Draymond Green Shares His Thoughts on LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant Debate

While the basketball world has temporarily paused nonstop comparisons between LeBron James and Michael Jordan for comparisons between the King and his NBA Finals opponent, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green wasn’t quick to choose sides. 

“LeBron is a great player, but KD is great,” Green said Tuesday, per Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. “I think KD is like a created player. If you create this player and you can do everything you want to do, you are probably going to create Kevin Durant. So, he’s special. Both of those guys are special. I don’t think either is out here playing for the title of best player in the world. They are playing for a title. An NBA title.”

         

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Steve Kerr Credits Mark Jackson for Making Warriors a ‘Great Defensive Team’

The Golden State Warriors have become one of the NBA‘s best teams since Steve Kerr took over as head coach three years ago, but Kerr believes former head coach Mark Jackson deserves credit for at least one area in which the current group excels.

Per ESPN’s Marc J. Spears, Kerr said Jackson made the Warriors a “great defensive team” prior to his arrival. 

Jackson coached the Warriors for three seasons from 2011-14 and led the team into the postseason in each of his last two seasons. 

During Jackson’s tenure in Golden State, the franchise went from 27th in defensive efficiency during his first season to fourth in his final season. 

While the Warriors have been an offensive juggernaut with stars like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant joining that group this year, they remain an excellent defensive unit. They finished this season ranked second in defensive efficiency, allowing 102.6 points per 100 possessions. 

With two more wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, the Warriors will capture their second title in three years. 

Statistics courtesy Basketball-Reference.com.

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Bryan Colangelo Says 76ers Are Open to Trading No. 3 Pick in 2017 NBA Draft

The Philadelphia 76ers are keeping their options open with the third overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft.

Team president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo told reporters Monday that the Sixers will consider a trade if they receive an enticing offer.

“I think that should we move or if there’s a transaction that comes out that gives us a chance to perhaps increase what impact No. 3 can have in terms of its return, I think we will look at it,” Colangelo said, per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There’s some discussions that have been fairly interesting.”

Colangelo specifically mentioned the team’s need for wings and guards, many of which should be available at No. 3.

Although presumed top-two picks Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball have declined workouts with the 76ers, according to Pompey, they will likely be able to choose from forwards Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum and Jonathan Isaac along with guards De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Dennis Smith Jr.

Any of those prospects would provide immediate help to a team that almost tripled its win total from the previous season, joining a young core that already has Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and others.

On the other hand, a trade could either net more picks or bring in a veteran who can help guide the otherwise inexperienced squad.

With the way Philadelphia has stacked up draft selections in recent years, a trade back from No. 3 is assuredly within the realm of possibility.

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Warriors 3rd on Forbes’ Most Valuable NBA Teams List Behind Lakers, Knicks

A few big seasons have seen the Golden State Warriors become one of the most valuable franchises in the NBA, although it’s still difficult to compete with the two biggest markets in the country.

According to Forbes, the New York Knicks lead the NBA with a current value of $3.3 billion, followed by the Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion) and the Warriors ($2.6 billion).  

Here are the top franchises in the league in 2017:

1. New York Knicks ($3.6 billion)

2. Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion)

3. Golden State Warriors ($2.6 billion)

4. Chicago Bulls ($2.5 billion)

5. Boston Celtics ($2.2 billion)

6. Los Angeles Clippers ($2.0 billion)

7. Brooklyn Nets ($1.8 billion)

8. Houston Rockets ($1.65 billion)

9. Dallas Mavericks ($1.45 billion)

10. Miami Heat ($1.35 billion)

 

The list goes to show that you don’t necessarily need a successful team to make money in the NBA. Neither the Knicks nor the Lakers have had a winning season in the last four years, but each still generated over $330 million in revenue.

Still, the rapid ascension of the Warriors shows there is still value in winning.

Golden State was ninth on this same list in 2014 with a value of $750 million. After winning a championship in 2015, the team has jumped to seventh, then sixth in 2016. In the past year, the team has gained $104 million in revenue and almost doubled its net worth from $1.9 billion to $3.6 billion.

This is not a bad deal for majority owner Joe Lacob, who bought the team for $450 million in 2010.

The New Orleans Pelicans rank last in the league with a value of $750 million.

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Draymond Green Says Championship Is ‘All That Matters,’ Not Focused on 16-0

No team has ever gone 16-0 in the NBA playoffs, but Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green isn’t letting the chance at history distract from the ultimate goal of winning a title.

“It doesn’t matter,” Green said Tuesday, per Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. “It would be great, a great story. … [But] if we were able to do that, I don’t think when I talk about a championship I’d say we were the only team to go 16-0. I think I’d say we won a championship. That’s all that matters.”

This Warriors squad already has a record 14 straight wins to start a postseason and steamrolled the Cleveland Cavaliers by 22 points and 19 points, respectively, in the first two games of the NBA Finals. Haynes noted Golden State led an overwhelming 86 of the 96 minutes in those contests and has won 29 of the last 30 times it took the floor.

It is easy to think two more wins won’t be a problem, but many basketball pundits fell into a similar trap last year when Golden State beat Cleveland in the first two games of the Finals by a combined 48 points after setting an NBA record with 73 wins in the regular season.

LeBron James had other ideas and scored 41 points each in Games 5 and 6 and notched a triple-double at Oracle Arena in Game 7 as the Cavaliers overcame a 3-1 deficit.

Green harkened back to that series when he said, “We made that mistake of circling 73 [wins] and worrying about the wrong thing before,” per Haynes.

The fact the series is shifting back to Quicken Loans Arena, where the Cavaliers won Game 3 in each of the last two Finals against Golden State, caught Stephen Curry‘s eye when focusing on a one-game-at-a-time mentality instead of the 16-0 possibility.

“No, because we’re not [chasing it],” Curry said. “We have a huge hurdle to get over tomorrow. Maybe talked about it a little bit earlier, Game 3 has been a little rough for us historically—and especially in this building.”

The Warriors can make history with two more wins but also understand their own history suggests they should focus on the immediate task of handling Cleveland in Wednesday’s Game 3.

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JR Smith Remains in Cavaliers Game 3 Starting Lineup vs. Warriors

Despite staring at a 2-0 deficit following a pair of blowout losses, the Cleveland Cavaliers are sticking with their starting lineup.

Coach Tyronn Lue announced Tuesday that JR Smith will continue to start at shooting guard in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. McMenamin previously reported Lue was considering benching Smith in favor of Iman Shumpert.

Smith has scored just three points in the series’ first two games. He was held scoreless during his 14 minutes of playing time in Game 2, taking just two shots and seeming woefully out of rhythm.

Shumpert played 22 minutes by comparison despite dealing with cramping issues. It was just the fourth time all postseason that Shumpert played more minutes than Smith.

The Golden State Warriors have pulled out to a 2-0 series lead, putting up a plus-41 point differential. Cleveland wouldn’t have been able to win either of the first two games with Shumpert in Smith’s place, but a shakeup might have had some positive effect.

Shumpert is a superior on-ball defender to Smith, who has improved in Cleveland but remains inconsistent. Lue highlighted defensive improvement as being paramount to the Cavs’ having a chance Wednesday night.

“I think that having awareness, can’t relax, can’t fall asleep,” Lue told reporters. “This team, their offense is constant movement, so you got to be locked in. You can’t take a peek somewhere else and lose your man. So they make you pay. And they have a lot of guys who are great passers, so you got to be alert at all times.” 

Shumpert has done next to nothing on the offensive end for these playoffs, but he can be solid on the ball and looked inspired on that end in parts of Game 2. 

Keeping Smith in the starting lineup might be Lue’s way of giving his struggling guard a vote of confidence. Nothing stops Lue from giving Shumpert the lion’s share of minutes at the 2 if Smith still can’t find his stroke. 

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Derek Fisher Car Crash Photos Revealed After DUI Arrest

Photos from Derek Fisher‘s car crash have emerged following his arrest for a DUI Sunday. 

TMZ posted the images of Fisher’s 2015 Cadillac Escalade after he crashed into a rail on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles:

TMZ Sports reported “Fisher was arrested on suspicion of DUI” after the crash, also noting Fisher and his passenger, girlfriend Gloria Govan, were unharmed in the accident. 

Speaking to TMZ the day after his arrest, Fisher said he was moving forward from the incident: “The most important part is that we’re here and that no one else was injured. So from here, just focusing on the positives.”

Fisher spent the bulk of his career in Los Angeles, winning five NBA titles in 13 seasons with the Lakers. He also played with the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks in 18 seasons. 

 

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