Over at Cannis Hoopis, they have an interesting post up right now. The last face of their Franchise was KG, but since he left nobody has successfully (*cough Al Jefferson cough*) taken over that mantle. The debate is if one of their 2009 top draft picks, who may not even play for the team for a couple more years, is in fact the most popular player/face of their franchise. Crazy stuff indeed.
After Baron left, the mantle was passed to Monta, and with the drafting of Curry, GSW is at that awkward stage where you just proposed to your hot and sexy girlfriend of four years, thinking you wouldn't find anybody better and it was time to settle down...only to find out that the TRUE love of your life who you have admired from afar wound up staying single (Thanks Twolves) just long enough for you to take her on a date....and boom. Fireworks. What?! It's not our fault our fiancée disregarded our vows (no mopeds clause in contract) and cheated. (Takin this analogy to whole different heights...sorry)
My point (I think) is....who is second most popular player? It would be hard to argue Curry is a media darling, and has the Stern Stamp of approval on being of the mold of talent he wants to promote in his NBA Cares crusade. Who comes after?
Monta - A polarizing figure indeed. Was Curry before Curry was an apple in Oakland's eye. Electrifying and blazing quick, watching him play off ball with Baron was exciting to say the least. We all rooted for this guy and the organization moved JRich to make room for Ellis' evolving role with the team. Many people use him as a goat due to his less than stellar D, yet others know how hard it is to find such a dynamic scorer.
Randolph - Major major hype followed Randolph after last summer. He looked to be the future of the franchise and, along with Monta, was perceived to be GSW's only real shot at a home grown Star. Injuries held him back, and even when healthy, his summer work didn't seem to match the hype (not all his fault) Still his effort, hard work, and DRIVE for the game made him easy to root for in both his rookie and sophomore seasons, and people still accept that he has tons of potential that has been left untapped, whether due to coaching rotations or the like.
Morrow - Who doesn't love the underdog? Undrafted, people were dazzled and thankful that GSW could have found such a gem outside of the first round, let alone the entire draft. His stroke is sweet and Nellie said he's never coached a better shooter. When Morrow is hot, and firing from behind the arc, Oracle is rockin'. Like AR, this guy's emotional roar after hitting a shot to finish off a 15 to 5 run to bring us back within 3 (because we inevitably fell behind by double digits within the first 6 minutes of the game) got you screaming with him. I think people also like how humble he is, and how much he cares about the TEAM'S success. Some people feel he is expendable now that we have Reggie.
Turiaf - Blanka from Street Fighter. The Hyphy Machine. Gotta give him a nod for fan favorite with the way he leaves it all out on the court. Prime example. (he's like Sheed minus all the techs and complaints about calls...and 3pt range...but u get the picture)
You could make a case for anyone really....Bukie and CJ have earned their stripes and also have that underdog likability, Reggie blew people away in the short amount of time he's been here, People love BWright be he still needs to prove himself even more than AR, and Beans is the veteran on the team (still crazy to think about this) People have come to respect Maggette (a far cry from the OMG WTF WHY GAWD NOT THIS GUY of Summer '08) but i think we'd all agree it's better off if we went our separate ways. George, Hunter and Tolliver are difficult to root against as well when they do what is asked of them and really seem to gel with the rest of the team.
I guess I'm doing this poll to see if my assumptions are correct....I would like to think that behind Curry, Monta and Randolph are fan favorites 1A and 1B....guys people purchase jerseys of, come out to Oracle to see etc....so it's just interesting to see how easily he might be given up in a trade (through no fault on the fans obviously)
Disclaimer: I know winning is valued over any one player, and winning also makes players more popular, and I know that the reason his name is coming up in trades like the Minnie draft pick trade is because he's seen as valuable to teams other than GSW.....I also know that DMC or whoever is at the 4th spot could be a jersey/ticket selling stud.....and maybe I've got in wrong in the first place and Chris Hunter is the 3rd most popular Warrior....all I know is that it's late, I can't wait for the draft, and I can't wait for summer league.