Latest posts by Sam Amico (see all)
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Can you name the Golden State Warriors’ starting center?
And the answer is not DeMarcus Cousins. Not yet, anyway. Cousins is still recovering from the Achilles tendon injury suffered last season with the New Orleans Pelicans.
And without Cousins, someone has to play next to the other four All-Stars in the Warriors’ starting lineup. (Though the Warriors could probably still win playing four-on-five.)
Anyway, the Warriors’ apparently ready-for-prime-time pivot? Damian Jones.
You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of him.
He played his college basketball at Vanderbilt. There may be another guy from Vanderbilt in the NBA, but it’s doubtful.
He was the final pick in the first round of the 2016 draft. That’s not that long ago, but unless you’re a lottery pick, most people don’t remember when you’re selected.
And to top it all off, Jones appeared in just 15 games for the Warriors last season.
But guess what? He owns two championship rings, and following the departures of JaVale McGee (Los Angeles Lakers) and Zaza Pachulia (Detroit Pistons), Jones was left as the main man in the middle.
So far, the laid-back 7-footer is holding his own, as documented in an excellent piece by Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I pretty much stay mellow all the time,” Jones said. “I just stay within myself and have confidence in my abilities on the court.”
Even Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been impressed.
“I thought that he passed this week’s test with flying colors,” Kerr said. “He’s doing really well.”
It just goes to show that you don’t have to be named Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson or Draymond Green (or even Cousins) to be counted on by the Warriors.
For these Warriors, sometimes, all it takes is a regular Jones.