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.
If you haven't already check out Part 1 Up next is the 2nd of our 3 part series, the 1998-1999 season to the 2001-2002 season.
1998-1999 (Record: 21-29)
Coach: PJ Carlesimo
Look at his drafting mistakes
I think the 05-06 season rivals this in terms of how tough it was for the fans not to see any Playoff appearance. Because of the infamous lockout the season was shortened to 50 games meaning all the Warriors had to do was win 30 and they'd be in. All the newcomers and rookies failed to make a difference however Jamison the exception showing we got some value in the Vince Carter trade. His nifty array of low post moves meant the Warriors recorded the 2nd best improvement in the League behind Toronto and even though a Playoff berth wasn't achieved there was hope available for the following year
But then like the other Seasons the draft was the Warriors worst enemy. . Bimbo Coles, Duane Ferrell and the #10 pick (Jason Terry) for Mookie Blaylock and the #21 pick. Ugh. After the huge improvement from the year before, management believed we were just a solid veteran away from making the playoffs and breaking the 5 year streak. It only got worse.
1999-2000 (Record: 19-63)
Coach: Garry St. Jean
GSW Hoops 1994-2006
Trying to find any bright spots of this tedious season is impossible unless the embarassement of seeing Owner Chris Cohan getting booed at the 2000 All Star game where the fans decided to show their anger at a Cheap Front Office on a Worldwide stage. This time there were no chokings or trading away of veteran players to blame. PJ failed as the coach and a couple days after Christmas, he was relieved of his duties only to have St Jean coach the team. A new lineup was established as Larry Hughes was acquired with Jamison but even then Warrior fans could still see Larry couldn't stop taking so many bad shots. It wasn't all bad though. Even crappy teams have good players who produce. Jamison upped his points per game to 19.6, Larry Hughes (acquired in a trade for the Warriors first rounder) averaged 22.7 after the trade, and Donyell averaged a double-double. Despite the achievements, the 19-63 record is still 19-63, there's no way to sugar coat that one.
2000-2001 (Record: 17-65)
Coach: Dave Cowens
When he's not driving a Taxi coaching is what he does best
With Larry Hughes not emerging as the dominant force fans expected the Warriors were screwed. It's that simple. Mookie Baylockand Vonteego Cummings are not getting you to the Playoffs and the Warriors couldn't make it out of the 15-20 win column once again. It was just one more year of missing the playoffs, next year would be our year!. Eventually Larry Hughes left and signed with the Washington Wizards
For bright spots, again, there was Jamison producing like no other Warrior could as he averaged nearly 25 points and 9 rebounds per game. Also, the team finished first in the NBA in offensive rebounds and second in total rebounds. Looks like a worthless stat to me. Do rebounds really help you win ball games then? Another bright spot would be the draft. St Jean really outdid himself here. JRich, Murphy, and Arenas all in one draft? Wow. Sometimes picking names out of a hat does work.
2001-2002 (Record: 21-61)
Coach: Brian Winters
Just a little scary
Winters finally got us above the 15-20 win column but barely. This 5 year stretch of wins 19, 21 (lockout season), 19, 17, 21. A combined 97-281, good for a 0.313 winning percentage
As for the season, Dave Cowens was mercifully relieved of his duties as coach by Brian Winters. Neither was any good.
Oh but statistical positives galore. Danny Fortson was 4th in the NBA in rebounding and the Warriors were #1 in the NBA in rebounding and offensive rebounding. The Warriors twin towers version of David Robinson and Tim Duncan, Erick Dampier and Adonal Foyle, both finished in the top 10 in blocked shots. The biggest bright spot though was the superb play of our rookies, especially JRich and Arenas. The draft came and there was a consensus top 2, Yao Ming and Jay Williams. Unfortunately, the Warriors had pick #3. That pick brought us fan favorite Mike Dunleavy Jr. straight out of Duke.
Change was looming because Winters was not destined to be the Warriors coach for long.