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Moses Moody is ready for another season of storytelling

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TOKYO — Moses Moody and his father Kareem took an evening stroll last month in a park in Tokyo’s Chiyoda City district, where they admired the lush green grass — perfect for a picnic or a siesta, Kareem said – and were impressed by the late-night serenity within the bustling city of nearly 14 million people.

When a car buzzed, Moses joked, “This car looks like it runs on water from Voss.”

Don’t even ask them how clean the city is, even without trash cans in sight.

“It’s crazy that it’s even possible,” exclaimed Moses.

This trip was not necessarily something Moody had imagined. Sure, Moses dreamed all his childhood of playing in the NBA, but a basketball business trip to Tokyo? Certainly not.

It’s just the latest in a wild series of events for Moses, who grew up following Kareem’s job almost daily as an after-school program director in Little Rock, Arkansas. Now the tables have turned.

“We call it ‘Take your dad to work,'” Kareem said of the trip to Japan.

The past 15 months have been a whirlwind for the Moody family, starting with the 2021 NBA Draft, when the Warriors selected Moses with the No. 14 overall pick. Since then, there have been many times when Moses and his family wondered when they would wake up to the sound of a buzzing alarm and it would all be an elaborate dream.

Moses Moody and his father Kareem in Tokyo during the Warriors’ September 2022 trip. (Photo: Madeline Kenney/Bay Area News Group)

“Yeah, I got pinched,” Kareem said. “I’m pretty bruised. Everything is in mind the next.

After being drafted No. 14 last summer, Moses got rotational minutes as a rookie — even received 11 starts — and played meaningful basketball in the playoffs alongside future Hall of Famers Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green until June.

It all culminated with a title win in Game 6 against the Celtics on the iconic TD Garden Parquet floor.

“It’s cool” to be a part of history, Moses said. “It’s a surreal thing to be with these guys that I’ve been watching all this time. But at some point, you just have to believe it. It was cool in the beginning where it’s like, ‘This is crazy, I’m here with these guys.’ But at some point you just have to be like, ‘Yeah, I’m here with the guys, let’s go.'”

And here’s the thing: the 20-year-old is just getting started.

Moses has stayed in the Bay Area this offseason to hone his game as he prepares to carve out a bigger role in the rotation this season. And he entered training camp on September 24 bigger and stronger than a year ago.

“He’s more explosive,” coach Steve Kerr said of Moses recently. “He had a few dunks in training that you wouldn’t have seen last year.”

Moses credited what he called his “newfound athleticism” to Kevon Looney, who transformed it into Joga, or yoga for sportsmen. The workouts helped Moses cope with routine aches and pains.

“I said to everyone…when I got there, ‘Coach, my knee hurts, it hurts when I play. But if we fix my knee, I promise you there’s an athlete contained within me,” Moses recalled. “And so we worked that out and now I’m able to show it.”

Moses has always been known to his family and peers as reserved and mature beyond his years. Kerr called him an “old soul”. Many of his teammates forget that he was born in the new millennium.

Despite living the fast-paced life of the NBA, earning $3.7 million this season (115 times more than his hometown median income), Moses has remained true to the blue-collar values ​​instilled in him at a young age. He is respectful and humble, speaking only when he deems it necessary.

He was also praised by the Warriors front office and coaching staff for taking his job seriously.

Moses said his work ethic was inspired by his older brother when they were boys. The youngest Moody remembers looking out his bedroom window and seeing his older brother, then in sixth grade, performing uphill exercises through makeshift cones made up of piles of leaves.

“I was like, ‘Man, I’m not going there today,'” Moses recalled. But “‘once I get to sixth grade, I know I have to turn it on.'”

And that’s exactly what he did.

In college, Moses kept his promise and locked himself away. He woke up his father at 5 a.m. before getting dressed. He had come back to his parents’ room to wake Dad up again, this time so they could go to the gym for the first of Moses’ two daily workouts.

“I fell in love with the work,” said Moïse. “It feels good to be prepared, to do all of this rather than doing other stuff that might seem like fun, but it takes stuff out of the tank. I prefer to put stuff in it.

This work ethic carried over to the NBA level.

Growing up, Moses was known throughout the city as “the son of Kareem.”

“Now he’s Moses’ father,” his father said.

And Pops is more than okay with that.

“He’s not a kid anymore,” Kareem said. “I like to feel like my kids are progressing and they’re kind of taking the reins and growing up, that’s kind of cool to see and see, so I’m riding with it.

“He takes me everywhere.”

San Francisco, Boston, Tokyo – and its second season hasn’t even started yet.