After three years enjoying retirement, Calbert Cheaney was ready to get back in the game. Suddenly, he got a call from Warriors general manager Larry Riley. He thought about it briefly before accepting the invitation.
No, not to play for the Warriors again, as he did from 2003 to 2006. This time, he'll be a special assistant, the Warriors announced Tuesday.
"I'm through (playing). Trust me," Cheaney said from his Washington, D.C., home. "With emphasis. I can still get up and down, but not like that."
Cheaney will take the post held by Mitch Richmond under the Chris Mullin tenure as head basketball honcho. But Cheaney is expected to be more visible.
He said he will move to the area before training camp. He plans, at least at first, to spend a lot of time around the team and go on the road. He'll dabble in player evaluations and be a resource for the players, and do whatever else Riley needs.
A reputed class act, Cheaney, the Warriors are hoping, can be a good influence for the likes of guard Monta Ellis, swingman Kelenna Azubuike and rookie guard Stephen Curry.
Cheaney said he considered returning to college — he was a standout player at Indiana before his 13-year NBA career — or even coaching high school ball. But the chance to return to the Warriors was too good an opportunity to pass up.
"I'm just happy and glad to be back in there," Cheaney said. "My time with the team was great. The Bay Area is a great place to live. I'm going to do whatever I can to help."
Note: Tickets for the Warriors two exhibition home games at Oracle Arena go on sale today. The Warriors open the exhibition schedule by hosting the Los Angeles Clippers — featuring former Warriors point guard Baron Davis and top draft pick Blake Griffin — on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. To cap the exhibition schedule, the Warriors host All-NBA point guard Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets on Oct. 22. Ticket sales begin at 10 a.m. For more information, go to warriors.com.