On June 25, 2009, the Golden State Warriors drafted Steph Curry. Ten years and 16 days later, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. With that move, Curry moved to second in the NBA for longest tenure with his current team. The only player he sits behind is Udonis Haslem, though that feels like a technicality. At this point, Haslem is essentially an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, having appeared in just 43 games and played fewer than 300 minutes over the last four seasons combined.
During his time in the Bay Area, Curry has had 106 teammates who have appeared in at least one game. Some played in exactly one game, while others played in hundreds. Some never actually played in a game that Curry was active for, while others formed historically great partnerships with him.
And I’m ranking all 106 over the course of a few months.
Players are ranked — and stats are shown — based only on their time as Curry’s teammate. How good/bad they were in other organizations doesn’t matter. How good/bad they were on pre-2009-10 Warriors teams doesn’t matter.
To see all of the rankings thus far, you can click on the “Ranking Steph’s teammates” tag at the top of the article.
#64 — Kwame Brown
Games: 9 (T-89th out of 106)
Points per game: 6.3 (T-44th out of 106)
Rebounds per game: 6.3 (8th out of 106)
Assists per game: 0.4 (T-84th out of 106)
Kwame Brown is the first of three number one overall picks to make these rankings. Michael Jordan’s most famous draft pick signed a one-year, $7 million deal with the Dubs prior to the 2011-12 season, for what ended up being the sixth out of seven franchises he would play for in his career.
High hopes abounded everywhere. The Warriors were on the up-and-up, with Steph Curry showing signs of stardom, David Lee in town, and the team jumping to 36-46 the year prior, an improvement of 10 wins. They had just hired Mark Jackson, who was saying all the right things and energizing the fanbase. Brown, while far from a star, figured to be a veteran presence who could play starter minutes at center, provide defense, rebounding, and toughness, and run the pick and roll with Curry.
Just nine games into the lockout-shortened season, Brown suffered a chest injury that would cost him the rest of the season. It was an unfortunate turn for the team (which was already struggling out of the gates), and especially for Brown, who was trying to prove he still belonged in the league (he would play only 22 more NBA games in his career).
There were certainly some positives to his brief tenure. He did provide toughness to a young, inexperienced, and unstable team that desperately needed it. He was one of the better rebounders that Curry ever shared the court with. He was competent defensively, on a team where defensive competence was unheard of. In his second game, the Warriors beat the Chicago Bulls — fresh off a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals — with Golden State outscoring Chicago by 21 points in Brown’s minutes, and getting outscored by 13 when he was on the bench.
But there were also plenty of downsides. His offensive game was a bit archaic, as he was stuck with crab dribbles, drop steps, heavy-handed jump hooks, and putbacks. He made free throws at an Andris Biedrins-esque rate of 44.1%, and his true-shooting percentage was 51.9% — a below-average mark that simply doesn’t fly when you’re the biggest guy on the court most nights.
As a result, the offense struggled when he was on the court, and he never developed any offensive chemistry with Curry — or with anyone, for that matter.
But he had some highlights. So let’s watch them.
What do you think of Kwame Brown’s ranking?
This poll is closed
He was better than #64
#64 is about right
He was worse than #64