Golden State Warriors: Top 5 Players in the Last Decade

K ShakranSenior Analyst IJanuary 17, 2011

Golden State Warriors: Top 5 Players in the Last Decade

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    OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  Baron Davis #5 of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a call during the first half against the Houston Rockets November 29, 2007 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    For the Golden State Warriors, a franchise that has made one playoff appearance in the past 17 years, it's difficult to think in a positive manner.

    However, every team has its own MVP, and for the past decade the Warriors have produced ball players that can make an impact.

    This article will review the top five Golden State Warriors players in the last decade.

    Players are chosen on the basis of five major characteristics:

    1. Their scoring average.
    2. How they impacted the win column in the years that they put on a Warriors jersey.
    3. Playoff appearances.
    4. Leadership.
    5. Significance to the team.

5. Antawn Jamison

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    6 Dec 2000:  Antawn Jamison #33 of the Golden State Warriors celebrate as he runs down the court during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Arena in Oakland, California. The Warriors defeated the Lakers 125-122. NOTE TO USER: It is expressly un
    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    The lanky 6'9'' power forward was a lone bright spot for the Warriors in the early 2000s. In the 2000-01 season, Jamison averaged a career high 25 PPG and 8.4 RPG.

    Despite one of the worst seasons in Golden State history, Jamison was the bright spot in the 2000-01 season campaign.

    Perhaps one of the Warriors best scorers in the last decade, Jamison helped the Warriors, after the 2000-01 season to jump from 17 wins to 21 wins the 2001-02 season, and then a 38-win season in 2002-03.

    One of the highlights of Jamison's career with the Warriors was back in the 2000-01 season in which the offensive-minded forward was able to score back-to-back 50-point games against the Seattle Supersonics and the night after in a win against the Los Angeles Lakers, in which Kobe Bryant also had a 50-point effort.

4. Jason Richardson

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 03:  Jason Richardson #23 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates after hitting a three pointer against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2007 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2007 at Oracle Arena in
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The 6'6'' shooting guard was drafted fifth overall by the Warriors right out of Michigan State, in which he won an NCAA title in 2000.

    In the early parts of the decade, Richardson was the most consistent player the Warriors had on their roster. He was part of the All-Rookie team with first-team honors, as well as the MVP of the Rookie Challenge.

    Also known for his scintillating dunks, Richardson won two consecutive dunk contests in 2002 and 2003.

    One of the most important facets of his six-year career with the Warriors was the 2007 playoff run. Although only playing 51 games in that push to the playoffs, Richardson was able to return to form in the late parts of the season and help the Warriors make their first playoff appearance in 15 years.

    He was also part of the biggest playoff upset in playoffs history against the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 14.5 PPG and three assist in that series.

    Richardson averaged 18.2 points and 3.2 assists in his career with the Bay-Area based franchise.

3. Stephen Jackson

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    OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Stephen Jackson #1 of the Golden State Warriors looks on against the Detroit Pistons during an NBA game on November 13, 2008 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by d
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    "Captain Jack" as Warriors fans have routinely called him, came in an eight-player trade from the Indiana Pacers to the Warriors in 2007. He was an instant impact player.

    He was a major catalyst in pushing the Warriors into the 2007 playoffs.

    At 6'8'' and a consistent three-point threat, Jackson was the perfect Don Nelson player. Starting the small forward position, Jackson occasionally initiated the offense playing the "point forward" role for the winningest coach in NBA history.

    In Game 6 of the first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks, Jackson made seven three-pointers and ended up with a playoff career high 33 points.

    He also contained then MVP Dirk Nowitzki, guarding him in that playoff series—one of many Nelson innovations that led to the huge upset.

    In the 2007-08 season, Jackson also helped the Warriors gain a 48-win season, but fell shy of making the playoffs. The 2007-08 season was just the second winning season the Warriors had experienced in over 13 years.

    Jackson, who was traded last year to the Charlotte Bobcats averaged 19 points and five assists in a Warriors uniform.

2. Monta Ellis

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    OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 14:  Monta Ellis #8 of the Golden State Warriors in action against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena on December 14, 2010 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading an
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Perhaps one of the fastest players to ever wear a Warriors uniform, Monta Ellis was drafted 40th overall by the Warriors in 2005 and has remained a Warrior player ever since.

    Awarded a $60 million deal in 2008, which represented one of the biggest pay raises in NBA history, Ellis has matured into a leader.

    Hampered by injury-riddled seasons since he signed the contract, Ellis has fully grown into the scorer and mature leader the Warriors have envisioned.

    Ellis won the Most Improved Player award in 2007, and had a career season in 2008, after averaging a 20 points and four assists.

    His best season, coincidentally, is occurring this season in which he is averaging 25.7 PPG and 5.5 ASP, both career highs.

1. Baron Davis

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    Since he landed in the Bay-Area in a trade from the Charlotte Hornets in 2005 until he bolted from the Los Angeles Clippers in 2008, Baron Davis had been a sensational player for the Warriors.

    Considered to be one of the best point guards in the league when motivated, Davis provided more than any other player in the past decade.

    He was the main piece in getting the Warriors to barely make into the 2007 playoffs as the eighth seed. In the playoffs, he was the Warriors MVP without a doubt.

    Leading the way against the Dallas Mavericks, and playing his best basketball in the subsequent round against the Utah Jazz, Davis brought life back to the Warriors after 15 non-playoff seasons.

    In the 2007-08 season, Davis carried the Warriors to 48 wins, and played a complete 82-game season—only the fourth time he had done it in his career.

    In three seasons with the Warriors, Davis averaged 20.1 points and 8.2 assists.