Tonight was the NBA Draft. My beloved Warriors selected a guy who looks almost completely white, but I guess isn’t all the way. He looks to be a hell of a shooter, and he’s a legit 6’6”, which is all nice. The sad thing is that, according to every expert I’ve seen, this spells the end of the Monta Ellis era in Oakland. If that’s the case, I’m going to be a sad and partially angry panda. Monta will just be the latest in a long line of Warriors players who were a) our best player at the time and b) shipped out. I still think about Chris Webber bolting after one season. I remember getting an Antawn Jamison jersey when he said he wanted to stay and get the Warriors back to the playoffs only to see him traded less than a year later for a package that included something called Evan Eschmeyer. Then we traded our only recognizable star, Jason Richardson, for Brandan Wright and a huge trade exception. We didn’t use the trade exception and traded Brandan Wright after wrecking his value as much as possible. As I typed this paragraph, the Warriors retroactively traded Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Chris Mullin, and Al Attles.
Monta is such a fun guy to watch. He has a bad reputation on defense, but I think it’s because he plays all the God damn time (led the league in minutes the last two years). He can score on anybody, anywhere, anytime. That’s not easy to replace, no matter how much they try and say that it is. Because I’m bummed, I thought it might make me feel better to look back on the only playoff appearance the Warriors have made since I was 13 (I’m almost dead now, so it’s been a long time).
Back in 2007, the Warriors won 9 of their last 10 games to squeak into the playoffs (they gelled after trading Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy, two of the whitest players of their generation, for Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington, two of the least white). They took down Dirk and the Mavericks, who had won 67 games in the regular season, in the first round before getting hammered by the Jerry Sloan pick-and-roll express. But in the lone game the Warriors won in the Jazz series, this happened:
BTW, we antagonized and alienated Baron Davis enough to make him sign elsewhere, thanks to a power struggle between the GM and the team president, both of whom have since been fired (although the much worse of the two held on far longer than any of us could fathom). But that dunk! Right in Andrei Kirilenko’s crew cut and Subaru Outback! I love the announcer…totally goes apeshit, as he should have. I’ll just be over here watching this 1,447 times to feel better. Fare thee well, Monta Ellis. You deserve better, but God dammit.