Nellie Ball and the Future of the Golden State Warriors
Don Nelson has been taking a lot flak recently. Being blamed for a team's performance is a tough thing to deal with. It is also very common among fans, Oakland fans in particular, to stick to one person and just spew all of their hate until a change is made.
Once that change is made, however, there is no real change. A decision was made that was not well-thought out, and what one ends up with is worse than what came before. This is evinced by the Oakland Raiders organization, which has been in a seven-year funk.
Don Nelson has performed admirably during his two tenures with the Golden State Warriors. He has been the only coach to lead the Warriors to the playoffs in the last two decades.
Nelson, in his last playoff appearance, was able to do to the Mavericks what John Gruden did to the Raiders in the 2003 Super Bowl. He knew every move Avery Johnson was going to make and thus was able to orchestrate an incredible victory and humiliating defeat over the Dallas Mavericks.
For all of his hard work, the only thing he has gotten back from the fans is their condemnation of his non-wrong doings. The Warriors fans have blamed Nelson, Riley, and Cohan.
Cohan is pretty obvious in his mismanagement of the Warriors franchise: the Warriors have faltered in recent years because he was owner. However, Riley has done a tremendous job as GM. The Warriors not only have the blocks to make a playoff run this season with the acquisition of David Lee, but also have leverage in free-agency moves next offseason with $16 mil plus coming off of the books after the 2010-2011 season.
Even though there are some extremely talented individuals on the current roster of the Golden State Warriors and Don Nelson has done his best one thing has been missing: veteran leadership.
This is the one thing that the Warriors have lacked ever since Baron Davis left the organization to join the Clippers in Los Angeles. This one crucial departure began the dismantling of a once great, fun, and exciting team. Al Harrington followed suit and left the Warriors, as a trade with the New York Knicks was arranged for Jamal Crawford.
Stephen Jackson the last remaining veteran from the 2007 season singed a contract extension in 2009. However, his poor leadership was evident as he crumbled from the weight of the expectations that have been placed on him and demanded a trade a year after signing his extension.
Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins are the only two remaining players from that playoff run, and neither of them are fit to lead a team.
However, there is hope, and it came in the 2009 draft in the form of a 6'3'', 185 lb guard out of Davidson. Stephen Curry is the future of the franchise, and both Ellis and Biedrins are going to have to learn how to play second fiddle. Curry is an extremely intelligent guard who has limitless potential. Curry should develop into a guard that can run an offense in a way that is reminiscent of Steve Nash.
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