At the team’s only open practice of the season, Mike Dunleavy Jr. discusses a variety of topics.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Before an open practice on Thursday, Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. spoke briefly in front of about 13,000 fans about the summer blockbuster trade that flipped Jordan Poole for Chris Paul.
Dunleavy told Chase Center fans that he contacted both parties after the trade that sent Poole, Patrick Baldwin Jr., and Ryan Rollins to the Wizards was completed in early July.
“It was not an easy discussion, but I think those guys are in a good place to continue their careers,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “On our end, we reached out to Chris and welcomed him aboard.”
It was Dunleavy’s first major move as general manager after being promoted from vice president of basketball operations after Bob Myers stepped down at the end of last season.
Prior to joining the front office, Dunleavy was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2002 draft and played for the team for 15 years.
Dunleavy told fans that keeping the veteran core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green together was the team’s top priority this offseason.
“The first thing I think we have to say is, we finished in the top eight of the league,” he said. “But for this organization, we only care about championships, so how do we get back to that?”
Dunleavy later in the interview referred to the Warriors’ free-spending owners, led by Joe Lacob, as “the best ownership group in sports.”
“His willingness and competitiveness to get the best product out there is second to none,” he said. “All you can ask for is to have the resources to improve our team year after year.”
Even though Dunleavy is now in charge of personnel decisions, he says he still consults with his players and coaching staff.
“The biggest thing Steve (Kerr) looks for is guys who compete, and guys who have skill … guys who do anything for the team,” Dunleavy went on to say. “Our staff, coaches like Steve and certainly our players, we want to get everybody’s input.”
On a lighter note, when asked about the number of fans at the team’s one open practice of the season, Dunleavy cracked an Allen Iverson joke.
“Practice? “We’re discussing practice,” Dunleavy said rhetorically. “Wow, that’s incredible. This is incredible, and I believe you’ll see some great things today.”
Notes for practice:
Following the interview, the teams went about their business. Kerr described the practice as “light” after the team’s 116-115 victory over the Sacramento Kings the day before.
Hiyagen Beraane, nine, sat near the top of Chase Center, ignoring the slice of pizza his father had bought him in favor of watching his favorite player.
Did it make a difference that no one was keeping score?
Not at all.
“Steph Curry is the best,” Beraane said, his gaze fixed on the action, and his father added, “He was ready the whole day” for his first trip to Chase Center.
Fans could watch Curry and Thompson hit three-pointers on the bright yellow court for the low price of $5.
Because regular season tickets are so expensive, this was his son’s first chance to see the Warriors in person, according to the senior Beraane.
The Warriors concluded open practice with a singing contest, which began with rookie Brandin Podziemski of Santa Clara singing “Sweet Caroline,” with assistance from Beraane and an enthusiastic crowd.
Curry closed out the night by confirming the team’s desire for a fifth championship with the current core, with the crowd cheering at playoff-level volume.
“You’ve been with us the whole entire way, so let’s get another one,” Curry went on to say.