Drew Shiller

Baron Davis' iconic dunk elicits vivid memories from former Warriors

Baron Davis' iconic dunk elicits vivid memories from former Warriors

Programming note: Watch all four of the "We Believe" Warriors' wins over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 2 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

In Game 3 of the 2007 Western Conference semifinals, the Warriors led the Utah Jazz by 20 points with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

That's when Baron Davis drove baseline and delivered one of the great dunks in NBA playoff history, as he posterized Andrei Kirilenko.

Several members of that "We Believe" Warriors squad recently reminisced about BD's iconic dunk while speaking with Golden State broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald.

Jason Richardson: "I was thinking he was gonna kind of clutch and get the and-one. And then when he put his hand back and he just cocked the ball back, I was like, 'Oh, he's about to do this.' And he put it down on him. That was the loudest the arena was ever. That dunk right there.

"It was just so in your face. The fans were into it. It was a big moment. It was a top-five dunk I've ever seen."

Stephen Jackson: "When he went up to dunk I was kind of in awe because he wasn't feeling that good all season to be doing something like that. So I knew it was adrenaline. I was in shock. And I think he was still kind of shocked. We didn't really know how to celebrate.

"So it was kind of odd. So I remember just following him and I started wiping him off -- dusting him off. There's an old saying: 'Dust the dirt off your shoulders.' That was a crazy moment."

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Matt Barnes: "One of the best dunks I've seen. But just the energy in the arena. It was a special moment."

Monta Ellis: "Knowing Baron -- his body has to be feeling real good for him to be able to attempt that. So when he went up -- and when he hit bodies with him -- I knew he was gonna try it. So when he dunked it -- oh my goodness.

"Man. It was amazing (laughter). I've never seen nobody get dunked on like that. That was crazy."

[RELATED: Barnes was on verge of NFL pursuit before Warriors' offer]

It truly was incredible.

If you were watching it live, you never will forget where you were when you lost your mind.

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Matt Barnes was on verge of NFL pursuit before Warriors offered chance

Matt Barnes was on verge of NFL pursuit before Warriors offered chance

Matt Barnes wasn't guaranteed or promised anything in his NBA career.

In fact, the former Warriors forward nearly left hoops in 2006 to pursue football.

"I was on the verge of trying to jump into the NFL," Barnes recently explained to Warriors broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald. "I was still working out -- basketball and football -- during the summertime because basketball hadn't really seemed to hit.

"I had played four years up to that point and bounced around -- been on a handful of teams -- and just really wasn't getting a fair shot."

Barnes was selected in the second round (No. 46 overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, but spent his entire rookie season in the G League with the Fayetteville Patriots.

He didn't make his NBA debut until Jan. 19, 2004 when the Clippers gave him a shot with a 10-day contract.

Barnes signed with the Sacramento Kings in October 2004, and appeared in 43 games before he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

That brings us to the summer of 2006.

"I was in Sacramento (his hometown) at the time. Baron Davis called me (and said), 'Hey, we're gonna have an open run at the facility (in Oakland). If you're not doing nothing, come down.' I wasn't doing nothing. Hopped in my car, drove down an hour and a half. 

"Played well -- not knowing that Nellie (Warriors coach Don Nelson) was watching the whole time upstairs through the offices. We finished playing, he comes down, tells me I played well (and asks) where I'm going to camp. I was just like, 'You know coach, I don't really have any plans.'

"He told me, he's like, 'I can't promise you anything. I think we have 16 guarantees and 19 people coming to training camp, but if you play like you did today I'll give you a chance.' And that was the first time a coach really had a conversation with me. That's all I needed.

"(I) made the team and continued to use the games as practices and eventually worked my way into the lineup. The rest is history. That's kind of when I put my name on the map."

Over 76 games (23 starts) during the "We Believe" 2006-07 season, Barnes averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals, while shooting nearly 37 percent from deep. In 11 playoff games, he averaged 11.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals and shot over 42 percent from 3-point range.

[RELATED: Barnes reveals 'We Believe' Warriors documentary in works]

After one more season with the Dubs in 2007-08, Barnes played for the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Kings.

He returned to the Warriors in early March 2017 after Kevin Durant sustained a knee injury, and became an NBA champion.

The 40-year-old currently co-hosts a fantastic podcast with Stephen Jackson called "All the Smoke," and he is terrific as an analyst on TV.

It's crazy to think how different his life could have been had he not picked up BD's phone call 14 years ago ...

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Why Bill Simmons believes Andre Iguodala belongs in the Hall of Fame

Why Bill Simmons believes Andre Iguodala belongs in the Hall of Fame

When it's all said and done, should former Warriors forward Andre Iguodala be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame?

During the most recent "Book of Basketball 2.0" podcast, Bill Simmons and Joe House of The Ringer offered their opinions.

"In his Golden State version, he was the best guy in the league -- other than Kawhi (Leonard) -- to guard LeBron (James) and (Kevin) Durant," Simmons said. "As a perimeter defender, I always had (Scottie) Pippen and Kawhi on their own plane, and that's it.

"Steve Kerr feels really strongly that Iguodala was as good as those guys ... Golden State didn't really need him to be the offensive player that Pippen was.

"I think he should be in the Hall of Fame. I think playoff performance matters. Knowing your role, being an unselfish teammate, coming through over and over again in big moments."

Shockingly, Iguodala was named All-Defense only two times -- Second Team in 2010-11 and First Team in 2013-14 (his first season with the Warriors).

As for Simmons' comment about Iguodala repeatedly "coming through" in the clutch, here are a few examples:

In Game 3 of the 2018 Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets, Iguodala sustained a "spider fracture" in his left leg and missed the rest of the series. The Warriors missed him terribly and nearly didn't advance to the NBA Finals.

In Game 6 of the 2019 Western Conference semifinals in Houston -- when the Warriors were without an injured Kevin Durant -- Iguodala stepped up and drilled five 3-pointers to help the Dubs win.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Going back to 2015, he took home NBA Finals MVP honors after averaging 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals. And he made life difficult on LeBron.

"I think he is a Hall of Famer because of the vital role, the vital contribution he made to Golden State," House said. "I think the Golden State part of his career is the part that takes him (there). We have to say it every time we talk about the NBA Hall of Fame -- the bar is very low.

"But for what he did, I think his addition to that team -- doing all the dirty work stuff. It was a great Finals MVP moment for the league. He won that by really just doing all the dirty stuff -- being the guy that was willing to do whatever it took to win.

"In view of the legacy of that Warriors team and what he meant to it, I'm fine with him being in the Hall of Fame."

[RELATED: Draymond believes Iguodala's Hall of Fame case is clear]

He only made one All-Star team (2011-12) and never made an All-NBA squad. But he was a winner, sacrificed personal statistics and accolades for team success, is a three-time NBA champion and ...

...  belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Oh, and by the way -- his career isn't over. The 36-year-old still has time to add to his resume.

See you in Springfield, Andre.

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