The Dirty Dozen - Part 2 of 3

A dozen years. 12 long excruciating years since the Golden State Warriors made the playoffs. The hiring of Don Nelson is perhaps the best move the Warriors could have made this offseason to end that streak. Nellie was the coach the last time the Golden State Warriors made the playoffs, and hopefully that comes full circle and he is the coach again when the Warriors make the playoffs. But in between the time that Nellie stepped down in the '94-'95 season until last year's heartbreaking '05-'06 disaster, there were many, many, many coaches that have come and gone. What's a common characteristic of losing franchises? The hiring and firing of many coaches. Without further ado, let's take a trip down memory lane and revisit the years between the Nelson sandwich.

If you haven't already, check out Part 1. Up next is the 2nd of our 3 part series, the 1998-1999 season to the 2001-2002 season.

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1998-1999 (Record: 21-29)
Coach: PJ Carlesimo


(Photo: starwave.com)

PJ once again returned as coach for the lockout shortened season. Spree was traded, Antawn showed us some nifty post moves, and and the Warriors recorded the second-best improvement in the league behind Toronto.

But then the draft came. Bimbo Coles, Duane Ferrell and the #10 pick (Jason Terry) for Mookie Blaylock and the #21 pick. Ugh. After the huge improvement from the year before, management believed we were just a solid veteran away from making the playoffs and breaking the 5 year streak. It only got worse...



1999-2000 (Record: 19-63)
Coach: Garry St. Jean


Good `ol Saint. (Photo: nba.com)

It was like the `97-`98 season all over again, a disaster. This time there were no chokings or trading away of veteran players to blame. PJ failed as the coach and a couple days after Christmas, he was relieved of his duties only to have St Jean coach the team. It wasn't all bad though. Even crappy teams have good players who produce. Jamison upped his points per game to 19.6, Larry Hughes (acquired in a trade for the Warriors first rounder) averaged 22.7 after the trade, and Donyell averaged a double-double. Despite the achievements, the 19-63 record is still 19-63, there's no way to sugar coat that one.



2000-2001 (Record: 17-65)
Coach: Dave Cowens


The Celtics glory days? Far from it. (Photo: nba.com)

But now you say, "Fantasy Junkie, it couldn't have possibly become worse, right?" Wrong. Hide the kids, this is sure to cause nightmares. Dave Cowens was brought in to right this ship, but 17 wins and 65 losses later his job security was a little tenuous. That worked out well didn't it? It was just one more year of missing the playoffs, next year would be our year!

For bright spots, again, there was Jamison producing like no other Warrior could as he averaged nearly 25 points and 9 rebounds per game. Also, the team finished first in the NBA in offensive rebounds and second in total rebounds. Looks like a worthless stat to me. Do rebounds really help you win ball games then? Another bright spot would be the draft. St Jean really outdid himself here. JRich, Murphy, and Arenas all in one draft? Wow. Sometimes picking names out of a hat does work.



2001-2002 (Record: 21-61)
Coach: Brian Winters


Just a little scary. (Photo: nuvo.net)

How do you like this 5 year stretch of wins? 19, 21 (lockout season), 19, 17, 21. A combined 97-281, good for a 0.313 winning percentage. Yay! That's a good batting average but not win percentage. Heck, if this were baseball, we might be better than the Royals, but that's nothing to brag about.

As for the season, Dave Cowens was mercifully relieved of his duties as coach by Brian Winters. Neither was any good.

Oh but statistical positives galore. Danny Fortson was 4th in the NBA in rebounding and the Warriors were #1 in the NBA in rebounding and offensive rebounding. The Warriors twin towers version of David Robinson and Tim Duncan, Erick Dampier and Adonal Foyle, both finished in the top 10 in blocked shots. The biggest bright spot though was the superb play of our rookies, especially JRich and Arenas. The draft came and there was a consensus top 2, Yao Ming and Jay Williams. Unfortunately, the Warriors had pick #3. That pick brought us fan favorite Mike Dunleavy Jr. straight out of Duke.

Change was looming because Winters was not destined to be the Warriors coach for long.

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Check out Part 1 & Part 3

Who was the Warriors best player during these first 4 years?

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