Tonight the best player to suit up in a Golden State Warriors jersey since Latrell Sprewell's All-NBA First team outing back in 1994, returns to the Roaracle. It's a somewhat bittersweet return for Baron Davis. You can't forget the short-lived, but wildly exciting BoomRich pairing (shout out to 510 Entertainment) which only a fool would break up, the unBELIEVEable destruction he did to the Dallas My Little Ponies, putting it in that flat top, the last gift that never fully materialized, and of course that beard. The post Boom Dizzle Dubs era has not been kind to Baron and has left the golden faithful counting lotto balls a month before the NBA season is even over.
There's a lot of resentment within Warriors Nation towards one man for BD's departure from Clippers North (Golden State Warriors) to Warriors South (LA Clippers). Fairly or unfairly Robert Rowell has been demonized essentially for nixing Chris Mullin's 3 year $39 million extension offer for Baron Davis this past summer.
Looking at Baron Davis' lackluster performance this season with the LA Clippers and their Clipper-like win total, it's hard to argue that Rowell was wrong about using his veto powers and Mullin was right about inking BD to that extension.
Looking at the Golden State Warriors' performance this season without Baron Davis and his proven success running Nellieball, it's hard to argue that Mullin was wrong about keeping BD for 3 more years at that salary and Rowell was right about running him out of town.
Jump for two sides of the debate where I hopefully make a little more sense.
We should have kept BOOMing:
- I'm a sucka for his Boomness. I genuinely like the guy and my dear friends who know him far better than I do have vouched for him on numerous occasions. I personally would've resigned him. I would've ran the Warriors supposed young duo destined for greatness, Monta Moped Ellis and Andris Biedrins, out of town way before I let Baron defect to La-La land.
- As the Warriors have found out the hard way this season, point guards and facilitators with high assist to low turnover ratios (that wouldn't be Stephen Jackson) do not grow on trees. BD might not have made it to the All-Star squad during his 3.5 year stint here in the Bay, but on any given night he could hang with any superstar in the league. There was a reason we all chanted M-V-P when he was shooting FT's.
- It's not like the extension was going to shackle the Warriors to BD well into his 30's and past his prime (ahem, Robert Rowell's inane Stephen Jackson extension earlier this season). When you put that salary rate per year in the larger NBA salary context, that really isn't that much dough for a guy who helped rescue this sorry franchise and still had plenty left in the tank.
This was less than 2 years ago folks. 2 years.
Defending Rowell (which I hate to do):
- Chris Mullin is the same "genius" who thought it was a good idea to sign Adonal Foyle for 6 years $42 million, Derek Fisher for 6 years $37 million (see Worst FA's since 1996), and then extend Troy Murphy for 6 years at $60 million and Mike Dunleavy to a 5 year $44 million deal before they were even restricted free agents. Let's say you're the president of a basketball franchise and were there mainly to keep the cash flowing, not make the basketball decisions which you honestly aren't qualified to assess. Would you listen and trust this same guy when he tells you to extend an enigmatic, moody, and injury prone player for a big money extension after all those silly contracts he advised you to ink earlier? I'm not saying I agree with the veto, but I can see why Rowell didn't value Mullin's input here and believed that if Mullin thought it was a good contract deal, it probably wasn't.
- Again I'll pass the mic to Clipper Steve to voice the frustration of Clipper fans with BD's performance this year:
I'll tell you this much - Tracy McGrady has been terrible this year, and is having micro fracture surgery after 12 long, hard seasons in the league, and he'll be 30 before he plays basketball again. TMac's career may be over. And I'd trade Baron Davis for him in a nanosecond.
- Have you seen the numbers Baron has put up this season in a Clips' jersey? Milk Carton: Boom Dizzle.
- How good can BD really be right now if less than a month ago half of you wouldn't even trade a 6th man and now non-NBA player for him? I know fans tend to overrate their own players, but that's pretty telling.