San Francisco Chronicle
‘Window’ wider than you think
Anyone else getting tired of talk about the Warriors’ “window” to win a title? Watch out for that window, man. It’s closing fast. In fact, why even play the season?
If you dwell upon something long enough, it becomes oppressive, the only factor that matters. That’s why Thursday night’s draft was so refreshing. Trade rumors vanished into irrelevance and it was all about
Which the Warriors have in spades, by the way. All but a few NBA clubs would gladly do a talent exchange with Golden State.
The first thing to know is that Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are about as “old” or “near the end” as an Olympic sprinter. Old guys win in the NBA; that’s been a fact for decades. One of the halfdozen most influential players in this year’s postseason was 36yearold Chris Paul, so inspirational during the Phoenix Suns’ run to the Finals. He’s got a few years on the Warriors’ trio, and the list of 30ish stars runs deep throughout the league.
Curry, Green and Thompson are about to be driven by youthful spirit and pure desire — for at least three more seasons, maybe more. They want to win so badly, knowing exactly how it’s done, they can hardly contain their excitement. To think it’s “all over” if they don’t pull off a title this year? Complete nonsense.
I’ve written for weeks that the Warrriors need to get bigger up front, and that hasn’t happened. Perhaps it will, before training camp, but that’s another window that needs shuttering. Here’s what matters right now :In Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, James Wiseman and Jordan Poole, the Warriors have four of the most intriguing young players in the league. It’s an absolute gold mine if they develop to their potential.
So about your window, it’s foggy and you can’t see your neighbor’s eucalyptus, let alone the future. Let’s see if the Warriors can blend all that talent into something beautiful.
Checking to see if Joe Lacob, Bob Myers and Steve Kerr had gone temporarily insane, the 76ers reportedly tried to deal Ben Simmons to the Warriors for Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, both of this year’s firstround picks and two future firsts. How about no on a player who not only needs to work on his shot, but has to overcome a fear of taking one from pointblank range. I loved the stonecold take on ESPN from Bob Ryan, a legend of basketball writing, on Simmons: “I wouldn’t want him.” ... From ESPN’s reputable collegehoops analyst Jay Bilas: “I’m a big believer in Moses Moody. He not only has size, but he’s got great length. His arms go forever, and he can not only knock down a perimeter shot and a midrange shot, but he gets to the freethrow line, and that’s a skill. And he’s got the athleticism and the motor to be a really good defender.”
The Lakers made big news in trading for Russell Westbrook, and it should be a treat to see how he coexists with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Don’t depend on Westbrook for any shot; the stat people make a case for him as the worst 3point shooter in NBA history. But he’s also the bestever rebounding guard, on a par with Michael Jordan on explosive attacks on the basket, and a firstballot Hall of Famer on the strength of his tripledouble magnificence. Westbrook doesn’t understand a player saying “I had to be aggressive” — something you hear every five minutes during the season — because he’s aggressive every minute on the floor. The Lakers hope some of that energy rubs off on Davis, whose motivation inexcusably disappears at times.
Bradley Beal, who apparently has decided to stay in Washington, can’t be happy with the Wizards’ end of that deal. Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope won’t help that team get anywhere close to the Eastern Conference’s top four. They certainly won’t be missed in L.A., nor will guard Dennis Schroder if he departs as a free agent. “I don’t think he’s a Laker,” retired great Magic Johnson said on AM 570 LA Sports (KLAC). “That’s just my opinion. I don’t think he brings the winning mentality and attitude that we need. He had a chance to show that” in the Phoenix series, “and to me, he failed.” ... Sacramento has offered Buddy Hield in trade, and it’s likely he wants out. In De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and No. 1 draft pick Davion Mitchell, the Kings have an exceptionally promising backcourt.
Best shooter at the Tokyo Olympics so far: Kelsey Plum, whose lefthanded magic led the U.S. to the 3x3 gold medal. The former University of Washington standout tore her left Achilles tendon in June of 2020 but made a sterling recovery from surgery and is back with the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces . ... Here’s to the astonishing depth of the U.S. women’s soccer team, which scored a thrilling victory over the Netherlands on Friday. Looking for a few sparks of energy in the 57th and then 64th minute, coach Vlatko Andonovski called upon Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle, Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe.
Great stuff from the Olympic baseball and softball tournaments: A pitch clock (20 seconds with nobody on base) and a rule demanding that batters keep at least one foot in the box between pitches. Pay attention, MLB. There’s your key to shortening the games . ... When USA Baseball peaked: The 1984 team, leaning heavily upon college talent, featured Will Clark, Mark McGwire, Barry Larkin, Oddibe McDowell, Billy Swift, B.J. Surhoff and 12 other players drafted in the first rounds of 1984 and ’85. Those players still can’t believe they lost to Japan 63 in the championship game at a packed Dodger Stadium. ... Endearing highlight from Friday’s 81 win over Israel: Two RBI doubles from Eddy Alvarez, who won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics as part of the 5,000meter short track speedskating relay team, then turned to his favorite sport and reached the majors for 12 games with Miami last season.