Ahh, G-State. The G-Men. Okay, maybe not the G-Men, though I think they’d trade their issues for one Plaxico bullet wound. Where do I even start with these guys? They have so much talent it’s ridiculous. They play entertaining ball. They have a great crowd. There’s so much to love, yet they continue to self destruct. First, their captain and rock, the ever-sane Stephen Jackson, publically declares he doesn’t like the direction of the team and wants a trade. Gets fined. Now he gets fouled up, T’d up, sent from the bench and suspended for a few days. Also, their next best player, Monta Ellis, has publically questioned whether he and new stud draft pick Stephen Curry can play together. Fans are as thrilled with this as they were when they heard about a potential Monta Ellis salary dump in September.
Speaking of salary dumps, they sold Marco Belinelli to the Raptors for just over $1.5 million in the summer (yes, they got Devean George, but the Raptors gave the Warriors cash to cover his contract this season). Not to say Belinelli’s an all-star or anything, but unless we’re talking soccer the phrase “sold a player” should be reserved for when asking for a loosey. They were rumoured to be interested in Amar’e, until Stephen Curry fell to them at #7 in the draft. Now, they’re being linked with Bosh again, but that’s pure speculation. There’s no way Colangelo is interested in trading Bosh until closer to the deadline at least. And as a Raptors fan, I certainly hope it’s not for a package “centered around Andris Biedrins”. Brandan Wright’s hurt and out for a few months. Sure, they have Anthony Randolph, but Coach Nelson is notorious for sitting young players for… well, no good reason at all. They’ve got Andris Biedrins locked in for four years at $9 million a year (And Raptors fans were complaining about Turkoglu’s contract!), Corey Maggette for four years, increasing every year from almost $9 mil this year to almost $11 million in 2012. Those two, plus Jackson and Ellis take up $40 million of salary space in 2012! They’re already several million over the cap, and, as it stands, do not figure to be a big player in free agency for a while unless they find a way to dump one of their four biggest contracts. So why do I like these guys? Why do I support this Picasso of a mismanaged and chaotic team? As a fan of the Toronto sports teams, I am a card-carrying masochist, which helps, but I can also see talent and charisma. And even with all of their problems, the Warriors just ooze talent.
In addition to Monta and Captain Jack, they have personal favourites Ronny Turiaf (don’t ask) and Corey Maggette (I’m a masochist, remember?). They have summer league sweethearts Anthony Morrow and Anthony Randolph. They have Speedy Claxton and Andris Biedrins (I can like them and hate their contracts), and most importantly, they have Stephen Curry. Ask anyone who watched the NCAA Tournament in 2008 about Stephen Curry and their faces light up. There aren’t many shooters who can throw a team on their back and carry them, yet Stephen Curry almost carried tiny Davidson all the way to the Finals; losing in the elite eight to after upsetting Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin. The team that beat them: The eventual champion Kansas Jayhawks, who won by 2 points after the potential game winning 3 didn’t drop (Curry dished, he was in double coverage). It was an awe-inspiring run. Just ask LeBron. Generally, there aren’t too many rookies who excite me. Curry, though, is something special. If nothing else, I’d be tuning in to Warriors games JUST for Curry and he doesn’t even have close to the most potential on the team. Anthony Randolph has the tools and potential to be a STUD in this league. Yes, I said it. With his skill set, if he is given a real chance by Don Nelson he could a superstar in the making like Kevin Durant (the last rookie to excite me like Steph does).
What can’t the guy do? He can shoot, he can break men down, he can pass, he can dunk, (oh can he dunk), he can rebound, he runs the floor, and he can block shots. His length and speed are things to marvel at. His nose for the ball is something that can’t be taught. His willingness to get down and dirty and do whatever’s necessary to win is endearing. I don’t even have anything else to say about him, other than if Don Nelson doesn’t let this kid on the floor he should be committed. Or shot. Either way, he shouldn’t be allowed within 500 feet of any school, gym or NBA arena. Same story with Anthony Morrow. He may not have the pure raw talent like Randolph, but he can ball and needs to be given a shot.
What other positive things can I say about the Warriors? Well, as much as it may be to their chagrin, both Captain Jack and Monta are still in the Bay Area. Say what you will about Stephen Jackson, the cat can still play. Someone should tell Nellie that he’s not a point guard or a power forward, but he still is a hell of a player on the wing. And don’t forget that Monta missed training camp and half of last season after a little workout mishap, uhhhh contract violating high speed motorcycle accident, errrr falling off a moped. I still don’t understand how you can shred your ankle on a moped. Anyway, that’s beside the point. I’m not here to talk about the past; Monta’s back, healthy, and he will have a full training camp and hopefully a full season. This can’t be a bad thing.
In fact, the thought of seeing Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph and Andris Biedrins together makes me turn into the Lonely Island guys when I think of it. I dunno if Nellie will let that happen, but hey, a guy can dream. And let’s not forget they still have Acie Law (another personal favourite), Morrow, Claxton, Maggette, Turiaf, and Mikki Moore on the bench. Yowzers. Yes, I said it: Yowzers. By now it should be apparent why I can support this club. They are the Raptors West. They can score 110 points a game, they can give up 110 points a game. The only difference between the two clubs is pure talent. The Raptors have good players, yes, but the talent coming out of Golden State is truly remarkable. There’s a reason I called them a Picasso. A Picasso is a chaotic mess, but it’s a thing of beauty. It’s taking pieces of a puzzle, scattering them in a random order and turning it into art. The Warriors are art on the court, a thing of beauty. As a fan of the game of basketball, I can’t wait to see what they can do this year. They had enough talent to make the playoffs last year, and this year they’ve improved the club. Sure, there’s a few ifs; mostly relating to IF Nelson actually plays the young talent he’s been blessed with, and IF they don’t make some stupid salary dump, but with that kind of talent they can’t lose! Can they? You’ll have to tune in to find out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, win or lose.