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Philadelphia/Golden State Warriors: NBA All-Time Starting Fives

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Philadelphia/Golden State Warriors: NBA All-Time Starting Fives

To explore the history of the Warriors franchise is to explore the history of professional basketball. From their inception in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors in the Basketball Association of America (which became the NBA in 1949) to the disjointed Nelleyball era of today, there has not been a professional basketball season in this country for which the Warriors have not been present.

Over the past six decades, 10 Hall of Famers—Wilt Chamberlain, Paul Arizin, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Neil Johnston, Joe Fulks, Robert Parish, Tom Gola, Jerry Lucas, and Andy Phillip—have suited up in at least 100 games for the Warriors. An 11th, Chris Mullin, is a safe bet to join this group in the near future.

The Philadelphia Warriors won the first-ever professional basketball championship following the 1946-47 season, and the franchise went on to win two more titles (1955-56 and 1974-75), reach the Finals on five other occasions. and author one of the greatest-ever postseason upsets.

It was with the Warriors that Wilt Chamberlain hit his statistical peak (that’s saying something!).

It was with the Warriors that Rick Barry was essentially Larry Bird before Larry Bird.

It was also with the Warriors, that Chris Mullin introduced us to the prettiest lefty jumper in history.

However, as accomplished as the Philadelphia/Bay Area Warriors franchise is, it’s interesting to note just how often this team’s been, well, not very good.

The Warriors have failed to post a regular season record of .500+ in 34 of 64 seasons. The Warriors have made 29 postseason appearances—six straight from 1946-47 through 1951-52, but no more than three in a row (done five times) since. Meanwhile, the franchise has missed the playoffs in three or more consecutive seasons four times—one of the streaks a nine-year drought from 1977-78- 1985-86, another spanning a dozen years, from 1994-95 through 2005-06. Other than in 2007, during which they produced an epic first-round upset of the heavily-favored Mavericks, the Warriors have been playoff outsiders for 16 years.

It’s surprising to realize that a franchise that’s enjoyed so much success and notoriety, has also suffered from such extended periods of futility and an utter lack of consistency.

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