“Skeletons in the Closet” - A Warriors Fan Faces His Dark Past

Ah yes, the Sprewell Era. Where do we begin?

Ah yes, the Sprewell Era. Where do we begin?

By Jamie Coffis | @touchcoffis86

Last Tuesday, I watched my Golden State Warriors lose a game to the New Orleans Pelicans 103-100, and I won’t lie, it was a little bit of a bummer. It was a bummer until I saw Stephen Curry’s face as he walked off the floor and gave a shrug to Steve Kerr that seemed to say something along the lines of “Eh, I could complain about getting fouled on that 3-point attempt right there but we still clinched the 1-seed in the West like forever ago, so whatever, I’m already over it.”

And at that moment, it all came rushing back to me. OH YEA, WE’RE AMAZING! It’s easy to forget that fact, but at the same time it shouldn’t be. Especially after what Warriors fans are used to feeling around this time of the year. We are in uncharted territory. It’s seriously never been this good for me as a Warriors fan, and frankly, it’s terrifying.

I have this really weird and unsettling feeling in my stomach as we prepare to head into the playoffs. I went on Web MD and searched my symptoms and apparently it’s referred to as something called “confidence.” It’s a feeling that I and fellow Warriors fans are very unfamiliar with. We are used to agonizing defeats and unrealized potential. In the past, if we were to lose a playoff series, we would high five each other and congratulate ourselves on a good season. A series win and a free “We Believe” T-shirt used to be enough. Those days appear to be over. We have real expectations this year. And to be honest I don’t know how to handle it.

Thus, I decided to take a look back at the worst things I can remember happening as a Warriors fan for the last couple of decades in hopes of gaining some perspective as we head into what promises to be a frighteningly historic playoff run. So here it is, buckle in.

In no particular order, here are some terrible things that I can remember having to endure as a Golden State Warriors fan over the past 20 years or so.

1. Watching Andris Biedrins attempt a free throw

Oh God! Sir, are you drunk?

Seemingly Drunk Biedrins really started to suck by the end of his tenure as a Warrior. To make matters worse, it seemed like he never would convert a basket after getting fouled. It was never And-1, always And-2, and an ugly two at that. This is clearly anecdotal so I’ll punctuate this thought with some cold hard stats. “The Goose,” as I seem to remember one of his nicknames being, failed to shoot over 32% from the line after 2008-09. Sweet Jesus!

2. That one time our best player attempted to strangle his coach

What a preposterous sentence I just wrote. That seriously happened!? Let’s just say Latrell Sprewell had a very interesting career and strangling P.J. Carlesimo is probably what he will be most remembered for. And rightfully so, that’s quite bizarre.  Now we have the least strangle-able coach in the league. That is not anecdotal. That’s just good old fashioned irony.

3. Those uniforms, especially the orange ones

There were a few iterations of this style of uniform. None of them were particularly good. The lightning bolt stuff was altogether regrettable and those orange jerseys are some of the worst uniforms you will ever see. We played bad, and we looked bad. At least we were consistent.  

4. Some of the guys that we thought were the next great thing...

Larry Hughes

Pre-pubescent me was pretty excited when we acquired him at the trade deadline during another lost season. He lasted a little over two seasons for Golden State and went on to a pretty unremarkable career. 14 PPG in a 14 year career is not terrible by any means but we expected a lot more from Larry. It is also notable that he participated in the 2000 Slam Dunk contest that was held at Oracle Arena (the Vince Carter one) and did not complete a dunk.

Anthony Randolph

Admit it, we were all really pumped on this guy. Looking back I have no idea why. He looked like he was crying the whole time he was on the court. I think maybe he was?

Ike Diogu

Undersized low post scorer that didn’t really pan out. He was a lottery pick we had high hopes for. His career and playing ability made you wonder if someone could ever be as mediocre as him. He was ten pounds of mediocrity in a five pound bag.

Joe Smith

He was a number 1 pick! He wasn’t worse than Anthony Bennett (and who is), but he was one of the more unremarkable number 1 overalls in the last few decades when you consider how dominant he was as a Maryland Terp.  

5. That one time we almost had to play four on five

And they won the game! This was just the darndest thing you will ever see, but it is totally believable if you are Warriors fan. In retrospect, this was actually a pretty delightful game if you can believe it. Stephen Curry closed out his rookie year with his first 40 point game of his career.

6. Bad, and I mean BAD, contracts

Erick “Damp” Dampier - (7 years $48 million) Yea it sounds really bad until you realize that he opted out in the middle of this contract so that he could sign with Dallas for a mind boggling $73 million over 7 years. Yikes. Good riddance.

Andris Biedrins - (6 Years $63 million) He was productive initially and then afterwards not so much. Like not at all really.

Mike Dunleavy - (5 years $44 million) He’s had a solid career certainly (most of it not as a Warrior of course) but the best thing he ever did for the Bay Area was help us acquire Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington.

Corey Maggette - (5 years ~$50 Million) It was confusing then and its confusing now.

Adonal Foyle - (6 years 42 million) We were so happy with how well he played that we released him with 3 years and 29 million left on the deal. (But for the record, who doesn’t love Adonal).

None of this matters anymore though.

We have arrived. We are the team to beat not only in the West, but in the entire league. Our coach is Steve Kerr and he’s amazing. Stephen Curry is simply the best and most exciting basketball player on the planet right now. We have glue guys and role players coming out the woodwork. Draymond Green, Mo Speights, Shaun Livingston, Andre Igoudala, Harrison Barnes and even David Lee seem capable of becoming playoff heroes at some point or another over the course of the next several weeks. We have a healthy Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson is our second best scorer and arguably the best two-way player in the NBA.

So cheers to making it through the lean years and coming out stronger on the other side, Warriors fans. Sometimes it’s scary how good we are now. Literally.