SAN JOSE – The Warriors keep waiting for Kevon Looney, and he keeps waiting for his body to let him play basketball for more than a few minutes at a time.
The second-year power forward whose rookie season consisted of 21 game minutes between two separate rehab stints of roughly four months, was cleared to play Thursday night against the Sacramento Kings.
“I haven’t played in a long time, so everything feels a little weird,” Looney said an hour before tipoff. “My jump shot feels a little off, my timing is a little off. So I just want to get in a rhythm and get comfortable out there.”
Looney underwent surgery on his right hip in August 2015, two months after being chosen by the Warriors in the first round of the draft. Looney returned in January, playing six minutes that month and 15 in February. That was the end for the one-and-done UCLA product, as he underwent surgery on his left hip in April.
Cleared for training camp five months later, Looney played seven minutes in the preseason opener last Saturday in Vancouver but a groin strain kept him on the bench for the Warriors-Clippers game Tuesday night in Oakland.
“I feel bad for him,” coach Steve Kerr said of the 6-foot-9, 220-pound 20-year-old. “He’s already young; he only played one year of college. It’s hard to get to know your body at that age . . .
“When you’re that young, and you’ve had two hip surgeries and you don’t have much experience, it must be a whirlwind for him. We’re just trying to bring him along slowly, so we’ll try to get him a few extra minutes tonight. We don’t want to push him too hard.”
Looney wants to be pushed hard. His body doesn’t always agree. He concedes to waking up every morning to a physical mystery.
“It varies from day to day; some days I feel great, some days I feel OK,” he said. “Today I feel really good.”