Warriors Notes: Kobe, Jones, McGee

Despite being the defending NBA champions and holding the league’s second best record so far this season at 23-6, the Warriors will be playing second fiddle during tonight’s contest against the Lakers in Los Angeles, reports Monte Poole of NBCS Bay Area.

Of course, tonight marks the Lakers’ retirement of iconic jersey numbers 8 and 24 in recognition of legend Kobe Bryant, who helped lead the Lakers to five championships during his illustrious 20-year career.  And given the circumstances, Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr is willing to allow his team the freedom to leave the locker room at halftime to witness the ceremony.

I want our guys to see it,” Kerr said Saturday. “It’ll be a pretty cool moment. Just to experience of one of the greatest players in the history of the game getting his jersey retired and we happen to be there? I’m not going to keep them in the locker room watching tape from the first half. The players would look at me like I was nuts.”

There’s more from the Bay Area:

  • The Warriors are happy with the development of young big man Damian Jones, reports Melissa Rohlin of The Mercury News. The Warriors announced that they recalled Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors on Sunday, one day after assistant coach Mike Brown watched Jones record 20 points, 15 rebounds and six assists against the Westchester Knicks.  Asked to discuss Jones mindset on his lack of role with the team thus far in his career, Kerr stated, “He’s handled it really well. He’s such a quiet guy, he doesn’t say a whole lot. It can’t be easy to be gone from the main group so often, but he understands. We talked to him about it. The most important thing is for him to play and gain experience.”
  • Teams are going to continue selling their second round picks to the Warriors (and other teams) so long as the price and circumstances are right, as Danny Leroux relays in a mailbag piece for The Athletic. Leroux also tackles questions regarding the futures of Jordan Bell and Patrick McCaw, among others.
  • After being an integral part of the Warriors championship run last season, JaVale McGee has seen his playing time significantly drop so far this season. The reduction in minutes is the result of the way the game is changing, reports Mark Medina of The Mercury News. Despite the challenge for McGee, he appears to be accepting of his new role. “He’s handling it well. I think JaVale has been really good as far as understanding things haven’t gone his way and staying with it,” Kerr said. “He works hard in practice. I tell him all the time things will turn. They always do.”
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