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Chris Mullin and the 25 Greatest Players in Golden State Warriors History

James PearsonCorrespondent IMay 3, 2011

Chris Mullin and the 25 Greatest Players in Golden State Warriors History

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    From the days in Philadelphia where the Warriors ended up winning two championships to California where they won in it all in 1975, there were some great players that passed through the franchise.

    While the Warriors have been through struggles recently they were quite a franchise when everything cost a nickel. They were also one of the best teams in the 1970s led by Rick Barry and others you will see here.

    To make this all time greatest Warrior list one had to play at least three seasons as a Warrior as there were some great players left out.

    You won't see Jerry Lucas, Andy Phillip, World B. Free (not quite three seasons, but the best name in NBA history), Bernard King (can you even picture him in a Warrior uniform?) and our sponsor of this rule Chris Webber.

    Three seasons is the cut off number so we can include Mitch Richmond, he needed to be on here.

    Based on overall play and contributions as a Warrior, here are the 25 greatest players in the history of the franchise.

25. Larry Smith

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    "Mr. Mean" was not the most gifted player, but he was tenacious and played, you guessed it, angry on the floor.

    He was one of the best offensive rebounders in his era, finishing in the top five, six times in the '80s and early '90s. His 3.9 career offensive rebound average per game ranks sixth all time.

    His name is in the Warriors record book for most the offensive and defensive rebounds and is 3rd all time in total rebounds. (They didn't count offensive/defensive rebounds when Wilt was around)

    In the 1984-1985 season he averaged a double-double and goes down as one of the best rebounders in Warrior history.


24. Tom Meschery

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    If he was good enough to have his jersey retired for the Warriors, then he is good enough to make this list.

    With career averages of 12.7 points per game and 8.6 rebounds in ten NBA seasons, Meschery made the 1963 All-Star team and averaged a double-double in the 1963 playoffs.

    Having played at local St. Mary's college as well Tom was inducted to the Bay Area sports Hall of Fame in 2003 as well.


23. Joe Barry Carroll

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    Joe Barry Carroll is probably the only player in any NBA franchise to appear on both the all-time bust list, as well as being one of the greatest players in franchise history.

    He ranks ninth on the Warriors all-time scoring list and is second in blocked shots. He isn't exactly as bad as he is known for, he just never was able to live up to the billing of being traded away for Robert Parish and what turned out to be Kevin McHale.

    He did make an All-Star appearance, which is saying a lot now considering it's been 14 years since we've seen a Warrior in the All-Star game.

    He finished his career with 12,445 points and 5,404 rebounds imagine what kind of numbers he would have had if he "cared".

    He never had a chance with that nickname and trade did he?

22. Phil Smith

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    Phil Smith was a two time All-Star and was a key piece of the 1975 championship squad.

    The following year he averaged 20 points a game and ended up making the All-NBA second team as well as being named to the All-NBA defensive second team.

    He finished his career with a 15.1 point per game average.


21. Al Attles

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    You're not going to see his name in any of the record books because everything he did on the floor didn't show up on the stat sheet.

    Literally. They didn't even count steals when he was playing.

    Known as a defensive stopper he was asked to defend the likes of Oscar Robertson, Bob Cousy and Jerry West. Having to follow those guys around, no one would have any energy to put up gaudy offensive numbers.

    Probably better know for being the coach of the 1975 championship team, Attles was a player in his day and was good enough to have his jersey retired.


20. Antawn Jamison

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    The face of the Warriors franchise in the late '90s and early 2000s, Jamison was a prolific scorer and the teams best player for a short period.

    His Golden State Warrior high of 20.2 points per game is good for eighth best all-time in Warrior history.

    Always looked at as a "tweener" Jamison has carved out a very nice career for himself, with career averages of 18.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

    He did end up making two All-Star games (as a Washington Wizard) and is currently a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.


19. Purvis Short

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    I never saw (or can remember) Purvis Short play in an NBA game, but just by looking at his stats I can tell that he was the Antawn Jamsion of the '80s, he just had better teammates.

    Short averaged 17.3 points per game for his career and even had a 59-point game in 1984.

    How many Warriors can say that?

    He did have a nice four year run where he averaged at least 21 points per game and he was the main key for the Warriors in holding one Larry Bird scoreless for an entire game in 1981.

    I know no other Warrior can say that.

18. Jamaal Wilkes

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    Jamaal Wilkes broke into the league as a Warrior and was a member of the 1975 NBA championship squad.

    He was a three time All-Star as well as a three time NBA championship.

    The ultimate role player, Wilkes was one of the first players in NBA history to take advantage of free agency as he left the Warriors after just three seasons to play for his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, to where he played the majority of his career.

    Wilkes finished his career with a 17.7 and 6.2 rebound per game average. 


17. Monta Ellis

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    As a second round pick Monta Ellis has already given the Warriors more than they could ever ask for.

    He is becoming a complete offensive player as well as one of the most prolific scorers in the league. 

    He is quickly moving up the Warriors all-time charts in each year and With his best years are ahead of him, time will only tell how far up he can move on this list.

    Now if he can lead them into the playoffs...


16. Jason Richardson

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    A key member of the Warriors 2007 playoff run, Richardson was as popular as any player in the last 30 years.

    He was an exciting player, electrifying dunker and an elite 3-point shooter.

    He was a very loyal player even apologizing to the fans as the Warriors missed the playoffs for a 14th consecutive year. Like we weren't all used to that by then.

    He seemed to love playing for the Warriors and we loved having him here, I know both sides were upset when he was eventually traded away.

    He finished last season with the Orlando Magic and is set to be a free agent this summer. Could a reunion be in the works?

     


15. Baron Davis

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    He is this high because of the impact he had not only on the Warriors, but to the city as well.

    Davis had an impressive 4-year Warrior run, and quickly became a fan favorite with his inspired play.

    I still remember the fake beards everyone was wearing (and now again with Giants closer Brain Wilson, not sure what it is about the Bay Area and beards) when he was the key player to the Warriors 2007 playoff upset of the top seeded Mavercks.

    A run that Warrior fans won't soon forget as it ended a 13-year playoff drought.

    He had his best NBA seasons as a Warrior and averaged 20.1 points 8.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds during that magical season.

    He will always be remembered as the leader that got the W's back into the playoffs.


14. Latrell Sprewell

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    Despite the fact that he was probably known more for anything he did off of the court than on it, Spree managed to get himself named as a top five player for the 1994 season by making the All-NBA first team with averages of 21 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.12 steals, and he led all guards with 79 blocks.

    Sprewell was a four-time NBA All-Star and spent six seasons as a Warrior, which came to an end after he choked then coach P.J. Carlesimo.

    He went on in stops with the New York Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves to finish his career with 18.3 points 4.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists average.

    Not bad for someone who couldn't go to his left.


13. Mitch Richmond

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    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    O what could have been.

    As a member of Run TMC along with Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin, the Warriors formed a devastating trio that could play with anyone.

    He exploded onto the scene as a rookie averaging 22 points per game and backing that up his next two.

    He eventually made it to six consecutive All-Star games including winning an MVP in one. He finished his career with a 21.5 point per game average and one championship ring. Albeit on the bench as a Los Angeles Laker.

    Note to Warriors management if we ever have a nickname that's a good as Run TMC don't break it up.

    Logging just three seasons as Warrior he will always hold a special place for Warrior fans.

     


12. Jeff Mullins

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    Spending 10 years in a Warrior uniform Mullins made three All-Star games and was a member of the NBA championship team of 1975.

    He averaged 16.2 points during his career and scored 13,017 overall, 12,547 of which came with the Warriors making him the sixth best scorer in franchise history.

    The only players that have made more field goals for the Warriors are four Hall of Famers and Mullins is even ahead of Nate Thurmond, making him one of the best scorers in the history of the franchise.

11. Tom Gola

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    Tom Gola was a consecutive five time NBA All-Star and was a key member of the Philadelphia Warriors 1956 championship team.

    Gola was an all around efficient player, a 6'6" forward who also demonstrated excellent ball handling skills, which was a rarity back then.

    He was also one of the more unselfish players, allowing Neil Johnston and Paul Arizin to handle most of the scoring while he concentrated on defense.

    His play ultimately led to a induction into the Hall of Fame.


10. Tim Hardaway

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    There wasn't a kid anywhere in Northern California that didn't love and try to emulate his "Killer Crossover".

    Hardaway was one of the premier point guards in the league during his time and was just as exciting to watch.

    Thriving in the Warriors up-tempo system Hardaway ranks second on the Warriors all-time list in assists.He could also put the ball through the hoop as he ranks tenth in all-time points scored for the Warriors.

    He was a five time NBA All-Star and finished with a career average of 17.7 points per game along with 8.2 assists.

    All of this led to his jersey being retired...by the Miami Heat?

    Doesn't seem right does it, but he will be always be remembered as one of the favorite Warriors of all time.


9. Robert Parish

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    Even though he doesn't look quite right in that Warrior uniform, he did break into the league in Golden State.

    After a shaky rookie year, Parrish had three outstanding years before being traded to the Boston Celtics.

    Apparently averaging 17 and 10 gets you traded.

    He had memorable career you could say as a Celtic, nine All-Star appearances, four NBA championships (one as a Chicago Bull) and being named as one of the top 50 players of all-time.

    Even though his best years were in another uniform, the Warriors can say they made him into the player he became.

    No? Well we can say he was a Warrior at least.


8. Guy Rodgers

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    Ranking in the top two in assists per game eight separate times, Rodgers is easily the Warriors all-time assist leader.

    He also added career averages of 11.7 points and 4.2 rebounds to go with his 7.8 per game assist total.

    He was a four time All-Star  and was known for his exceptional ball handling skills. If they made a And 1 mix tape in the 1960s, I'd imagine that Guy Rodgers would've been the star of it. 

    Playing alongside Wilt Chamberlain he helped led a Warrior team to the NBA finals that eventually lost to the Boston Celtics.

7. Joe Fulks

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    Hall of Famer Joe Fulks led the NBA in scoring in the 1946-1947 season and was the best player for the first ever championship for the Warriors.

    He averaged 20 points a game in the pre-shot clock era and he was one of the first great NBA players.

    He even has a 63-point game to his name and thats when a team could just sit on a lead as little as six points. Now that's impressive.


6. Chris Mullin

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Probably the best Golden State Warrior of the last thirty years, Chris Mullin has put on a Warrior uniform more times than anyone.

    His name is also all over the Warriors record books, including five All-Star appearances, an All-NBA first team appearance and he was a member of the original Dream Team.

    There really wasn't anything he couldn't do offensively, sure he was a defensive liability, but not many were better than him than disrupting the weak side and intercepting passes like him. Not only is he the Warriors all time leader in steals, he has 432 more steals than the guy in second place!

    If you never saw him play, just think of his career as a G.M. and now as an analyst, he was the exact opposite on the court. He was that good on the floor!

    I'm kidding! (Kind of)

    Everyone who loves the Warriors loves Chris Mullin just the same. He is truly one of the best Warriors of all time.

5. Neil Johnston

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    Formed a dynamic inside outside game in the 1950s (if they called it such back then) with Paul Arizin alongside Tom Gola for the Philadelphia Warriors, guiding them to a title.

    Johnston played his entire eight-year career as a Philadelphia Warrior making six All-Star appearances while averaging an amazing 19.4 points per game and 11.3 rebounds. What’s even more amazing is that there is a picture in color with Johnson in it.

    His sweeping hook shot led the NBA in field goal percentage three times and guided him to three scoring titles, including a 50-point game.

    Johnston made four straight All-NBA first teams and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

4. Nate Thurmond

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    If any team feels comfortable enough in you to trade Wilt Chamberlain, then you can play.

    If Nate Thurmond didn't have to play at the same time as Wilt and some guy named Bill Russell he would have been remembered as the best center of his era.

    Nate averaged exactly 15 points and 15 rebounds per game for his career, and in his finest NBA season he averaged 21.5 points and 19.7 rebounds.

    The Warriors all-time leader in rebounds and minutes played (just don't mention his field goal percentage) Nate also made seven All-Star appearances, and was a five time member of the All-NBA defensive team.

    His name and number were eventually retired in the rafters...Hall of Famer Nate "the Great" was just that.


3. Paul Arizin

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    Not many guys if any can play ten years with one team, make ten All-Star appearances, win two scoring titles, a championship ring, and serve two years in the Marines, but Paul Arizin did just that.

    At 6'4", Arizin is not only the third leading scorer in franchise history he is also fifth in rebounds.

    He averaged 22.8 points per game and also has the dubious honor of "inventing" the jump shot,

    He was eventually named to the NBA top 50-list and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

2. Rick Barry

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    Say what you want about him (and most people have) Rick Barry is the most name face associated with the Golden State Warriors.

    Despite many feuds with teammates, management, (which actually cost him five years away from the NBA) and anyone else who rubbed him the wrong way, there was no denying what he could do on the basketball court. Everything.

    Barry finished his NBA/ABA career with 25,279 points and averaged more than 30 points per game in four different seasons.

    He was the leader of the Warriors only championship team in California, and had a will to win that could not be matched.

    From his hairstyles (he even wore a wig one year), underhand free throw style, attitude and his overall play there hasn't been a player quite like Barry in NBA history. He is the only player in history to lead the NBA, ABA, and NCAA in scoring.

    He was named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996, even if they updated the list today he'd still be on it.

1. Wilt Chamberlain

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    Maybe why the Warriors have been plagued at the center position for what seems like decades is because they were blessed so many years ago with one of the all time greats.

    In fact even if you cut his career averages in half he would still be the best center in Warrior history. (Sorry Nate)

    Wilt is an All-NBA everything and he is the franchise's all-time leading scorer, despite only playing five and half years in a Warrior uniform.

    What needs to be said other than four MVP's, two Finals MVP's, 13 All-Star appearances and 20,000 women. O, and he is a member of the exclusive 30,000 point 20,000 rebound club, which he is the only member.

    Despite being one of the most physically dominate players in NBA history he managed to win only two championships and sadly neither of them came with the Warriors. He does have that 100-point game to his name as a Warrior, so that will have to do.


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