Golden State Warriors: The Circus Continues

Aleck Ryner

Twenty-five games into the season, and the Warriors continue to prove why they are one of the most, if not the most, dysfunctional team in the league.

Before the season even started, the Warriors traded guard Jamal Crawford and his enormous contract for Atlanta Hawks reserve point guards Acie Law and Speedy Claxton. Soon after, team captain swingman Stephen Jackson announced he wanted to be traded, just a few months after signing a three-year contract extension.

The Warriors finally agreed to Jackson’s request, sending him and recently acquired Law to the Charlotte Bobcats for forward Vladimir Radmonovic and shooting guard Raja Bell. Bell immediately had wrist surgery and is out at for least a month. The most disturbing aspect of this trade is the fact that the Warriors knew Bell would require surgery.

A player wanting out of Golden State is not exactly breaking news when Don Nelson is the coach. Last year power forward Anthony Randolph was virtually glued to the bench while the Warriors continued to struggle. Nelson, who was known to be feuding with Randolph, told Randolph’s agent to explore trades for his client. Nelson has since done a complete 180 from his comments and called Randolph one of the team’s hardest workers.

Still, that doesn’t change the fact that Nelson has been doing his best to run players out of town. Who in the Bay Area can forget his feud with rising star Chris Webber that resulted in Webber being traded?
Next to follow suit could be disgruntled guard Monta Ellis. Just last year Ellis signed a huge contract extension, but only a few weeks later suffered an ankle injury on his moped. The Warriors suspended him without pay and Ellis was not happy about it. However, since Jackson trade, Ellis has taken his game to another level and the team will have a hard time trading their best scorer.

At the beginning of the season, Ellis also made news when he said he could not play with the sharp shooting guard the Warriors drafted out of Davidson, Stephen Curry. Ellis later amended the statement, saying he loved the rookie’s game, but he didn’t believe the two of them were big enough to play at the same time because it would create matchup problems.

People are quick to put the blame on Ellis for this fiasco, but the blame should fall on Nelson. Players can’t get used to Nelson’s subbing routines. Curry played 20 minutes or more in his first three games, then played only three in a blowout of the Knicks. Curry had no idea why he didn’t play much, and apparently, neither did Nelson.

“I told you. He needs to get some tattoos,” Nelson told reporters in a postgame interview about why he benched Curry.

Lately the Warriors have also been plagued by injuries. Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf were both lost during the fourth game of the season, CJ Watson was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus and Kelenna Azubuike recently suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Until Don Nelson is gone and the Warriors have a competent general manager and owner, the Warriors will be just like a circus, crazy. But look on the bright side, at least they’re not the Raiders.