"Holy Toledo!"

April 17, 2007

S.S. Golden St.

Filed under: Baskettball — Bill @ 11:48 pm

How long has it been since the Golden St. Warriors made the NBA Playoffs?

Let’s put it into perspective.  Paris Hilton had just grown out of her training bra.  Tom Hanks won the Oscar for Forrest Gump. The Raiders were still in L.A. and Art Shell was their coach (the first time around).  Joe Montana was a Chief, and Will Clark had already left the S.F. Giants to play for the Texas Rangers (owned by George W. Bush).  It’s been awhile.

After 12 long seasons, 13 years on the calendar, the Golden St. Warriors are about to make the NBA Playoffs.  All the Warriors need is one win, or an L.A. Clippers loss, and they will have done what even their coach considered impossible.

Long gone is a screaming P.J. Carlesimo, and his throat lozenge Latrell Spreewell.  Not even an ill-advised Chris Webber time-out call can hurt them.  The ghost of Phil Smith is smiling tonight, and somewhere Chris Washburn might still be living under a bridge.  Meanwhile Mike Dunleavy Jr. & Troy Murphy have a better chance of getting tickets to the Indy 500 than they do getting their Pacers into the playoffs.

For many years the Warriors tried to save their sinking ship but poor draft picks like Joe Smith, Todd Fuller, and Andrew Declercq did little to calm the stormy waters.  Even a friend of the Basketball God like Dave Cowens couldn’t part the rough seas.  It appeared that the tiny ship, the S.S. Golden St. was lost.

The last time the Warriors made the playoffs they were known as “Run T-M-C.”  Their roster consisted of names like Hardaway, Mullin, Spreewell, Webber, Billy Owens, Chris Gatling, Avery Johnson, Byron Houston, Keith Jennings, Jud Buechler, and Victor Alexander.  Who was the head coach way back then you ask?  Why none other than Don Nelson (at that time he only owned a small piece of Maui).

Over the course of the next decade the Warriors became the Gilligan’s Island of the NBA, nobody could save them. Not even Thurston Howell (a.k.a. Chris Cohan) and all his millions.

During this long stretch of ineptitude only two things remained consistent, losing and the fan support.

For some unexplainable reason the fans remained.  They even supported this team throughout the Vonteego Cummings era.  The fans kept showing up, the team kept losing, nothing would have ever changed, the castaways would probably still be stuck on the island had Thurston Howell (Cohan) not put “The Professor” in charge.

“The Professor” was the “C” in “Run T-M-C,” a guy named Chris Mullin.  Apparently “The Professor” was a closer friend of the Basketball God than Dave Cowens, because he was able to save the S.S. Golden St.  What also helped was Mullin’s ability to draft young talent, put together a solid organization, make good trades, and lure his old coach back from Maui.

Yes, the Professor did finally save the castaways, but we still don’t know if he picked Ginger or MaryAnn.

Pundits will argue that a #8 seed has no chance, others say this so-called “achievement” means little considering that the Warriors will likely lose in the first round of the playoffs.  Don’t tell that to the 17,000 or so that showed up in Oakland tonight.  They will tell you that the Warriors have won 15 of 20, looking dominant in many of those 15 wins, and that they just might have something special brewing in Oakland.  Time will determine who is correct, but no matter how it turns out one thing can be said about those Golden St. Warriors…

…In the words of their late great announcer Bill King,

“Holy Toledo!”


1 Comment »

  1. Ironic that GM Mullins will be remembered as an idiot for having signed the two stiffs [Murphy and “the coaches kid”] and a genius for being able to dump them.

    Comment by Ralph Zig Tyko — April 18, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

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