Well, after watching the Warriors religiously this year (and the past five seasons), it is safe to say that we can add one more player to that list. His name is Anthony Morrow.
As an undrafted rookie, Morrow has surprised all us Warriors fans (and the whole NBA, for that matter) with his amazingly quick shot and smooth release. Of course, no one except Anthony Morrow knew who he was during training camp and even at the start of the season. All we knew was that he had a good shot.
But what made him different than a Marco Belinelli, whom the Warriors drafted just a year before with the No. 18 pick? Well, unlike Marco, Morrow has already given us a sign of hope. Some Warriors fans are even calling him "the next Ray Allen."
OK, even I admit that's a bit of a stretch. I mean, he is still in his rookie season, doesn't get consistent minutes, and still is streaky at times. But every time Morrow has the ball in his hands, every single Warriors fan says, "Please shoot it!"
There was no risk with Morrow. He was undrafted out of Georgia Tech, deemed a quality shooter...and that's about it. However, the Warriors, and especially Don Nelson, have a knack for discovering talent out of nowhere. Kelenna Azubuike and CJ Watson were called up from the D-League, and receive regular minutes in games.
Still, it wasn't until the night of Nov. 15, against a lowly Clippers team, that Morrow broke out of his undrafted shell to show himself as a possible star. In his first NBA start, Anthony Morrow had a line similar to a line that a Kobe, LeBron, or KG would put up: 37 points off 15/20 shooting (4/5 on 3PT), 11 rebounds, 1 assist, and two turnovers.
(For a Youtube clip of his game, click here.)
From then on, Morrow had all NBA fans going, "Who is this kid?"
But this kid has done way more for the Warriors this year than any other year he could have come out. With the Warriors, a team filled with front office troubles, moped accidents, star players opting out, $50 million bench players, and no defense, Morrow has become an immediate fan favorite.
At 14-32, Warriors fans don't have much to be excited about. Maybe the return of Monta Ellis, maybe the comebacks of both Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli from injury, maybe the development of the Warriors' No. 1 pick Anthony Randolph, maybe the increased development of our defense. (OK, that was a joke.)
Anthony Morrow has single-handedly given Warriors fans a sign of hope for the future. A spot-up three-point shooter who has an unbelievably quick release that resembles a Ray Allen or Reggie Miller. A bona fide scorer who has Warriors fans standing up and cheering when he swishes another transition three.
Yeah, I might be praising an undrafted rookie a little too much. But hell, as a Warrior fan, what else is going well?
We play defense that resembles my junior high basketball team, pay Corey Maggette (YES, Corey Maggette) a $50 million contract, see our top rookies of the past two seasons (Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph) get slim, inconsistent minutes, see our star players (Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Baron Davis, Jason Richardson, Al Harrington) leave the team, and have an inept owner and GM who have no idea how to run a successful NBA franchise.
Wait, overpaying players, inept owner, bad defense...am I talking about the Oakland Raiders or the Golden State Warriors?
Simply put, Anthony Morrow has given Warriors fans, and all NBA fans, a sense of excitement whenever he touches the ball. There is no better year for a project like Morrow to come out, considering the mess the Warriors are in right now. Morrow has all Warrior fans begging the NBA to put him in the three-point contest on All Star Weekend in Phoenix. (Michael Redd's injury should help.)
Sure, the Warriors could make the playoffs next year, fire Robert Rowell, trade Corey Maggette, sign or draft a big, or actually play some defense. But for now, Anthony Morrow is the future, and trust me, I'll be watching.