Back by popular demand and thanks to all the Warrior fans who helped with their comments, here is the unabridged version of The List:
What was the worst Warrior move in NBA history? That's the tough question because there were so many. How about...
Trading Wilt Chamberlain on January 15, 1965, for Connie Dierking, Paul Neumann, Lee Shaffer, and cash. The Warriors trading one of the greatest most dominant centers in the history of the NBA - Wilt Chamberlain for chump change?! Not only does Wilt beat his Warrior ex-teammates in the 1967 NBA Championship but he later joins the Lakers and teams up with Jerry West and Gail Goodrich in the backcourt, and Jim McMillian and Happy Hairston up front to assemble possibly the greatest NBA team in history during the 1971-72 season. Wilt (the Stilt who once boasted he slept with 25,000 women during his lifetime) Chamberlain led them to an NBA-record 33-game winning streak on their way to a 69-13 record and an NBA Championship.
In 1971-72, Owner Franklin Mieuli moves the San Francisco Warriors out of San Francisco to the Oakland Coliseum and names his team Golden State. To this day, no Warriors owner wants to lose fans from San Francisco and the SF Peninsula by renaming the team the Oakland Warriors; Golden State is a nice name, though.
The Warriors allowed former Rookie of the Year, Rick Barry, and his 35.6 PPG to jump to the ABA's Oakland Oaks in 1967 to play for his father in law. The year before, the Ws led by Rick and Nate Thurmond barely lost to the Chamberlain- led 76ers for the 1967 NBA championship. Only a court decision would force Barry to return to the Warriors four years later to set up their brilliant 1974-1975 championship that followed - the epitome of this tragic franchise. Oh, what might have been had the genius-player extraordinaire Rick Barry stayed a Warrior all along.
The strange dismantling of a championship team. In the next few years, the Ws get rid of starting point guard Butch Beard, guard CJ (Charles Johnson), future Hall of Famer Jamaal (Keith) Wilkes. CJ would later win a championship with the Washington Bullets in 1978. Wilkes wins three more championships with Magic and Kareem.
Letting guard Gus Williams leave in 1978 to the Supersonics. Gus was THE Sonic star who teamed up with some good players like Jack Sikma, Dennis Johnson, Paul Silas, Freddie Brown to win Seattle a championship in 1979.
Warriors swapped Robert Parish and their 1980 first-round draft pick to Boston for the first and 13th picks in the 1980 NBA Draft. Golden State used the No. 1 pick to select Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll. The Celtics then use the Warriors' pick to draft Kevin McHale. The 7-foot center Joe Barry Carroll would ring up six seasons of at least 17.0 points per game (including 24.1 ppg in 1982-83), but Parish would go on to win three championships with the Celtics, teaming with Larry Bird and McHale on one of the best front lines in NBA history. Warriors Coach George Karl destroyed Carroll's locker after he felt Joe Barry dogged a playoff game against the overpowering Lakers - and I think it was the same series where Sleepy Floyd went off scoring 39 pts in one half to beat the Lakers for their only win of that series.
The Warriors let budding star Bernard King leave to the Knicks in the 1982-1983 season.
1983 drafting of #7 Russell Cross over #15 Clyde "the Glide" Drexler
1986 Drafting Chris Washburn at #3 in the infamous Len Bias draft. Mark Price went at #25, Dennis Rodman at #27 and Drazen Petrovic went at #60. When Warriors staff picked Washburn, who had size and talent, up at the airport the story goes he was quietly reading a comic book in the car and wouldn't talk. He was later banned from the NBA for repeatedly failing drug tests.
Dealing Mitch Richmond to Sacramento in 1991 for rookie forward Billy Owens and a 1995 second-round pick thus breaking up RUN TMC (with Timmy Hardaway and Chris Mullin). Owens would be traded many times over the years. Don Nelson (Nellie) said this was his dumbest move ever. RUN TMC had led the league in scoring (116.3 ppg) and compiled a franchise-record .809 free-throw percentage while setting an NBA record for the fewest offensive rebounds per game in a season (11.2).
Nellie trades the 1993 #3 Draft Pick, Penny Hardaway, and three No 1s for eventual Franchise destroyer CWebb (Chris Webber) that has haunted the Ws ever since.
The Curse of Cohan?
Chris Cohan forces the sale and purchase of the Warriors in 1994 the year after - and the last time - the Warriors make the playoffs. Cohan sides with Nellie (over the disgruntled star) so CWebb takes his early-out clause in his contract; and then Cohan gets rid of Nellie who wanted the W's to lose to obtain the number- one pick. In a matter of hours the Warriors lose their best star player and their innovative future Hall of Famer Coach.
Warriors get Tom "Googs" Gugliotta for CWebb. Spree freezes Googs out (because his main man CWebb is gone) and Googs goes up in flames. Warriors trade Googs for Donyell Marshall. The rest is history. The Curse of the Warriors exists to this day of continuous playoff drought years.
Cohan hires Dave Twardzik as GM. OMG.
Cohan replaces Greg Papa with Bob Fitzgerald (a good radio man but inferior tv broadcaster) on tv broadcasts of Warrior games because of Papa's Raider affiliation. This was almost as bad as KNBR axing Larry Krueger in terms of losing quality - in this case a super play by play man.
Twardzik's 1995 drafting at #1 of Joe Smith over #5 Kevin Garnett, #4 Rasheed Wallace and #3 Jerry Stackhouse. Whew!
Twardzik's 1996 Drafting of Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant. Twardzik in an interview said he wasn't impressed with Kobe's game after watching the same high school all-star game that Jerry West attended; did Dave forget to wear his glasses?
Cohan reportedly prevents a trade of Joe Smith for Jason Kidd when Nellie was cleaning house in Dallas. Spree becomes Joe Smith's mentor.
Cohan hires Coach PJ Carlesimo in 1997 because he wants more team discipline. PJ then tells Spree (Latrell Sprewell) to put a little more mustard in his passes and Spree proceeds to choke Carlesimo leaving his large finger imprints on (the SI photo of) PJ's neck.
The 1997 Drafting of Adonal Foyle over Tracy McGrady. Oops!
The trading of our first to Atlanta for Mookie Blaylock instead of drafting sharpshooter Jason Terry in 1999; Captain Mookie never met a golf course he didn't like and he didn't like Warrior practices.
Letting future All-Star Gilbert Arenas leave in 2003 without making a deal - even a backroom deal; "Cohan wouldn't look me in the eye," said a still-irate Gilbert ($60 million dollar richer) Arenas calling into KNBR radio show explaining how his teammates told him not to trust the owner. The NBA creates the "Gilbert Arenas rule" so that other NBA teams can go over the cap to sign their own second round draft picks; big deal.
GM St. Jean's 2002 Drafting of Mike Dunleavy No. 3 while Amare Stoudamire goes at No. 9 to Phoenix not knowing the Dun dude had an adverse allergic reaction to an open shot.
Salary-cap hell: recap of the Chris Mullin GM Spending Spree (not for free) era in Golden State.
1)a $58 million extension to Troy Murphy;
2)a $70 million extension to Jason Richardson;
3)a $45 million extension to Mike Dunleavy Jr.;
4)Derek Fisher for $36 million;
5) Mully re-signed Adonal Foyle for $41.6 million (At least the others have ball skills); And finally Mully
6)traded an expiring contract for the remaining 4 years at $62 million of Baron Davis.
(If you're still totalling, that's $313 million. A third of a billion dollars. Yikes!)
Mully's 2005 Drafting of Ike Diogu over Danny Granger but this is still up in the air.
Which one of these was the worst ever Warrior move? Tough call. But it's all part of being a long suffering Warrior fan that we wear to this day as a badge of honor.