that dynasty that will be in the minds of NBA fans forever.”

Right now, the Warriors are the hot ticket like the Bulls — they are the biggest road draw in the NBA (more coming on that early next week). With all due respect to a solid Memphis team, when they visit Orlando the building is not full, there are not large crowds in the arena early to watch guys warm up. But the Warriors — with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest — sell out buildings and create a buzz. They are a traveling rock show.

The Warriors are also a long way from that Chicago goal. Right now they are more along the lines of the Bad Boy Pistons who dominated for a short stretch with a distinctive style. Keep winning and we can start to talk about them like the 1980s Celtics, then the 1980s Lakers, and eventually the Bulls. But there is a lot of that mountain left for the Warriors to climb.

Still, I’d rather have the players thinking and dreaming big than just coasting. The Warriors should be driven by legacy now.

“Ray Allen from long distance” with chip shot to save par at American Century Classic

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“Ray Allen from long distance, how many times have we said that?”

Ray Allen had a good weekend at the American Century Championships, the former NBA sharpshooter and future Hall of Famer finished third in the celebrity golf event. One of the reasons he was there, this chip shot on 13 Sunday.

Former Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo won the event, with former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder was second.

LeBron James sits courtside for Lakers’ Summer League win

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There are two, maybe three guys playing for the Lakers in Summer League likely to be sharing a locker room with LeBron James next season — Isaac Bonga and Josh Hart, with maybe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and/or Alex Caruso. Only Hart could see the court much.

LeBron was still courtside on Sunday for a quarterfinal game at Summer League, showing his support and being a good teammate. He gave Hart a hug on the court. Brandon Ingram stopped by and talked with LeBron for a bit.

LeBron watched the Lakers continue their strong run through the Summer League, racking up a 101-78 win. LeBron was into it, when Mykhailiuk took a shot midway through the first quarter LeBron yelled, ‘cash only!”  The shot was nothing but net.

The Lakers are on to the Summer League semifinals. Los Angeles won the Vegas Summer League last year.

 

After losing to his father in golf, Stephen Curry leaps into Lake Tahoe

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Golf fanatic Stephen Curry was clearly enjoying himself on the links at the American Century Championship celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

But he couldn’t beat his father, Dell.

The price? Curry (and his caddy) had to jump in the lake. Check out the video above.

For the record, Tony Romo won the event.

 

Spurs’ pick Chimezie Metu to miss time with fractured wrist

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Chimezie Metu showed some promise in the Summer League games he played for San Antonio, scoring 12.5 points a game on 55 percent shooting in Las Vegas, and 10.7 per game on 54 percent shooting in Salt Lake City. The second round pick of the Spurs (No. 49 overall) is raw and needs a lot of development, but he can get buckets. The potential is there.

That development is going to be on hold a while, as what was thought to be a sprained wrist has turned out to be a fracture.

From Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

After an examination Saturday, the Spurs medical staff downgraded second-round pick Chimezie Metu’s left wrist injury from a sprain to a fracture, a league source said Saturday.

Metu was injured late in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over Washington on July 8 at the Las Vegas Summer League, when he landed awkwardly after leaping to catch a lob pass at the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man finished the game but was sidelined for the remainder of the schedule.

After undergoing X-rays at the Thomas & Mack Center, Metu was diagnosed with a sprain. But Spurs’ team doctors suspected a possible fracture, which was confirmed after Metu returned to San Antonio on Saturday.

Metu should be good to go by training camp. Metu is hoping his summer and training camp play will earn him a roster spot, although the Spurs tend not to sign second-round picks the year they were drafted (they tend to let them spend a year or two in the G-League or in Europe). A lot of his chances on making the roster depend on any other moves the Spurs make this summer and what their roster looks like come the fall.