I honestly thought we'd be dropping Jason Richardson's 2k6-2k7 GSoM Report Card in August or even later, but with this past Thursday's draft day trade with the Charlotte Bobcats it's time to push it up to the top of the cue. JRich or Die Flying has been covered at great length here in the aftermath of the trade, so definitely flip through the archives.
I know I'll never forget these moments in the playoffs when JR and the gang shocked the world and made us all proud:
After looking lost and crippled for the first half of the season, the old JR finally reappeared in time for the playoff push. He's still not as explosive as he once was, but he started doing more of the little things on the boards, on defense, and in the motion offense. His willingness to put his ego aside and do whatever is needed to win scores him serious extra credit points.
Fun Score: 9
His dunk in Game 6 against the Mavs was one of the greatest moments of emotional release I've ever witness on a basketball court.
Atma Brother #1
Last October following his breakout 2005-2006 campaign in which he seemed to be on the brink of All-Stardom if you told me JRich's numbers were going to drop all across the board in 2k6-2k7, I would've thought you were insane. Unfortunately that's exactly what happened. For the most part the real Jason Richardson was MIA this season because of the decision to undergo late summer knee surgery and the in-season hand injury, but he did come up pretty big (with a few exceptions) during the team's spectacular finish to the regular season and unforgettable playoff run. I really expected a lot more this season from JR, but I'm also expecting him to bounce back big time next season with improved defense, ball handling, and explosiveness to the rim.
Fun Score: 3
There were a few breathtaking highlights like the inbounds alleyoop from Murph and the playoff memories, but overall this season was probably the least fun I've had watching JRich as a Warrior because of all the injuries.
After his injury, JRich just wasn't the same, not even in the playoffs. JRich has never been much of a slasher, but it was something that had become part of his arsenal. He confused us when he relied on 3 pt shooting when we all knew his post moves were his bread and butter. Is this some midcareer identity crisis that happens to all great dunkers who want people to respect them for their all around game so bad that they obsess over showing people that they can shoot threes?
Fun Score: 4
This is a tough grade. JRich was injured for probably the entire year but gave everything he had to help push the Warriors into the playoffs. When the team made the playoffs in Portland, as he celebrated, it felt like us fans were all there with him. He's been through tough times as a Warrior but seeing him celebrate in that locker room was like us fans celebrating. He had a tough season individually, but he'll be back.
Fun Score: 7
What can I say? This year JRich didn't exactly come with the heat, but his passion was still there. Even stars have injury years and this one was just JRich's. As far as I'm concerned, he was just gettin' out the way. When he did set foot on the court, he came to play. Long live the Rich.
Fun Score: 6
Not as fun this year but we all know he's capable of an 11 here.
Overall Grade: B
I'll leave you with two of my all time favorite JRich jams...