The Golden State Warriors’ season is over. The league is finally gearing up to get going once more, but the Warriors aren’t included.
Why? They’re simply not good enough.
Golden State was already eliminated from the playoffs when the 2019-20 NBA season was suspended in mid-March due to the coronavirus, and only the 22 teams with playoff aspirations are headed to Orlando to restart the season.
And so the Warriors finish the year having played a pandemic-shortened 65-game season, in which they posted a record of 15-50.
That ugly season has the honor of being the team’s worst year — in terms of total wins — in more than 50 years. That’s a remarkable feat for a franchise that, until the last decade, was known almost exclusively for its futility.
Even though the 2019-20 squad had 17 games taken off their schedule, you still might have expected one of those 1990s or 2000s teams to win fewer games. You would be wrong.
From 1997 through 2002, the Warriors won 19, 21, 19, 17, and 21 games. Those numbers, as you’re likely well aware, are higher than 15.
No, you have to go all the way back to the 1952-53 Philadelphia Warriors to find a team in franchise history that failed to reach the 15-win mark. That team went 12-57 in a 69-game season. Their leading scorers were Neil Johnston, Danny Finn, and Joe Fulks.
Even if you want to excuse the Warriors on account of the shortened season, they still had the fourth-worst season in franchise history, as their 15-50 record translated to a .231 winning percentage. The only worse teams were that ‘52-53 squad (12-57, .174), the 2000-01 team (17-65, .207), and the 1964-65 San Francisco Warriors (17-63, .213).
Broadly speaking, I’m not telling you anything you didn’t know. The Warriors were quite bad this year. Almost as bad as we’ve ever seen them. You already knew this.
But after spending all year pointing out how bad they were playing, it only felt right to reflect on it now that it’s officially over. So there you have it: Your 2019-20 Warriors — the second-worst win total and fourth-worst winning percentage in franchise history.
Better luck next year.