How 'We Believe' Warriors laid groundwork: 'They’re way past believing' now

How 'We Believe' Warriors laid groundwork: 'They’re way past believing' now

OAKLAND -- Jason Richardson, Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson stepped to the podium Tuesday night to reminisce. It has been 10 years since they were part of a Warriors team that shocked the NBA.

Ten years since they inadvertently generated a movement that still resonates with Warriors fans.

We Believe.

With those two words the memories come flooding back to the Warriors fan base.

There was the 16-5 record over the final 21 games, including five consecutive wins to close out the season and slip into the eighth and final playoff spot.

The stunning upset of top-seeded Dallas in the first round.

The spectacular dunk by Baron Davis that vaporized Utah’s Andrei Kirilenko in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals.

And the birth of “Roaracle,” coined thusly for the thunderous and sustained blast of noise within Oracle Arena that postseason.

“The best memory was definitely winning in the playoffs,” Jackson said one hour before tipoff of the Warriors-Jazz rematch in the Western Conference semifinals.

“But we have bigger memories than that. Just the whole year, being with each other, growing with each other, becoming family.”

That was one of the secrets to the appeal of that team. Those Warriors were a tight-knit group of underdogs, nearly all of them on a personal crusade to make a statement to skeptics the world over. They weren’t supposed to win; coach Don Nelson actually gathered them and told them they couldn’t win.

“We were just a bunch of guys who all had something to prove in different ways,” Jackson said.

Jackson had off-court issues in Indiana, as well as being a central figure in a pivotal brawl in Detroit that become known as the “Malice at the Palace.” Davis’ wondrous talent came with a history of injury and a reputation for being high maintenance. Richardson had never won anything. Ellis was drafted out of a high school in Mississippi. Al Harrington had been with multiple teams. Adonal Foyle was a lottery pick who struggled to stay on the court.

Yet, for the briefest of moments, they changed the culture. They pulled the Warriors out of the purgatory that is 13 consecutive non-playoff seasons and put them back on the NBA map.

“Guys actually wanted to be here, whereas my first five years didn’t want to be here,” Richardson recalled. “They just wanted to get points, get numbers, get contracts and get out of town.”

In some ways that team laid the groundwork for today’s Warriors, who have posted the league’s best record three years running. Stephen Curry arrived in 2009, just as “We Believe” faded out.

How on earth did they get from there to here?

“Drafting guys like Steph, Klay (Thompson), Draymond (Green),” Richardson said. “Putting together a team that was kind of similar to us, where guys got along with each other. And then you bring in a guy like Kevin Durant, who just fit right into the system.

“That’s what’s important about winning. Guys have to be able to match. They’ve got to mix together. They’ve got to hang out outside of basketball. That’s what we did. On the road, we were at dinners with each other. We were always around each other. That’s a big part of that chemistry on the floor.”

It’s a different ownership, a different mentality and a much more ambitious mandate.

The Warriors have gone from “We Believe” to “We Belong” to NBA elite.

“They don’t believe now; they’re past that. They’re way past believing,” Jackson said. “They’re going for (championship) No. 2.

“I’m just happy that something we started, they were able to make it and become champions.”


Source: Warriors, Curry aiming for Friday return


Source: Warriors, Curry aiming for Friday return

The Warriors have been without Stephen Curry for six full games and all but the first two minutes of a seventh. The last three were less out of medical necessity than an abundance of caution.

Curry could, however, return as soon as Friday when the Atlanta Hawks visit Oracle Arena, multiple sources disclosed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday night. ESPN, citing league sources, was first to report the team’s plan.

The two-time MVP’s right ankle is scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday, after which time a firm return date is expected.

Curry was physically able to play -- and actually pushed to return -- last weekend, according to league sources. But the Warriors, looking ahead to the playoffs and seeing diminished value in the remaining regular-season games, opted to continue rehabilitation in hopes of maximizing support for the area around his ankle.

The Warriors have described Curry’s injury not as a sprain but a “tweak,” implying less severity.

Though the Warriors won the game in which Curry was hurt, 110-107 over the Spurs on March 8, they have since lost four of six, including 89-75 on Monday in San Antonio.

The Warriors arrived early Tuesday morning and won’t practice Tuesday afternoon and are contemplating skipping an official practice on Wednesday.

The Warriors, averaging a league-leading 115.5 points per game this season, saw that figure drop to 103.3 during Curry’s six-game absence.

Draymond Green knocked out of game vs Spurs with pelvic contusion


Draymond Green knocked out of game vs Spurs with pelvic contusion

Already down three All-Stars, the Warriors lost their fourth midway through the first half on Monday night.

With just over nine minutes remaining in the second quarter against the Spurs, Draymond Green took a knee from a driving Danny Green.

Draymond was in immediate pain and left the court for the locker room.

Just before the end of the first half, NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke reported that Green was ruled out for the rest of the game with a "midsection issue."

Early in the second half, the Warriors diagnosed that Green suffered a pelvic contusion and that x-rays were negative.

The Warriors are currently playing without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. All three are dealing with injuries that will keep them out several games.