12 years. Never mind being the winningest Team not to make the Playoffs last year a drought of that callibre was hard to accept for our loyal fanbase. Who's to know that with a couple of different drafting decisions the Warriors could have been back amongst the Playoff elite. Alas because of GM's like Dave Twardzik and Garry St Jean hiring these horrible 11 coaches (Rick Adelman the exception) the Dubs and their fanbase suffered a long lasting playoff drought that haunts the franchise to this day. In between the time that Nellie stepped down in the '94-'95 season until the heartbreaking '05-'06 disaster, there were many, many, many coaches that have come and gone. What's a common characteristic of losing franchises? The hiring and firing of many coaches. Without further ado, let's take a trip down memory lane and revisit the years between the Nelson sandwich.
1994-1995 (Record: 26-56)
Coach: Nellie to Bob Lanier
Lets be honest here this season was turning out to be a mess before it even started. The Ronny Siekly acquisition did nothing to improve our softeness down low but this was a mild act compared to Chris webber and demanding to opt out claiming irreconcilable differences with Head Coach Don Nelson. Later on Webber part 2 Nelson claimed responsibility for the whole fiasco. With Webber traded to Washington for Tom Gugliotta and three first-round draft choices another decision that set the team back further. Gugliotta was later proved to be a bum and was then traded to Minnesota where we got three first-round draft choices. Gugliotta would later be traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Donyell Marshall. See how even back then we were the experts in getting nothing in trades the Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson/ Harrington ones nonwithstanding.
Of course even with 56 losses the positives were there. Sprewell reprsented the Warriors in the All Start Game, Tim Hardaway averaged 20 points and 9 assists, and Gatling led the league in FG% at .633. Then to top it all off, we won the draft lottery! The #1 pick! Joe Smith or Jerry Stackhouse. Jerry Stackhouse or Joe Smith. (By the way, KG went #5 to the TWolves. Eventually we were to discover drafting is your own worst enemy at times
1995-1996 (Record: 36-46)
Coach: Rick Adelman
Adelman was and still is a good coach. But for some reason he couldn't use the Coaching magic produced in Sacramento and Houston to muster up a Playoff appearance. It wasn't like Twardzik made a bad hire Adelamn unlike the rest of the list was experienced guiding the Blazers to 2 NBA Finals and a Western Conference Final. He made the playoffs every year he was there. He had experience but once in Golden State he had no idea how to stop a sinking ship. Sprewell and Joe Smith were the two Franchise players as hard as it may seem to believe now Smith won Rookie of the Month awards in December and February and even made the All-Rookie First team.
To be fair I'll give him a pass. It still doesn't add up why Tim Hardaway now known for his I hate gay people speech was traded getting no one in return sorry I meant Kevin Willis and Bimbo Coles from Miami. Apologies. For those of you who remember Chris Webber, Tim Hardaway and Chris Gatling turned into Donyell Marshall, Kevin Willis, and Bimbo Coles. It's enough to make a grownup cry. A 10 win improvement didn't matter squat as Todd Fuller was selected with the 11th pick. Oh well onto next season
1996-1997 (Record: 30-52)
Coach: Rick Adelman
Adelman was back for another season hoping to repeat the Warriors and Suns fascinating 1st round battle in 1994 back when Barkley had his now famous game 3. It was all planned out according to the Front Office. Sprewell signed a 4 year extension and Joe Smith was to plan out as a Superstar. As well as all these positives Adonal Foyle once the longest tenured Warrior was selected out of College Basketball powerhouse Colgate University. Aside from the inconvienence of havinng to move out of Oakland Coliseum because of rennovations this was the year the drought would be ended.
6 Months later and a 30-52 record Chris mullin was shown some loyalty by being traded to the Pacers getting Erick Dampier in return. Adelman was fired during the offseason, but here's an interesting tidbit. Take a wild guess at the only 2 years one of Coach Adelman's teams did not make the playoffs? Here's another fun fact. Guess who succeeded Adelman in Portland? PJ Carlesimo. Guess who succeeded Adelman in Golden State? PJ Carelsimo
1997-1998 (Record: 19-63)
Coach: PJ Carlesimo
This was suppossed to be an entirely new era in the Bay Area. The Warriors had new uniforms, a new logo, a new arena, and a new Coach P.J. Carlesimo. No one anticopated a 1-14 start, the choking or the courtroom and press battles that were to follow that a flow of optimism was commonplace even though the fanbase started to realise the horrible drafting mistakes that had just taken place.
Unforutnately the 1-14 start did PJ no favours and then Spreweel vented his disgust by choking Carlesimo . Whilst you can't defend the physical violence apparently according to one team insider Sprewell was frequently berated by Carlesimo and picked on because he was the star and had the most influence on the rest of the team. Sprewell was suspended for the rest of the season, Joe Smith was traded the constant battles in the courtroom and press were frequent and eventually Sprewell went to the Knicks. The optimism that flowed had noe evaporated. In typical Warrior style.
The bright spots? You would have had to wait out the entire year and playoffs for what has become the highlight of the Warriors season, the NBA draft. This time the Warriors got Antawn Jamison in a trade for Vince Carter. Ooops.