Looney reveals ambitious goals for upcoming Warriors season


SAN FRANCISCO -- After a postseason during which he introduced himself to fans mostly preoccupied with his teammates, Warriors center Kevon Looney is chasing a bigger slice of fame.

He was willing to divulge his three goals for the upcoming season, and one of them is particularly aggressive.

“I want ... to be able to make the All-Defensive team,” Looney said in a conversation with NBC Sports Bay Area.

Looney has done enough over his seven-year career to earn a reputation as a very good defender, one of the few big men in the NBA comfortable and adroit at switching out on guards and wings.

To achieve this specific goal, however, Looney would have to overtake several big men already getting raves for their defense.

Rudy Gobert, traded by the Utah Jazz to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the offseason, is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and was the first team All-Defensive center in 2022. Boston Celtics center Robert Williams, in his fourth season, was voted to the second team. Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid finished third among centers. Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton and Cleveland Cavaliers' Jarrett Allen finished in a tie for fourth.

Looney did not register a single vote. The only Warriors that received votes were forward Draymond Green, named to the second team, and Gary Payton II, who received three second-team votes. Andrew Wiggins, who played excellent defense most of last season, went unrecognized by voters.

“We’ve got Draymond and Wiggs, who are great on [defense],” Looney said. “I want to be up there with those guys and have my name mentioned with those guys.”

This is not to suggest Looney can’t achieve this goal but to insinuate that the odds are longer there than they are for his other two.

“I want to try to lead the league in offensive rebounding,” he said, citing this is goal No. 1. “That’s certainly one of my goals, to at least be in the top five.”

This is more conceivable. Though Looney finished 18th in offensive rebounds per game in the regular season with 2.5, he vaulted to seventh in the postseason (2.9), when he finished first in total offensive rebounds (63).

RELATED: Looney steps out of shadows into Warriors stardom

The third goal?

“I want to play all 82 again,” he said.

Looney checked that box last season, playing all 82 of Golden State’s regular-season games in 2021-22. He also played all 22 of the Warriors' postseason games. His 104 total games led the NBA.

Considering Looney’s extensive medical history, that was quite the feat. And it might be why he believes any goal he sets, no matter how ambitious, is within reach.

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