The other night I was with a friend in an Oakland bar that had three large posters on the wall: Dennis Eckersley, Jerry Rice, and Baron Davis.
Not that the poster selection in one bar represents the definitive list of Bay Area sports legends, but it was still striking because it's hard to think of another player in my lifetime who has made more of an impact on the Bay Area sports landscape in less time.
We've already discussed this before, but it's really not that much of a stretch to say that the trade for Baron Davis was the best in franchise history (or at least the last three decades of history) - even accounting for presentism, there are just few individual acquisitions that this franchise has made since winning a title in 1975 that have had a bigger impact on the franchise and fan base.
Anyway, news of Baron Davis' interest in making a return to the Golden State Warriors is fun to think about primarily as an excuse to reminisce about the sudden jolt of energy he brought the franchise previously.
Just chatted w/ Baron Davis in Vegas. He's ready to make his return this fall. "Put the news out there!" he said. Watched him train. Fluid.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 14, 2014
When asked what offensive system he likes, Baron Davis said the Clippers & Warriors. Feels like he can play 15-20 minutes a game next year.— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) July 14, 2014
Beyond that...well... I mean, I'm excited for him to make this journey...but... you have to wonder how productive he can be at 35-years-old after that nasty injury with the New York Knicks.
Baron Davis or Steve Nash? Who is more physically equipped to play meaningful NBA minutes this season? pic.twitter.com/2P51jXx8pM— RealGM (@RealGM) July 14, 2014
No, Sleepy Floyd gets the first call. Then Gilbert. Then Mookie. RT @stevetool1g Baron back to the Dubs?— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) July 14, 2014
Since leaving the Warriors, Davis had been on a sharp, steady, and injury-riddled decline in almost every way. And with a crowded guard rotation as-is, the Warriors are probably better served spending their limited remaining resources this offseason on frontcourt depth.
Anyway, this probably isn't happening but it's definitely fun to think about what would've been had Davis not left the Warriors to begin with and the Warriors had not used their cap room on Corey Maggette.
Also, this will never ever get old.
Thanks again for the memories, Baron.