Kerr on 2-way guard Bow­man: ‘I want to keep him’

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - SPORTS - By Wes Gold­berg

SALT LAKE CITY >> When Ky Bow­man was a stand­out two-way foot­ball player at Have­lock High in North Carolina, it didn’t mat­ter whether he was play­ing wide re­ceiver or de­fen­sive back. “I’m still go­ing to get a hit,” Bow­man

said. “I’m go­ing to come across the field and get a hit on some­body.”

Bow­man’s hit-any­one-any­where men­tal­ity is help­ing him carve out a role with the War­riors. Hardly an in­ter­view goes by with­out Bow­man men­tion­ing his abil­ity to “pick up 94” — re­fer­ring to his ea­ger­ness to de­fend op­po­nents for the full 94foot length of an NBA court. This motto is sym­bolic of the work Bow­man has been will­ing to do ev­ery step of the way in or­der to es­tab­lish a bas­ket­ball ca­reer.

As a two-way con­tract player, Bow­man is al­most half­way through his al­lot­ted 45 days with Golden State. If the War­riors can’t find a way to con­vert his deal to a 15-man ros

ter spot, Bow­man would have to spend the rest of the sea­son with the War­riors’ G League af­fil­i­ate in Santa Cruz.

Even though he’s so far made the most of his op­por­tu­nity, sign­ing the twoway con­tract was ini­tially a set­back.

A score-first shoot­ing guard at Bos­ton Col­lege, Bow­man was pro­jected by draft ex­perts as a sec­ond-round pick. How­ever, while at­tend­ing the draft in Brook­lyn, New York, Bow­man watched as the 60th pick was an­nounced and his name was still not called.

“It was up­set­ting but, at the same time, God has a plan for every­body,” Bow­man said of his draft night slide. “So, I mean, I’m here now, so just be­ing able to stick with it.”

An un­drafted free agent, Bow­man and his agent had been in con­tact with sev­eral teams, in­clud­ing Golden State, New Or­leans and Detroit. Af­ter spurn­ing a promis­ing foot­ball ca­reer for a shot to play bas­ket­ball for a liv­ing, he sought a guar­an­teed con­tract. They told teams Bow­man would not sign a two-way deal.

“That was one of my com­po­nents when I was go­ing into the draft,” Bow­man said. “I wasn’t go­ing to sign a two-way con­tract.”

But when a 15-man ros­ter spot didn’t ma­te­ri­al­ize, Bow­man had to com­pro­mise. He got back in touch with the War­riors. Hav­ing seen guard Quinn Cook once turn a two-way con­tract into a ros­ter spot, Bow­man trusted the front of­fice and coach­ing staff’s track record.

Since train­ing camp, Bow­man and War­riors coach Steve Kerr have found mu­tual re­spect. Kerr praises Bow­man’s com­pet­i­tive­ness while Bow­man ap­pre­ci­ates Kerr’s open-door pol­icy.

“You’re able to talk to him when­ever,” Bow­man said. “Just able to help me even though I’m a young guy, but keep­ing it real with me, telling me what he needs and mak­ing sure that I’m ful­fill­ing the role that the team needs me to do.”

With Stephen Curry side­lined for most of the sea­son with a bro­ken hand and D’An­gelo Rus­sell in and out of the lineup with var­i­ous in­juries, the War­riors have needed more from Bow­man than most teams ask of two-way play­ers. He’s been tasked with fa­cil­i­tat­ing the of­fense and pro­vid­ing scor­ing, while also guard­ing some of the best ball han­dlers in the league.

Bow­man, 22, has started five games this sea­son, scored at least 16 points five times and com­mit­ted just one turnover in his last 120 min­utes played. Op­po­nents de­fended by Bow­man are shoot­ing nearly 2% worse than their av­er­age, and he’s come up with at least one steal in each of his last eight games.

Be­cause of the hard cap, the War­riors will not be

able to of­fer him a 15-man ros­ter spot with­out ei­ther waiv­ing the non-guar­an­teed con­tract of for­ward Mar­quese Chriss (who has played well as of late) or trad­ing one of their min­i­mum salaries into another team’s cap space.

“There’s not a whole lot we can do, our hands our tied,” Kerr said af­ter Fri­day’s loss to the Utah Jazz, in which Bow­man logged 17 points, six re­bounds, five as­sists, four steals and zero turnovers in 36 min­utes. “All we can do is keep giv­ing him the op­por­tu­nity this sea­son.

“A guy like Ky Bow­man is play­ing for his ca­reer. So for him to get this op­por­tu­nity and seize it and play well shows the league what he’s about. It’s fan­tas­tic. Ob­vi­ously, I want to keep him. I think we feel re­ally strongly about that.”

As the War­riors ral­lied from 20 points down in Utah, Bow­man met Jazz guard Mike Con­ley as he crossed half-court, jumped the pass­ing lane for a steal and cut the lead to five with a right-handed dunk with less than two min­utes left in the game.

Hav­ing guarded all-pro ball han­dlers like Con­ley, Luka Don­cic and James Har­den with equal verve, Bow­man has shown he be­longs within the 94 feet of an NBA floor.

“It’s just a mind­set,” Bow­man said of de­fend­ing full-court, “It’s been some­thing to help me stay on the court.”

Kansas City Oak­land Charg­ers Den­ver

New Eng­land Buffalo

N.Y. Jets Mi­ami

Hous­ton In­di­anapo­lis Ten­nessee Jack­sonville

Bal­ti­more Pitts­burgh Cleve­land Cincin­nati

Dal­las Philadel­phia N.Y. Giants Wash­ing­ton

SOUTH DIVI­SION

New Or­leans Carolina At­lanta Tampa Bay

Green Bay Min­nesota Chicago Detroit 7 6 4 3

EAST DIVI­SION

W

9 7 3 2

SOUTH DIVI­SION

W

7 6 5 4

NORTH DIVI­SION

W

8 5 4 0

San Fran­cisco 9 Seat­tle 8 Rams 6 Ari­zona 3

EAST DIVI­SION

W

6 5 2 1

W

8 5 3 3

NORTH DIVI­SION

W

8 8 4 3

Thurs­day's games

Sun­day's games

Mon­day's games

4 4 7 7 1 3 7 8 4 5 5 6 2 5 6 10 1 2 4 7 4 5 8 9 2 5 7 7 2 3 6 6 0 .636 0 .600 0 .364 0 .300 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .900 .700 .300 .200 0 .636 0 .545 0 .500 0 .400 0 .800 0 .500 0 .400 0 .000 0 .900 0 .800 0 .600 1 .318 0 .600 0 .500 0 .200 0 .100 0 .800 0 .500 0 .300 0 .300 .800 .727 .400 .350

Hous­ton 20, In­di­anapo­lis 17

Bal­ti­more at Rams, 5:15 p.m. 308 225 224 172 287 211 164 139 265 244 203 189 341 200 192 147 295 275 243 248 286 234 203 125 238 228 220 277 250 289 169 244

Tampa Bay at At­lanta, 10 a.m.

Mi­ami at Cleve­land, 10 a.m.

N.Y. Giants at Chicago, 10 a.m. Seat­tle at Philadel­phia, 10 a.m. Carolina at New Or­leans, 10 a.m. Oak­land at N.Y. Jets, 10 a.m.

Den­ver at Buffalo, 10 a.m.

Detroit at Wash­ing­ton, 10 a.m. Pitts­burgh at Cincin­nati, 10 a.m. Jack­sonville at Ten­nessee, 1:05 p.m. Dal­las at New Eng­land, 1:25 p.m. Green Bay at San Fran­cisco, 5:20 p.m. 256 250 218 197 108 170 255 305 249 226 197 222 196 202 228 276 155 254 198 317 197 230 289 253 199 257 262 313 205 205 174 272

Lak­ers Clippers Phoenix Sacramento Golden State

SOUTH­WEST DIVI­SION

Hous­ton Dal­las

New Or­leans Mem­phis San An­to­nio

NORTH­WEST DIVI­SION

Den­ver

Utah Min­nesota Ok­la­homa City Portland

Mi­ami Or­lando Wash­ing­ton Char­lotte At­lanta

CEN­TRAL DIVI­SION

Mil­wau­kee In­di­ana Detroit Chicago Cleve­land

Fri­day's games

Satur­day's games

Sun­day's games

13 11 8 6 3 11 10 6 5 5 11 10 8 5 5 2 5 7 8 14 5 5 9 9 11 3 5 8 10 11

Phoenix 100, Min­nesota 98 Chicago at Char­lotte, (n) Or­lando at In­di­ana, (n) Mi­ami at Philadel­phia, (n) San An­to­nio at New York, (n) Toronto at At­lanta, (n) Lak­ers at Mem­phis, (n) Portland at Cleve­land, (n) Detroit at Mil­wau­kee, (n) New Or­leans at Utah, (n) .867 .688 .533 .429 .176 .688 .667 .400 .357 .313 .786 .667 .500 .333 .313

Detroit 128, At­lanta 103 Wash­ing­ton 125, Char­lotte 118 Brook­lyn 116, Sacramento 97 Lak­ers 130, Ok­la­homa City 127 Mi­ami 116, Chicago 108 Philadel­phia 115, San An­to­nio 104 Dal­las 143, Cleve­land 101

Den­ver 96, Bos­ton 92

Utah 113, Golden State 109 Clippers 122, Hous­ton 119

Dal­las at Hous­ton, 12:30 p.m. Brook­lyn at New York, 3 p.m. Sacramento at Wash­ing­ton, 3 p.m. Phoenix at Den­ver, 5 p.m.

New Or­leans at Clippers, 6 p.m.

— 21⁄2

5 61⁄2 11

— 1⁄2 41⁄2 5 6

— 11⁄2

4 61⁄2

7

NHAT V. MEYER — BAY AREA NEWS GROUP

The War­riors’ Ky Bow­man drib­bles against the Suns’ Aron Baynes in the fourth quar­ter on Oct. 30at the Chase Cen­ter in San Fran­cisco.

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