The Raiders season is in full swing, the A’s are in the playoffs for the second consecutive year, and, finally, the Warriors have tipped off the 2013-14 NBA preseason. With teams competing in regular season, postseason and preseason play all at the same time, it’s an exciting month in the East Bay.
To help fill you in on the Warriors’ contribution to the excitement, we’ve cobbled together a few pertinent preseason notes as the team prepares for the 2013-14 campaign.
For the second time in six years, the Warriors will play a portion of their preseason slate in China, with games against the Los Angeles Lakers in Beijing (Oct. 15) and Shanghai (Oct. 18) highlighting the 2013 preseason docket. In the Warriors previous sojourn in China in 2008, they split a pair of contests with the Milwaukee Bucks, falling 98-94 in Guangzhou on Oct. 15 before a 109-108 triumph in Beijing on Oct. 17. The loss in Guangzhou represents the Warriors’ only loss to an NBA team outside of the United States and Canada, as Golden State has previously earned victories over the Charlotte Hornets in Paris, France (1994), the New Jersey Nets in Mexico City, Mexico (1999), and the Denver Nuggets in Monterrey, Mexico (2006).
In addition to the Warriors becoming just the second team to play in China in two separate preseasons (the Houston Rockets did so in 2004 and 2012), this is the first time the NBA has sent clubs to China in consecutive years (the Rockets and L.A. Clippers played in Beijing and Shanghai last year).
While the Warriors return a total of eight players from last season, including all five starters, there are several new faces in blue and gold in 2013-14. Golden State brought in Andre Iguodala via a sign-and-trade and added free agents Marreese Speights, Jermaine O’Neal and Toney Douglas. All four of those acquisitions have appeared in multiple postseasons, adding a combined 24 years (148 games) of playoff experience to a roster that previously had only one player earn a playoff berth prior to last year’s run (Andrew Bogut with Milwaukee in 2006).
The Warriors already had an international presence on the squad with big men Andrew Bogut (Australia) and Festus Ezeli (Nigeria), but they doubled their international output with the signings of 2013 draft pick Nemanja Nedovic (Serbia) and 2012 draft pick Ognjen Kuzmic (Bosnia & Herzegovina). One day before training camp opened, the team also added Taiwan-born Joe Alexander, giving them a total of five players born outside of the United States (more than 25 percent of their roster).
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
Mark Jackson added NBA veterans Lindsey Hunter and Brian Scalabrine to his coaching staff this summer, giving the team’s coaching staff nearly as much playing experience as its training camp roster. Jackson (17 years), Hunter (17), Scalabrine (11) and Pete Myers (nine) have combined to play 54 years in the NBA, while the Warriors roster has a collective 64 years under its belt. Subtracting veteran center Jermaine O’Neal and his 17 years of experience, those four coaches have seven more years of combined NBA playing experience than the remaining 17 players on the Warriors roster.
IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were dubbed the “Splash Brothers” in 2012-13 for their prolific three-point shooting abilities, but there may be some disputing the moniker this year. Stephen’s brother, Seth Curry, signed with the Warriors as an undrafted rookie, marking the first time the Warriors have ever had a pair of brothers on the roster at the same time. There were three such brother pairings on teams in the NBA last season (Ben and Tyler Hansbrough in Indiana, Jrue and Justin Holiday in Philadelphia, and Marcus and Markieff Morris in Phoenix), but prior to 2012-13, there hadn’t been a pair of brothers on the same roster since 1998-99. Stephen and Seth are the sons of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry, while Klay is the son of two-time NBA champion Mychal Thompson, giving the Warriors three players with dads who played in the NBA.
In addition to the Currys, Golden State has half of another unique brother pairing: guard Toney Douglas is the only active NBA player with a brother in the NFL, Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver Harry Douglas, and the pair is just the sixth set of brothers to have overlapping careers in the two leagues.
The Warriors enter the 2013-14 season looking to reach the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1991-92, when they followed a 44-38 season in 1990-91 with a 55-win campaign. Golden State likewise improved upon its record from the team’s previous playoff berth in 2007, winning six more games the following season (48-34) only to be left out of the playoffs. After posting a 47-35 record in 2012-13, the Warriors are seeking consecutive 45-win seasons for the first time since 1975-76 (59-23) and 1976-77 (46-36), the two seasons that followed the franchise’s lone championship (1975) in its West Coast Era.