Programming Note: See the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Thursday at. 16, live streaming on MyTeam's app.
On June 25, 2015, Warriors Kevon Looney of No. 30 chose the NBA Draft. Less than two months later, Looney underwent surgery on his right hip.
He ended up in five matches with Golden State and 12 games with Santa Cruz Warriors before his rookie season was cut shortly after surgery on his left hip in April 22, 2016.
The UCLA product then appeared in bare 53 games in his second professional season and was inactive for every 2017 playoff game.
Forward to today, and he's an indispensable big man out of the bench. The warriors main feature Steve Kerr recently referred to Looney as a "fundamental piece" and a "cornerstone".
He does not rise to this level without finally taking Andre Iguodala's advice and rebuilding his diet. He also does not become this successful without a little hard love from Draymond Green.
Ethan Strauss of The Athletic has the details:
At that time, it seemed that Looney could get some sympathy or maybe a assurance that he could go home and rest. He had pain and the team seemed fine without him. However, it was not the focus of Draymond's concerns. Instead, the All-Star told the newbie who bent: "You should have been here an hour ago!"
"It keeps me going all the time," says Looney about his now legendary work ethic. "After that, I always tried to be first every day, get some work in, take care of my body. When the coaches tell you to work hard, be there at 9am, be sure to be early. If you are not early, you are too late. "
How amazing is that?
These are the kinds of stories that help explain how the warriors have built such a strong culture.
These are the kinds of anecdotes that help us understand why people like Draymond are so effective leaders.
And now, Looney's hip question is hopefully something of the past, he must continue to improve and improve.
[ RELATED RELATED ]: Dubs & # 39; Myers shares cool Livingston history five years ago]
"After having hip surgery and still having the pain with it, I was a little scared to jump from one leg and jumped off two feet, "Looney told The Athletic. "I was afraid of being explosive. After losing a lot and getting really healthy, I became more athletic and healthy every year, more confident each year.
" They tell you you play as I did with your hips That has been wrong throughout your life, you have a lot of untapped potential, a lot of unused athletics. Hopefully this is true and I can find it. "
And the warriors hope they will be able to keep that soon free agent in July.
Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram