Jason Richardson: A Significant Blunder by the Golden State Warriors

K ShakranSenior Analyst IApril 11, 2008

With the Golden State Warriors losing the biggest game of the year to the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena, hopes of making the playoffs, thanks to Don Nelson and the Warriors organization, are practically dead.


Well, let's go back to the night that proved to be the most shocking for Warriors fans: the 2007 NBA draft night. Jason Richardson, the heart and soul of the Warriors, was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats for Brandan Wright.

For Golden State supporters, draft night was a time for celebrating. When was the last time that was the case?

If you're really a Warriors fan, you paused between confetti flings and felt a twinge of sadness at the loss of Richardson, the noblest Warrior. He was a true Warrior, in every sense of the word.

I am still experiencing trade remorse over the swap of Richardson to Charlotte for a willowy teenager. I know this trade was intended to bring some financial relief to Golden State. But have all the players drafted by the Warriors played meaningful minutes all season? No!

I guarantee that every Warriors fan who attended the Denver game in Oakland last Thursday sincerely wanted Richardson back.

I predicted the 2007-2008 season to be the strongest season for the Warriors since the 1989-1990 season, but I was only half correct. Richardson would have completed the other half.

It was heartbreaking to see Richardson drop 44 points against his former team earlier this season. He stepped on the court with flair, rage, and determination. Most of all, he sent a clear-cut message to the Warriors organization.

On the other hand, every Warriors fan can fairly deduce that Brandan Wright, Marco Belinelli, and CJ Watson have had no rookie seasons.

Brandan Wright did have one highlight of his rookie year. It was a dunk against the Charlotte Bobcats in Garbage Time. And that was it.

This is a result of Don Nelson's rookie paranoia. He's virtually destroying the roster by not playing his rookies. How will they ever gain confidence?

Then there is the additional result that the starters are fatigued. Everybody can see it, why can't Don Nelson?

Good luck next year Warriors. If, and only if, Don Nelson and the organization wake up.