The NBA has changed dramatically over the years, whether it be the rule changes, style of play, franchises moving to different cities or team’s changing their names or logos. One thing that has not changed since the inception of the NBA however, are players who have made an indelible mark on their franchises. These kinds of players give their hearts and souls to their teams to help them win games no matter the cost.
They play for the fans, they play for the franchise. They all demonstrate a high level of loyalty to their team and this is what distinguishes them from other regular players. These are my “Top 10 Golden State Warriors of all time”.
10. Draymond Green
Tweener is what he was described as coming out of Michigan State University. He has carved out a name for himself in the NBA in recent years. Although Draymond is one of the most controversial characters in the league, he is one of the hardest workers. He is the epitome of a team player. He will sacrifice his body for his team to win. He will go after every rebound, every loose ball. He is not afraid of anyone on the court. He is a stat stuffer who is almost a triple-double waiting to happen every night.
Draymond has overachieved in the NBA. based on his draft position. He has been to two NBA All-Star games thus far. In 2015, he helped his Warriors win an NBA Championship. He remains a fan favorite with the Warrior faithful.
9. Mitch Richmond
A talented guard that was drafted by the Warriors in 1988. He, along with Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin formed what was dubbed “TMC”. Mitch was a good scorer who was selected to six NBA All-Star Games. He was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1989. He played in a playoff series for the Warriors.
8. Tim Hardaway
He was known as one of most electrifying guards of the 90’s. His killer crossover was something of beauty. Not the biggest guard but one of the most effective. He spent the 1989-1996 seasons as a member of the Warriors, the team who drafted him. He was a five-time NBA All-Star. He led the team to two playoff appearances.
7. Klay Thompson
Part of the ” Splash Brothers”, along with Steph Curry. Son of NBA player Mychal Thompson, Klay Thompson is arguably one of the best shooters in NBA history. He is a smooth shooting guard who can score with the best of them. He is known for also being a very good defender and guarding opposite team’s best players in big games. He is a three-time NBA All-Star. He helped the Warriors win an NBA Championship in 2015.
A winner of the NBA Three-Point crown in 2016 during All-Star weekend. Klay has helped bring the Warriors back to relevance as a winning franchise along with Curry, and for this, he will live on in the minds of Warriors fans the world over.
6. Nate Thurmond
In an era where Wilt Chamberlain dominated the NBA, there was still a handful of a good post player in the league. One who stood out was Nate Thurmond, who was drafted as the number three pick by the then San Francisco Warriors in 1963. He was known for being a great rebounder and defender. He averaged double-digit points and rebounds for ten seasons. This was evidence of his consistency, as he also became the first player in NBA history to record a quadruple-double.
He was named to seven NBA All-Star games. His efforts for the Warriors franchise cannot be underestimated.
5. Paul Arizin
He is credited to have pioneered the jump shot that we all know today. All basketball player’s today should be thankful to this man for what he did for the game. He had the honor of leading the Warriors to their second ever championship in 1956.
He was a ten-time NBA All-Star. He also garnered NBA All-Star MVP honors. He led the NBA in scoring twice. His contribution to the Warriors franchise cannot be denied.
4. Chris Mullin
Before the “Splash Brothers” existed, there was Mullin, who was known for being one the great shooters of his era. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and a member of the USA “Dream Team” that won gold in Barcelona. He brought the Warriors back to relevance. He was also enshrined as a player, in the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2011.
3. Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt started his NBA career with the Warriors, then called the Philadelphia Warriors. He was a dominant force as is well known, and this was no different his amateur year, leading the NBA in scoring, with 37.6 points a game. He was the MVP of the NBA and Rookie of the year, something that has never been recreated. Although Wilt’s career with the Warriors lasted under a decade, his impact while playing for the Warriors can never be questioned.
He dominated as a scorer and as a rebounder. Wilt also scored the most points in an NBA game while being a member of the Warriors. Unfortunately, he was traded to the 76ers in 1964, and never had the opportunity to lead them to a championship.
2. Rick Barry
Barry is most remembered for leading the Warriors to an NBA Championship back in 1975, where he garnered Finals MVP honors. He was also known for his unique way of shooting free throws, which was an underhanded set shot. Rick Barry was one of the best small forwards of the 70’s.
His accolades include eight NBA All-Star teams, NBA Finals MVP, and NBA All-Star MVP. Rick was a great scorer and led the NBA in scoring in 1967.
1. Stephen Curry
Steph Curry is arguably the best three-point shooter of all time. Steph Curry is a player who showed the world that coming from a mid-major D1 college program does not mean that you won’t have great success in the NBA. Coming out of Davidson in 2009, there were many scouts who questioned what he could have brought to the table to an NBA franchise. Many doubted him early on. Steph, earlier on in his NBA career was troubled by ankle injuries which almost jeopardized his career.
He successfully rehabbed and went on to carve out an amazing career since, which includes four NBA All-Star game selections. He also went on to set the NBA record for the most three-pointers made in a season four times, during 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16 seasons. He has led the Golden State Warriors to the best regular season NBA record ever, 73 wins and 9 losses. He also led the Warriors to their first NBA championship since 1975. As a player in the NBA, Steph is most known for his shooting, but his ball handling skills are also incredibly great, as well as his passing skills, which are reminiscent of the late Pistol Pete Maravich. Steph’s pre-game ball handling routine has a cult following and had led to scores of fans flocking to Oracle to watch.
He also has a very notable tunnel shot that he does before every game. Steph is a very likable player and seems like one who can relate to NBA fans of all ages. Steph Curry recently became the 10th player of all-time in three-pointers made. This is an outstanding achievement, considering that he is still an active player, one who has plenty of playing years left. Steph Curry has made the present day Warriors into a winning franchise and an NBA Championship contender for years to come. Steph is the face of the Golden State Warriors and will be for a very, very long time.