OAKLAND–The Warriors have a pair of stars who have already won MVP awards, and on Wednesday night, fans at Oracle Arena offered up “MVP chants” for another deserving player.
That player? Reserve forward Omri Casspi.
The ninth-year NBA veteran is in his first season with the Warriors, but is quickly becoming a fan favorite thanks to his all-around effort and late-game hustle. While Casspi doesn’t have a defined role on the team per Steve Kerr, the Warriors’ fourth-year head coach said Casspi’s role is essentially to always be ready.
On Wednesday, Casspi was more than ready, contributing 13 points, three blocks, three rebounds and one assist in 20 minutes of action, which earned him a late-game MVP chant.
He was delighted.
“I went to KD after the game and was like, KD, you’re holding me back bro. It was just funny, man. I missed a free throw because of that, too. I couldn’t focus. Energy, the adrenaline, it was just fun.”
The chant came after Casspi hit a driving layup on Timberwolves’ guard Jimmy Butler as Minnesota kept its starters in the game against the Warriors’ reserves in garbage time. The imbalance on the floor hardly helped Minnesota, as Golden State rolled to a 125-99 win.
“Like I told Steve (Kerr) in the summer and like I tell him every day, he comes to me and says, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen,’ you know that I’ll be ready,” Casspi said. “It’s just being a professional and being a guy that knows his role on this team and whenever he needs me to go out and bring energy and play hard, I’ll be ready. And he knows that. And I’m happy for that.”