I’ve been told by a reliable source that the Warriors have been planning to televise on two upcoming nights their so-called “Dubble”, as nicknamed by Kirk Lacob, per SJ Mercury beatwriter Wes Goldberg. The dates that have been penciled in are October 2nd and 6th.
However, I asked Warriors PR for confirmation, and got “probably not TV” and “not sure yet” as responses.
The scrimmages on those days or nights are supposed to be with the Warriors in full uniform, not just in the usual reversible practice jerseys.
Now for my takes:
I believe, like the planning for the Orlando bubble, the dates are set as targets and the “powers that be” will see how things develop. After all, there could be a player that tests positive for coronavirus; we don’t know what will happen. Unlike the Orlando bubble which had 22 teams, there’s only one team involved here and so plans can maybe be altered more quickly and therefore things don’t have to necessarily be set in stone.
It makes sense that NBC Sports Bay Area would want to air a couple of scrimmages, as they are under contract with the Warriors, of course, and were deprived of local broadcasts when the NBA was suspended.
Stephen Curry only played five times this entire past season and the ratings for a last-place, injury-depleted team must have been a wash (just assuming the obvious without looking up actual numbers).
NBCSBA should be salivating at this opportunity to showcase, at a minimum, Klay Thompson in a scrimmage. I’d even say one workout with Klay all by himself — or how about Klay shooting around for five minutes in the yellow City jerseys with a headband…
…could draw better ratings than any given local broadcast sans Curry from this past season (let’s say, that wasn’t in the first month when there’s a lot of hype for the team)?
But I’m being facetious. Television requires so much investment in terms of equipment, technicians, and on-air personalities, it’s also understandable if any part of the mini-camp ends up not being televised. Let’s not forget any COVID-19 protocols for all of their personnel, too.
Now, Curry and Draymond Green are “doubtful” to participate in the mini-camp, also as reported by Goldberg, as well as SF Chronicle’s Connor Letourneau, due to “family reasons.” This came straight from head coach Steve Kerr.
As far as what that means, we know Green announced that his wife Hazel Renee is apparently very pregnant with “Baby Cash”, as seen in our latest Draymond video:
A source close to Green’s inner circle tells me that the due date is on or around October 7th. For Draymond to attend mini-camp, he would have to quarantine at the hotel for 48 hours before being allowed to participate in mini-camp at Chase Center. Players are tested every day and he would, of course, also have to test negative for COVID-19.
This is all spelled out in Anthony Slater’s recent article in TheAthletic, where Kerr said the primary goal for the team is to just be together, rather than, say, drill on defensive concepts all day. The team will occupy two floors of their hotel and one of the floors has a ballroom where they can all watch Monday Night Football or tonight’s NBA Playoffs.
As for Curry, I’m sure under normal circumstances he (and Draymond) would want to take advantage of the opportunity to play 5-on-5 with Andrew Wiggins and Klay and Marquese Chriss, which would likely be your Opening Night starting five — unless GM Bob Myers lands a star for the Dubs via trade, probably utilizing the Traded Player Exception aka “TPE” — but that’s for another post/rant.
Last week on the WNBA Tea podcast, which might have been recorded prior to last week, Curry said, “Me, Klay, Draymond, we've been talking a lot…we know it's just a few things that are gonna get us right back to where we're supposed to be.” We have the audio snippet on our Instagram page.
So, what are those few things and can they be worked on in this mini-camp? Wouldn’t you want to work on those things?
Steph has been visiting Ayesha’s family in Toronto, which we’ve covered, including shooting around with Drake at his mansion:
Curry’s visit, which has lasted around two weeks so far, seems to be overlapping with mini-camp. You can make the educated guess that he’ll stay in Toronto to support Ayesha’s new cookbook which released today. He surprised her with a celebration last night and she has an online book signing event happening on Thursday as well, after spending this morning from her mom’s house on Good Morning America (the following video is hot off the presses!):
Maybe the Currys, will all three kids in tow, will be back before mini-camp ends next Friday, October 9.
Green lives downtown and could theoretically join the “Dubble” then leave it as needed and he’d been within a stone’s throw of going home to take Hazel to the hospital — a way more convenient situation than Gordon Hayward’s, for example — but it’s understandable if Green doesn’t want to take any chances. Cash will be his first baby with Hazel and they did not get a chance to have their wedding this summer due to COVID-19.
Santa Cruz G Leaguers Jonathon Simmons, Jeremy Pargo, Zach Norvell, Roger Moute a Bidias and Ryan Taylor will join the “big squad” for this bubble. According to my source, they have been going to league-approved individual workouts at Biofreeze Performance Center since the middle of this month, testing for coronavirus every day, hitting the ground running with the mini-camp.
Simmons is a well-known former San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic “3&D” player. Pargo is a veteran point guard, Norvell a shooting guard who had a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, and both had 10-day contracts with Golden State last season. Moute a Bidias is a 6’6” Cal alum forward who happened to get some tutelage from Curry when Steph rehabbed at Santa Cruz on March 2nd:
Finally, Ryan Taylor is an intriguing 6’6” two-guard “knock-down shooter” prospect in the mold of Duncan Robinson. Each of the “Delete Eight” NBA teams not in the Orlando bubble was allowed to include up to five already-signed affiliate G Leaguers to join their respective bubbles.
Aside from Steph, Klay, Draymond, “Wiggs” and Chriss, Golden State have a lot of players under contract, i.e., not free agents. That means this the Dubble will also include Kevon Looney (who had “successful surgery” on his abdominal strain per the Warriors), Eric Paschall, Damion Lee, Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic, Ky Bowman, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Mike Mulder.
I’m especially looking forward to seeing five players.
Are they looking healthy and moving well on the court like they used to?
Do they look like they’re picking up where they left off?
I saw the clip where Kerr talked about seeing how the players look on things the team asked them to work on. I’d love to see a list of each player and what they were specifically asked to work on.
Feels like it would be a pretty different Dubble with some Green Curry. The 5v5 scrimmage teams would be a blast. Imagine Paschall screaming "you can't guard me" on Draymond when Ref Mike Brown whistles an and-one, and the way Dray would return the favor by picking apart Paschall's coverages leading to a wide open Klay three (swish).
Still, I'm sure the team can get in some good practice even without them. The thought of hanging around with some buddies/coworkers for a "totally not training camp" thing feels like it would be pretty exciting to me, so I bet a lot of these guys are similarly ready to throw down some jams and play something resembling real ball.
As I've been pointing out throughout the playoffs, the right amount of continuity is certainly important in taking a team to the next level, so it'll be nice to use this opportunity to build team chemistry and identity. If we're so lucky as to get a televised scrimmage out of it, that'd be rad.