OAKLAND – He knew there would be plenty of talent and skill, that there was tremendous potential. What Steve Kerr didn’t know was what to expect when the retooled Warriors gathered for their first training-camp practice.
Confusion was possible, always is when there are six new members.
Rough spots were expected, always are when blending the familiar with the unfamiliar.
Yet there wasn’t much of either on Tuesday, according to Kerr.
“Practice was really smooth, especially considering the new faces,” he said.
“It was kind of pretty,” he added. “It was. It was. We had some good flow. Our guys were locked in. It didn’t look as ragged as first days sometimes do.”
That may be a testament to the quality of the personnel and collective basketball intellect. The veteran additions – forward Kevin Durant, center Zaza Pachulia and forward David West – all have at least nine years of NBA experience. Durant and West have made multiple appearances in the NBA All-Star Game.
One youngster, forward Kevon Looney, spent time around the team as a rookie last season. Another, rookie guard Patrick McCaw, was drafted largely due to his high basketball IQ. The second rookie, center Damian Jones, the first-round pick, is healing from pectoral surgery and won’t be cleared to play anytime soon.
“We’ve got smart basketball players out there,” Durant said. “It’s like riding a bike. Once we started everybody started to pick up things pretty quickly.”
Point guard Stephen Curry, who played hurt throughout the postseason, appeared healed and active.
“It was a good day, business as usual, a lot of energy, a lot of intensity, a lot of talking,” Curry said. “From the time we were on the court, I think we understood and are getting used to our process again.”
Durant said he felt comfortable, but also realizes there upon entering a new environment there will be challenges. He was intent with his first official session with his new teammates.
“I’m still learning,” he said. “It’s a different game, a different system than I’ve been used to playing in. But as time went on, I started to get the schemes and learn what coach wants me to do.”
The Warriors will practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before flying to Vancouver, B.C. for a preseason game Saturday afternoon against Toronto.