Warriors center O'Bryant is hoping to play elsewhere
Warriors center tired of watching games from bench
By Geoff Lepper
Bay Area News Group
Article Launched: 02/28/2008 01:48:51 AM PST
Mickael Pietrus was the most voluble Warrior seeking a change of venue before the NBA's trade deadline last week. But he isn't the only Golden State player who would have welcomed a move or is hoping to play elsewhere next season.
"I'll play anywhere I'll (get a chance to) play," center Patrick O'Bryant said. "I'm a basketball player, not a basketball watcher."
This much is clear: He doesn't plan to serve under Coach Don Nelson again.
"Obviously, if something weird were to happen and Nellie didn't (have his option picked up), then maybe," O'Bryant said of a return to the team that drafted him No. 9 overall in 2006 but declined to pick up his third-year option last summer.
And if Nelson does return? "Then it probably wouldn't be my first choice," O'Bryant said with a wry smile.
Grin and bear it is what O'Bryant's career has been reduced to. He'll never know what Mike Montgomery, Nelson's predecessor and an avowed lover of back-to-the-basket centers, would have done with him.
But it's hard to think O'Bryant's situation would have been worse. He has played only 88 minutes this season and did not even suit up Tuesday as the Warriors muddled along without starting center Andris Biedrins.
"He needs to get more consistent, to where you know what he's going to do," Nelson explained. "Less turnovers. A dominance in something that he does, whether it's shot-blocking or rebounding. And a few other things. That's enough, huh?
"It's kind of all over the map. He passes a little bit, rebounds sometimes, sometimes he'll block a shot. But there's no consistency there. So I never know what he's going to do in a game or in a practice."
Nelson - who considers raw rookie Kosta Perovic to be "pretty close" to O'Bryant on the depth chart - wouldn't rule out O'Bryant returning next season but didn't exactly light up at the prospect.
"He's a free agent," Nelson said. "So we'll be one of 30 bidders in the free-agent market. He'll be on our board."
O'Bryant had hoped to be off their roster by now, traded to another team.
"There was some interest, but they couldn't find the right scenarios," O'Bryant said. "I would have liked to have gone somewhere and played, but I'm here. I'm staying ready if I get a chance."
That appears highly unlikely. Perhaps no moment has better encapsulated O'Bryant's time on the team as Monday's practice, when he and Perovic stood at either end of the floor as extra defenders during the Warriors' four-on-five drills.
The Warriors have had their share of first-round draft flops, but O'Bryant doesn't feel it's fair to lump him in that category.
"Not at all, because I haven't played much," he said. "You can't label something you don't know."
• Guard Baron Davis visited Christopher Rodriguez, the 10-year-old Oakland boy left paralyzed last month after being hit by a stray bullet while at a piano lesson. "He's an inspiration, for a kid to have a spirit like that," Davis said. "It puts things in perspective." Davis said he hopes to bring Rodriguez, who is still hospitalized, to a Warriors game this season.
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