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Al Attles visits Warriors’ practice on Saturday

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OAKLAND — For a team that injects joy into their culture, the Warriors had another thing to make them feel happy.

After struggling with his health in the past year, Warriors luminary Al Attles attended the end of Warriors’ practice on Saturday. Attles did not watch practice, but he arrived in time to shake hands with coaches and players when practice concluded. Warriors guards Stephen Curry and Shaun Livingston as well as coach Steve Kerr were among the people that greeted Attles with a firm handshake and a warm smile.

“Everybody on our team is fond of Al,” Kerr said. “It’s great to see his face here.”

The Warriors have not seen Attles’ face recently. He had been a regular fixture at Warriors’ games at Oracle Arena, and often sat in a chair reserved for him on a concourse overseeing the lower bowl. But the 82-year-old Attles has not been at Oracle Arena in the past three months because of what the team has called “age-related ailments.”

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On Saturday, Attles was assisted with a walker along with his family at the Warriors’ practice facility. A team spokesman added that Attles is “making good progress.” So much that the Warriors are hopeful Attles will return to Oracle Arena for when the Warriors play either the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors in Game 3 of the NBA Finals (June 5). The Warriors plan to play a video tribute for Attles in honor of his upcoming induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor on Sept. 6.

Kerr estimated that Attles has not attended a Warriors practice “for a couple of years.” After the Warriors hired Kerr as head coach in the 2014 offseason, he quickly reached out to various Warriors luminaries to speak to the team. Naturally, Kerr invited Attles, who had an 11-year playing career with the Warriors, coached them to their 1975 NBA championship and served as a longtime club ambassador.

After joining the former Philadelphia Warriors in 1960 as the club’s fifth-round draft choice, Attles became known as “The Destroyer” during his 11-year NBA career because of his unyielding physical presence along with 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 Attles is one of six Warriors players to have their jersey retirement. Beyond Attles’ No . 16, Rick Barry (24), Wilt Chamberlain (13), Tom Meschery (14), Chris Mullin (17) and Nate Thurmond (42) hang in the rafters.

“He gave me advice and he’s seen and done it all in the NBA as a player and a coach. He was very helpful that first year,” Kerr said of Attles. “More than anything, it was fun to connect the past with the present. We’ve tried to remind our players constantly of our history here.”

The Warriors were aware of that history on Saturday during Attles’ visit.

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