Bruce Fraser Rumors
It’s 3:30 p.m. on a Friday in early August 2014 when two middle-aged men — both conspicuously tall, both with the loping grace of ex-athletes — commandeer chairs at the end of Vino Volo’s five-person bar. Seconds later, back in the kitchen, Kevin Ninkovich hears a shout from a colleague on the floor: Steve Kerr just sat down. Ninkovich, a 28-year-old bartender at Vino Volo, is a Warriors obsessive. Growing up as a 5-foot-and-change guard, he even imagined himself as Kerr: a deadeye who lacked physical gifts but could drill a title-sealing trey if called upon. Now here the man is, the Warriors’ new coach, named to the position just 10 weeks prior, sitting alongside his old college teammate and newly named assistant Bruce Fraser. Ninkovich is not about to let this chance slip away.
“He’s been shooting well the last couple of days. It’s almost like normal Klay,” Warriors assistant coach Bruce “Q” Fraser told The Undefeated. “His ball goes through the net in a unique way … It looks to me like he’s shooting with lots of confidence and back to normal. I wouldn’t say he’s been struggling all playoffs, but it wasn’t as comfortable for him for whatever reason.”
Later, with 30 seconds left in the half, Steph makes the return official when he eagerly sprints into and launches a 3-pointer with his heel on the half-court logo. Swish. Steph hunches over and duck-walks away from his creation. As one does. He’ll finish with six 3s in only three quarters of play. “I think Steph catered to the whole theme of pleasing,” Bruce Fraser, the Warriors-appointed shooting coach, would later say. “He wanted to please. He catered to the whole, took less for himself. The irony in this season so far is that we had to learn how to play with KD, had to learn how to play without him. And both of those were challenges.”
Steph edged KD by a single 3, per player development coach Bruce Fraser’s figures from Tuesday’s shootout. Durant later confirmed the final stats. “That was a really skillful workout right there, there wasn’t a lot of athleticism being shown, but iron sharpens iron,” Durant said. “You only get better when you play with the best and you work with the best.”
“It was super spontaneous, it wasn’t planned, which is always sometimes the best way,” Fraser said. “It’s good when those two get together for many reasons. It’s good camaraderie, good for them to spend some time together and it’s also a good way for them to compete a little bit. It’s pretty incredible to be able to work with two of the best players in the world on the same court, the same space.”
“Steph gives us our culture, Draymond gives us our voice,” Bruce Fraser, the Warriors shooting coach, says. Sometimes Fraser worries that he sounds “sappy” talking about Kerr and Curry and the rest of the Warriors. He imagines no one else can believe what it is like because it’s like nothing he has been around in his coaching life. It’s like nothing any of them have been around. It’s just what it has been for the last two seasons and maybe a for a little bit longer… The happiest place in sports.