This season looks very bleak. The near future of this franchise looks very bleak. The generally friendly bay area media and the east coast sports biased do their best to keep the absolute dysfunction and debauchery of the Golden State Warriors off the top headlines (being ridiculously unsuccessful the last 15 years helps as well) on ESPN and other sports related news outlets, but most of us stubbornly hardcore Warrior fans either know the truth or pretend we don’t know the truth.
I am a die hard 25 year old pessimistic Warriors fan that has very little faith in this current assemblage of players and even less faith in the front office. If you are a fan that still believes that we can make a serious run at the 8th seed (and that would be worth it) or that our youth movement is on the right track this time around, I implore you to stop reading at this point.
Reasons why this is going to get much worse before it gets better (in no specific order):
Monta Ellis and Stephan Jackson's dissatisfaction with the front office
Jackson and Ellis are the 2 best players on the Warriors. Jackson has not made any effort to hide his disdain for the Warriors and their recent moves. From a second round playoff team to a 48 win team, to a 29 win lottery team this team has gotten worse every year Jack has been here. He has seen JRich, Baron, Air France, Mohawk Barnes, and TMNT, all get ungraciously tossed to the curb by this franchise. While many of us did and still do (me included) make great reasons for why those moves were necessary, none of those moves were followed by any moves that made any sense. While many of us didn't not want to see the team built on a flawed 8th seed gimmick team, almost all of us would have preferred that to being a lottery team that is a complete joke across the country. Jackson has been very upfront for a trade to a team that resembles a winner, and has come out and said that he played ‘Bobby' Rowell for a contract extension because it was the smart thing to do. Jackson has no allegiance to this team and will look for his first opportunity to get out of here. While Jackson has been a great teammate on the court and a terrific performer (at times), no one will ever confuse Jackson with a consummate professional. This is a pile of dynamite that Jackson is tossing lighter fluid on. On top of that Nellie, Riley, and Rowell are trying to persuade the fans that this is not that big of a deal. It is a huge deal and this is going to get much worse before it gets better. Either it leads to a horrible trade for us or Jackson slowly burning the locker room down to the foundation.
Then there is Monta Ellis. Monta Ellis, the same guy that was the future face of the franchise one long year ago. How times change. Monta Ellis has been spending the summer has been working out hard this summer with Stephan Jackson and working on his game. Good news for us is he has stayed away from mo-peds and other low speed 2 wheel devices and has been working out. Bad news is that Monta Ellis is clearly not going to let bygones be bygones after ‘Bobby' let the void threat hang over his head all season last year. Monta Ellis is clearly not pumped up about having Stephan Curry being his running mate. While most fans and observers know that having two 6'3" scrawny guards running around together in the backcourt, Ellis has come out and pretty much laid it out that he has no doubt that it won't work and will not lead to winning. The subtext is very clear, our former franchise player doesn't want to play for Nelson or ‘Bobby' AND that Nelson prefers Curry to run his team and ‘Bobby' is going to continue to blame last year's fiasco on Ellis's mo-ped adventures. After Jackson is out of town, I look for Ellis to go grab his own gas can. Ellis can play, but he isn't a point and this is going to get worse before it gets better.
AND CLAIMING that George was brought here to play!
The trade itself is not a good one as we traded a player that can kind of play, for a guy that can't play. The thing that makes this worse is that Riley and Nelson making statements that George will not be a staple at the end of the bench but an actual contributor. It is quite obvious why this would be a horrendous move. George is horrible and he would take away minutes from the better younger players on the Warriors roster. Hopefully that was just Riley posturing and trying to justify the trade. It would have been much better if Riley came out and said that it was a salary dump and George would never play except for blowouts or injuries. Hopefully Nelson can carry that out.
Drafting Stephan Curry
I didn't like the draft pick of Curry when Jennings, DeRozan, and Williams were still available. But that's water under the bridge. Curry is a good player. He is a mature kid with a great head on his shoulder that will definitely be productive.
Curry Positives: Shooting, Creating his own shot, and Scoring
Curry Negatives: Defense, Rebounding, and Passing
Um...wait a second. Taking the best player available when you are as big of a ‘suck' as the Warriors is good idea, but it is awesome (not) when we draft a player that directly exemplifies our weaknesses and duplicates your strengths. I like Curry, don't get me wrong. I hope he has a great career with the Warriors. I just don't see him pairing well with Ellis and fixing any of our immediate needs.
Brandan Wright waiting for his plane ticket out of town
Short and sweet, Nelson is not a fan. Wright is sitting behind Randolph. Wright has been ridiculously effective when he has played. Jackson is going to be hard to trade, and Wright will inevitably be a throw in a trade. Good luck in the future Brandan.
Nobody wants to be here
Amare said it straight up. We have seen other players demanding way more money or rejecting the Warriors offers straight up in the last few years. The one that really stings is CJ Watson. A backup point guard that found a semi decent NBA career in Golden State declared that he didn't want to be here, then took less money in the hopes that he can leave the Warriors sooner than later.
Don Nelson is a good coach. A great coach who will get us the most wins out of this team. It's the off court stuff that has to worry the Warrior fans. No one knows yet whether Nelson is really content and happy with ‘Bobby' and Chris or if Nelson is going to make a run at ‘Bobby's' job. Nelson is cerebral but he has a history of burning franchises to the ground on his way out. We know of Nelson from his 10 years here (over his 2 stints) and his other antics on other teams, we can't really believe a word out of this guy's mouth.
Nelson taking on his players is a much bigger problem than a potential problem with ‘Bobby.' Last year Nellie took on Crawford, Harrington, and Randolph directly in the media and on the court and several others behind the scene (Wright, Ellis, Belinelli, Morrow, Williams, Kurz, and Watson). With Jackson and Ellis already making the locker room quite volatile, we will just have to wait and see what self inflicted problems Nellie brings this season.
Is there a guy that you don't know (that isn't a terrorist or a criminal of some sort) and hate more than this guy? He is the worst, no explanation needed for Warrior faithful. Chris Cohan also deserves quite a bit of blame. Hey Cohan, you have owned this team 16 years and NEVER have finished in the better half of the teams in the Western Conference. Never. NOT ONCE. How is that possible?
Salary Cap Lockdown
Thanks to Maggette's and Jackson's lucrative contracts we will have nothing but the mid level exception and draft picks (lottery no doubt) to improve this team's talent.
There are many more reasons why this season will be another disaster for the Warriors, but here is a short closing paragraph wrapping up my thoughts. The Warriors (Rowell) is already making it clear that his 2 primary goals are to bring a marquee player or make a desperate run for the 8th seed to sell some tickets. Hopefully Nelson is being truthful and honest when he says this team is young and is building for the future, and hopefully developing our young talent and making this team a legitimate contender in the future. However nothing in Don Nelson, Larry Riley, Robert Rowell, and Chris Cohan's history shows that they have the willingness (Nelson) or ability (the rest of the guys) to make that happen.
Projection for 2009-2010 season 34-48, 11th seed in the West