Ask Kerith Mailbag: Why KD to Knicks Doesn't Fit; Listing Threats to Warriors

Editor's note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors reporter, takes you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter using the hashtag #askkerith


This week's mailbag tips off with Klay Thompson telling me he's going to frame the game ball from his record-breaking night with 14 threes in Chicago, while predicting the record will fall again this season, possibly by Steph, who previously owned the record.

That's a sentence with a lot of commas, but it's enjoyable to follow that stream of possibilities. Klay's probably right.

Game on!

@SushantRao How many games into the season before Dubs gets bored and wait for playoffs? Any team that you think will have more wins than Dubs in West?

Sushant asked this question before KD's 41-point performance at Madison Square Garden, and Klay's 3-point barrage. The way the Warriors have started the season -- a season where there were questions coming in about what would motivate them during the regular season when the real prize is in the playoffs -- makes me believe we're going to see big moments at random spots.

Before the Bulls game, where the Dubs dropped 92 points in the first half, Steve Kerr acknowledged the Warriors had a "talent advantage." That's going to be the case in many games. This creates a situation made for boredom, right? Some nights.

But there's something happening with the Warriors this season where they're dialed in early. They're playing with joy -- just look at KD's face in this picture. The young guys are blossoming. The bench is hungry. The core guys are playing at their best level. And they're enjoying each others' success. Consider Steph's happiness when Klay broke his 3-point record. Steph wanted to be the guy who gave Klay the assist on the record-breaker! Would other stars around the league do that?

If this continues, and the Warriors are healthy, I can't name another team in the West that will have more wins.

@debjensen360: #AskKerith What's with all the MVP talk already? Sounds like minds are already narrowed to a half dozen players and the season just started.

Reporters and fans alike enjoy predicting at the start of a season who's ripe for a great year. That's a fun conversation. These conversations build up into a narrative that contains hopes and projections based on previous outcomes. Facts accompany the predictions, so the narrative has a foundation. The narrative gains life. It starts to feels like an outcome already has been determined.

People always want to predict the next thing. Who is an up-and-comer? Who's due? Who was "robbed" in a previous year? Can I look smart if I predict this guy for MVP first? This is the way sports churns. But don't forget. The narrative can be chewed on for a while and suddenly lose its flavor.

At the start of the season, it felt like Steph Curry would not be in the narrative for MVP. Marcus Thompson wrote about this perfectly. This was before Steph's 51-point game that turned the narrative on its head.

Should Steph be in the MVP conversation again? Yes. His performances have been extraordinary and consistent. After the Pelicans game, Steph was leading the NBA in points per game (33) and 3-pointers made (55 ... more than some teams!).

But like you mentioned, the season just started, so I'm going to pump the brakes. I want to chill on talking about MVP, for anyone, until Christmas at least.

@JRonin47 What's your gut feeling about KD to NYC after seeing the interaction with the fans tonight?

It will take something special for KD to leave the Warriors. He's in a great organization that has positive relationships and similar visions between the owners, president, GM and coaches. The Knicks in recent history, uhh, have not.

KD is alongside Steph in an offense where they co-exist well. The Bay Area is appealing to KD's business interests off the court. He's on a team where players can be at ease with media and speak their minds on social issues. And hey, the weather is great.

I covered the Knicks a little when I worked at SNY, and something about KD to the Knicks doesn't feel right. The Garden and NYC are incredible, and David Fizdale is a respected coach, but my gut is telling me this ain't it for KD.

I can see a situation where KD has to be The Man every night, whether that's team pressure if the Knicks build entirely around him, or pressure he puts on himself to be the best, and then blame falls on his shoulders if the wins aren't coming at the magical rate that Knicks fans demand. New York sports come with a lot of blame. It's a city that can turn on you quick. If KD still is sensitive to things people say about him, New York will feel like a bullhorn of voices in his ear. That doesn't mean KD can't handle it, just that it's going to be relentless.

Even though KD should get PAID this time around and explore all his options in free agency, he's comfortable with himself to know money doesn't buy happiness. The total picture will be important to him when he makes his decision.

@bernard516 What odds would you give on KD staying? @KerithBurke #askKerith

50-50. Which kind of isn't an answer, more like an I don't know yet, and I'm not sure KD does either.

I think it will be between the Warriors and somewhere other than the Knicks. KD is not in the twilight of his career, but I'm curious what he wants for the rest of his time in the NBA and his legacy. He's a two-time champion and a two-time Finals MVP. What else would he like to achieve, and what's the best setting to do it?

@mefixcomputers How much fun do the guys think it'll be when a fully invested Boogie comes back?

Maximum glee. His potential to dominate after all the pent-up feelings from waiting to play during rehab is something the whole league will be watching. We're talking about a double-double machine ... a guy who doesn't get pushed around ... a guy who brings emotion ... and he's playing with the spirit of F-U to the deals he didn't get that brought him to the Warriors with a mid-level exception.

That's the best kind of explosion about to go off.

@AutumnMayes1 #AskKerith whats up with klays shot?? Will he still have a great 3 point shooting season per usual??

Autumn asked this question before Klay nailed 14 threes in Chicago, and I'm keeping this question in to remind everyone, myself included, that things can change in an instant.

@KL_Pritchard Favorite cheat meal?

I'm a fiend for Rice Krispie Treats. I'm a fiend for any dessert, really. Chocolate mousse. Reese's peanut butter sticks. Mint chocolate chip ice cream.

@vpartysports #AskKerith was it nice to be in your old stomping grounds?

Yes! The New York trip was an occasion to visit some old spots I loved. My husband and I met in New York, so we did a nostalgia tour together.

I'm on the road for every game, and I couldn't do this job without my husband's support. It would be too much of a strain. He comes on some trips, and that makes the time we're apart feel less monumental.

@MusicMost KB, after a Warriors win and after you interview a standout player of the game. That player turns and signs a ball and takes a picture with a fan/fans. How do they choose the fans involved? Thanks. #askKerith

Those fans are the season-ticket holders of the game. They get a picture and an autograph. Warriors PR boss Ray Ridder told me this specific recognition for season-ticket holders started five or six years ago.

@Itsbambibish #AskKerith Which teams, after seeing the first two weeks of the season, do you think poses the biggest threat to GS?

It's easy to say the Bucks at the moment because of their record, but they deserve it. When I looked up stats this week, they had five players averaging in double-digit scoring for a balanced offense. They picked up the pace this season, and they're getting more field goal attempts. Going back to the first mailbag question about MVPs -- Giannis Antetokounmpo is in that conversation. Surround him with four shooters, and defenses don't know what to do.

I'm also keeping an eye on the Celtics. The Nuggets are the only team that's beaten the Dubs this season, so let's give them some props. They're made up well with pieces that can frustrate the Warriors.

@RT_Y #AskKerith How is the Warriors locker room after a win? Is there still a high level of excitement, the fire burning for the game. What is essential in keeping focus & motivated for every game? Thanks.

I'll let you in on a secret: The Warriors' locker room after a win is the same as the locker room after a loss. The Warriors stay steady.

Reading into the spirit of your question, though, there's a lot of excitement this season. There are young guys to teach. The bench wants to contribute. The All-Stars are striving to find new heights, which is wild considering the heights they've already known as individuals and as a team. A chance to three-peat would deepen the dynasty.

The Warriors also sense this is a moment in time -- a roster that might never be duplicated -- and to give anything less than their best isn't honoring their potential.

High Five

Quinn Cook was the only DNP on Wednesday when the Warriors beat the Pelicans. After the game, with arena personnel doing their jobs on the court around him, Quinn took the time to get some shots up. His "stay ready" ethos is something that stands out.

Quinn had one of the best stories in the NBA last season -- the two-way player who earned a spot with the defending champs heading into the playoffs -- but now that he's safely on the team, he isn't the type to be complacent.

Andre Iguodala told me Quinn reminds him of himself -- never satisfied, always on edge about doing better. I'll share some more things Andre said next week.

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors coverage all season.

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