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The Warriors Eat Together

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by Mr. Clutch, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Unlike certain other NBA superstars, Curry and Klay don't eat alone.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/golden-...ogether-1423682960?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories

    NBA
    Golden State: The Team That Eats Together

    The Warriors Have an Unusual Habit of Going Out for Huge Team Meals on the Road; Great for Bonding, but Who Picks Up the Check?

    [​IMG]

    By BEN COHEN
    Feb. 11, 2015 2:29 p.m. ET

    The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of one of those charmed NBA seasons that happen only so often.

    They have the No. 1 defense in the league—and the No. 2 offense. Their backcourt consists of two of the NBA’s virtuosic shooters, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, both now All-Stars. In his first season as a coach on any level, Steve Kerr has the Warriors off to their hottest start in franchise history, a 41-9 record that tops the NBA.

    But it’s what this team does when it isn’t playing basketball that some Warriors say is unheard of in the NBA: They eat together.

    “In the 26 years I’ve been in the league,” said associate head coach Alvin Gentry, “I find it to be very rare.”

    The Warriors are the outlier NBA team that actually goes out to dinner on the road. Instead of trekking off on their own—like most players, especially on losing teams—the Warriors have made a habit out of huge team meals. It isn’t unusual for their team outings to draw 10 players or more.

    It is an uncommon example of a professional sports team bonding like Little Leaguers at a pizza party, and helps explain why this team is widely considered the most enjoyable in the league to watch.

    “Chemistry is not something you can fake,” Warriors forward David Lee said. “You either have it or you don’t.”

    Warriors star Stephen Curry on the team bus. ENLARGE
    Warriors star Stephen Curry on the team bus. PHOTO: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
    Despite their paychecks and their fame, NBA players try to escape their jobs on the road, just like anyone else on a business trip. When players do have free time, they tend to stick to themselves or hang out in cliques.

    Most players on off days are “stray bullets,” Warriors center Andrew Bogut said, arriving at the team hotel and not seeing each other until their light pregame practice the next morning. “That’s just the norm in the NBA,” said Bogut, a 10-year veteran. “We go out together and eat together way more than any other team I’ve been on.”

    Golden State’s unusual technique for team bonding wasn’t one of Kerr’s coaching masterstrokes. At no point this season did his staff suggest anything like this, Gentry said. The players say there is a much simpler reason for their team dinners: They just like being around each other.

    “And you see it on the court,” said Warriors center Festus Ezeli.

    This is now the essential trait of the NBA’s best teams. The Warriors, like the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks and reigning champion San Antonio Spurs, typify the style of whirring ball movement that is synonymous with winning in today’s NBA. Golden State’s brand of basketball depends on the five guys on the floor playing like they get along. This year, the Warriors have taken it to the extreme, averaging the most assists in the league, as well as the most “secondary” assists—the pass before the pass that created the basket, which is also known as a hockey assist.

    ‘Chemistry is not something you can fake. You either have it or you don’t.’
    —Golden State forward David Lee
    Players say that this kinship matters more than ever. One of the spoils of winning is that successful teams tend to stay intact, said Lee, and that continuity can make good teams even better. “I think there was probably a time in sports when you could put a bunch of jerks together and they’d find a way to win,” he said.

    Last year’s Golden State team, for example, won 51 games, an impressive total but still only sixth-best in the brutally tough Western Conference. The Warriors then brought back eight of their 10 primary rotation players, including all five starters, building on their chemistry with a new coach.

    This camaraderie is especially apparent when the Warriors hit the road. Like most young professionals, players decide when and where to eat with a team-wide group text message. Their list of restaurants this season includes a steakhouse in Chicago, an Emeril Lagasse restaurant in New Orleans and a Cheesecake Factory in Iowa during the preseason.

    But there is still one question at the end of each dinner: Who’s paying?

    Everything is cool until the check comes. Then the players pool their credit cards. They’re pulled out of a hat one by one. The owner of the last one left is stuck with the entire bill.

    “Credit-card roulette,” Curry said. “It’s a game of choice.”

    But none of the Warriors actually chooses the credit cards. They have to ask a waiter or waitress to referee their post-dinner game. “You can’t trust anyone to pick the card out,” Lee said.

    These games of credit-card roulette get intense. Players say they only order food they plan to eat—the guy who gets steak and champagne could end up covering the entire tab—but the bill can still add up. Warriors forward Draymond Green once screamed to celebrate not losing. “I haven’t lost yet,” he said as he knocked on wood in the team’s locker room.

    No one likes losing credit-card roulette, but no one hates losing more than Ezeli. This, his teammates say, makes it even funnier when he does lose. Ezeli, whose $1.1 million salary is toward the bottom of the roster, happens to have the worst fortune on the team. “I’m just mad,” he said. “They can see it. They’re more excited when I lose.”

    Some of the team’s stars say they’re actually relieved when their plastic is pulled last because they know they can afford it. That happens often to Curry, who said he is the second unluckiest player on the team. Still, there are no exceptions. Veterans won’t volunteer to pick up the check, although they do allow for some relief. “We might let the [rookies] split it up,” Lee said.

    At this point, Bogut said, the Warriors’ sizable dinners are in the double digits, including a handful with almost the entire team. But there are always some no-shows. Earlier this season, after beating the New Orleans Pelicans, the players walked into a restaurant there and saw a table full of people they weren’t expecting: the Warriors’ coaching staff.

    “They don’t invite coaches,” Gentry said. “When they invite us, it’s only because they want us to pay.”

    Write to Ben Cohen at ben.cohen@wsj.com
     
  2. Texanasiafan

    Texanasiafan Member

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    Dmo immediately asked for a trade to GSW after reading this article.
     
  3. Haymitch

    Haymitch Contributing Member

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    The GSW slurping in the media knows no bounds.
     
  4. Zboy

    Zboy Contributing Member

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    They are going to fish together as well.

    Our boy Chandler Parsons is going to send them home packing early.
     
  5. ipaman

    ipaman Contributing Member

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    NBA media licks the GSW nuts together.
     
  6. HR Dept

    HR Dept Contributing Member

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    Good for them.
     
  7. Junkyard_Dog

    Junkyard_Dog Member

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    Naw, I'd put my money on Kevin "This is my ****ing city!" Durant to send them fishing early.
     
  8. RudyT43

    RudyT43 Member

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    I may just be salty because they have beaten us so many times, but I think everything is going too perfectly for the warriors right now. Championship teams are the ones who have weathered adversity, and the warriors have not proven their mental worth as of yet.
     
  9. tehG l i d e

    tehG l i d e Member

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    Curry deserves mvp because of this
     
  10. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

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    Do they eat....curry?
     
  11. Amel

    Amel Contributing Member

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    there are plenty of pics where the rockets team eats together...

    just sayin
     
  12. Panda23

    Panda23 Member

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    Those who slay together stay together
     
  13. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I've played credit card roulette on a large party. Playing when you actually have the money to pay is probably less fraught with anxiety.
     
  14. joeson332

    joeson332 Member

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    How rare, no other team has had great chemistry like the Warriors do omg how awesome!!! Curry MVP!
    Klay VP, Steve Kerr what an outstanding job!



    Spurs say hi.
     
  15. joeson332

    joeson332 Member

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    When did the love fest for this team start? Why don't they attack them like they attack us? They aren't perfect
     
  16. RocketsJumer

    RocketsJumer Member

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    Man, this is the only reason I would want OKC in the playoffs as the 8th seed. Take out the Warriors and stop the love-fest in the media. Don't think the Suns or Pelicans have the man-power to do it over a 7 game series.

    It's not that I absolutely hate the Warriors but they've become so annoying in the media. Warriors this, Warriors that, Curry is the MVP, Thompson is the best SG...BLEH.

    It has to stop, or at least tamper down. Best way to have that is if someone can knock them out in the playoffs.
     
  17. joeson332

    joeson332 Member

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    Didnt last years Houston Rockets squad after the whole Asik trade thing and Lin knowing his role were a pretty close knit tight team? Always posting photos of them hanging out, funny videos between them............how did that work out at the end?
    Not saying its bad for them to have great chemistry like they do but this doesnt PROVE ANYTHING. Oh its written from the Wall Street Journal? Are they even sports sources you want to hear from?
     
  18. T-macsterful1

    T-macsterful1 Member

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    This, I'm sure it helps this group of guys but it's not like a stencil - eat together win tons of games. I'm sure MJ's 72-10 bulls never ate together and most of them probably hated Jordan and Pippen.
     
  19. Kwame

    Kwame Contributing Member

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    Who needs team chemistry when you have Maury? He would be trying to trade half of those "assets" to maintain "flexibility."
     
  20. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    I only want GSW to beat the Clippers. After that, I hope they get dismantled by us, OKC, or San Antonio. I do feel like the Rox, Warriors, OKC, and San Antonio will be the ones emerging out of the first round though.

    With Blake Griffin going out, a first round LAC GSW matchup is definitely possible.
     

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