Warriors Executive Board member Jerry West is a living legend.
When "The Logo" talks, it would be wise to listen to what he has to say.
Harrison Barnes certainly agrees.
As Sam Amick of USA Today Sports profiled, Barnes spent five days last summer with West in what could be described as "basketball boot camp."
"I had seen him at summer league my rookie year and I would just jokingly say to him, 'Look man, when are we going to get some work in?'" Barnes explained how working with West came to fruition. "And he would laugh and say, 'Yeah, we'll see about that.' The first summer goes by, and I'm calling and calling (West). He's busy. That's typical. So I'm like, 'OK, that's expected.'
"Then the next year goes by, and I say, 'Jerry, we still haven't gotten out on the court. What's going on? I'm trying to get some time with The Logo.' Then it keeps going on. And then the (2013-14) season was over, and he called me and said 'Look, you should come down to LA.' I said, 'I'm there, when do you want me to come?' He's like, 'How about next week?' We got a chance to work together, and it was great."
After being drafted seventh overall in 2012, Barnes started all 81 games he appeared in as a rookie, averaging 9.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting just under 44 percent from the field.
He was even better in the 2013 playoffs, registering 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds over 12 games.
But then the Warriors acquired Andre Iguodala, and Barnes moved to the bench.
In his sophomore campaign, "The Black Falcon" averaged 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds, but his shooting percentage dipped to below 40.
In the opening round of the playoffs against the Clippers, he contributed just 7.9 points and did not score in the Warriors' Game 7 loss.
Soon thereafter, Mark Jackson was fired and Steve Kerr was hired. Then came the swirling trade rumors, with Barnes' name attached in a deal that would bring Kevin Love to the Warriors.
No deal materialized, Barnes had the peace of mind of knowing he would be back with Golden State, and it was time to get to work.
So off to West's house he went.
"It was crazy," Barnes said. "To be able to not only spend time with him (West) on the court, but off the court as well, to see how he saw the game, how I need to see the game, the things that he saw in my game. He actually took the court and practiced on certain things.
"It's funny when I see him now, because he'll say thing likes, 'You practice that move I told you about?' or 'You're still doing the same … bleepity-bleep-bleep.' It was really good for me, I think. Especially after last year, to have someone like that take the time to invest in me. I think it has helped my game a lot."
The combination of West's tutelage, Kerr and the new coaching staff, plus being re-inserted into the starting lineup, paid dividends for Barnes and the Warriors this season.
The 22-year old (he turns 23 on May 30) started all 82 games, averaging career-bests in points (10.1), rebounds (5.5), field-goal percentage (48.2) and 3-point percentage (40.5).
So what exactly did Barnes do with West last August?
"We'd work out in the morning. We'd get some work in, and then he'd show up and put me through a workout," Barnes explained to Amick. "He'd show me stuff he would do, and then we'd go out to eat and talk about what the league is like today, stuff he saw back in the day. Who were the toughest players he guarded? Who were the tough players he went against? What was his mentality going into games?
"And then we just talked about life, about how he enjoyed LA, about my childhood, his childhood, all that type of stuff."
The time spent with the Hall of Famer was clearly beneficial for Barnes, but West got a lot out of it, too.
"When you get a good bunch of kids who are willing to look at themselves objectively, who are saying 'What can I do to get better?' it's great," West said. "It was flattering that he asked me about these things. To be around him for (five) days was a lot of fun, and to see how engaged he was about wanting to get better, I think those were the things that I took away from it personally."
Although Barnes enjoyed a bounce-back season, West wants to see even more from Barnes moving forward.
"I'm watching him become a more complete offensive player," West said. "An awful lot of it is his desire, and there's no reason he can't really take his game to another level. There's absolutely no reason he can't. I think he's come a long way…
"He wants to be great so badly. He's good now, and I think he has improved. But he can get a lot better, I think, as he continues to work on these things."