NBC Sports

60 greatest Warriors in 60 years in the Bay: Monta makes Part 2

NBC Sports
  • Editor's note: On the 60th anniversary of the Warriors moving to the Bay Area, we are counting down the 60 greatest Warriors in the last 60 years. Here is part 2, from 40 through 21.

Whether San Francisco or Golden State, the West Coast version of the Warriors almost always have had a roster with at least one star – if not always an All-Star.

The team has entertained, occasionally for better but often for worse, Bay Area sports fans since 1962. The franchise has slept in the NBA basement and celebrated in its penthouse, never once uttering a serious threat to leave the region.

With that in mind, and as the franchise embarks on its 60th season in the Bay, we offer what we consider the best of the Warriors. The 60th Anniversary team. 

Criteria: Collective success matters, but individual impact is emphasized. Duration is taken into account, but each player must have spent at least one full season with the franchise. Honors matter. Though I’m primarily responsible for the order, we encourage debate and even vehement disagreement.

PART 1: JaVale, Matt Barnes make list of 60-41

Here goes part 2, from 40 through 21:

40-Robert Parish (1976-80)

Though his Hall of Fame ticket was punched with the Celtics, the 7-footer was drafted by the Warriors (No. 8 overall, 1976) and spent four seasons by the Bay, averaging 13.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks before being traded to Boston.

39-Rudy LaRusso (1967-69)

Though he was an Ivy Leaguer (Dartmouth), the ultra-physical power forward averaged 21.3 points and 8.9 rebounds over two seasons (154 games) with the Warriors and represented the franchise in consecutive All-Star Games (1968, 1969).

38-Jason Richardson (2001-07)

No. 5 overall pick (2001) averaged double-figure scoring – with a career-high 23.2 ppg in 2005-06 – over six consecutive seasons but was popular mostly because his back-to-back Slam Dunk championships were a welcome gift to long-suffering fans. 

 

37-Joe Barry Carroll (1980-87)

Drafted No. 1 overall in 1980, the 7-footer from Purdue averaged 20.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over seven seasons and reached All-Star status in 1987. He did a decent job leveraging his talent despite little passion for the game.

36-Jeff Mullins (1966-76)

Before becoming the veteran voice for the 1975 championship team, the lanky guard averaged double-figure scoring in eight consecutive years, topping 20.0 points per game in four straight seasons. He was named to three All-Star teams.

35-Sleepy Floyd (1982-88)

Though he averaged 17.7 ppg over six seasons and made one All-Star team as a Warrior, he is most often remembered for his 29-point quarter and 39-point half – both still NBA records – in a playoff victory over the Showtime Lakers in 1987. 

34-David West (2016-18)

The consummate pro, the veteran big man brought broad skills – the Warriors often ran the offense through his work on either post – and solid production and maturity to the only back-to-back champions in franchise history. 

33-Purvis Short (1978-87)

With a pure stroke, his high-arching jump shots scraping the roof, he posted consecutive seasons as a top-five scorer in the NBA and is one of only two Warriors to average 28.0 ppg in the post-merger era.

33-Guy Rodgers (1962-66)

Arguably the best traditional point guard in franchise history, posting 17 triple-doubles (only Draymond Green has more in Golden State history), the southpaw made three All-Star teams in four years but experienced only one winning season.

31-Bernard King (1980-82)

As a young forward, he averaged 22.5 points and shot an astonishing 57.7 percent from the field over two seasons as a Warrior. Made an All-Star team. He revived his career, putting it on a trajectory that landed in the Hall of Fame.

30-Antawn Jamison (1998-03)

The only Warrior in the post-merger era to post consecutive 50-point games, he was a top-10 scorer in his third year, averaged 20.8 points over five seasons and was a respected presence on every level of the franchise.

29-Butch Beard (1973-75)

Though this might feel like a reach, his teammates on the 1975 championship team argue otherwise. He scored the last seven points Game 4 of The Finals, giving the Warriors a 96-95 win and perhaps the most shocking title in NBA history.

28-Billy Owens (1991-94, 2000)

An efficient scorer, strong rebounder and competent playmaker, he was the forward of coach Don Nelson’s dreams. Billy O made the All-Rookie team and played well, but will forever be known to Warriors fans as the guy who was not Mitch Richmond.

27-Gilbert Arenas (2001-03)

A gifted, intrepid scorer, his offensive talent is second only to Stephen Curry among the team’s draft picks between 2000-2010. As he neared free agency after two seasons, a website was launched begging him to stay. Tears were shed when he left.

 

26-Stephen Jackson (2007-10)

The Draymond Green of the “We Believe” squad. Brash and fearless, “Jack” brought heat to the locker room, made big shots and vaporized Dirk Nowitzki (38.3-percent shooting) in the playoffs as the No. 8 seed Warriors toppled the top-seeded Mavericks.

25-Monta Ellis (2005-12)

Arriving as a teenager in 2005, he was a jolt of electricity for the offense. Fun personified. And the fury that emerged when he was traded implied that he might be the most popular Warriors player with almost no close associating with winning.

24-David Lee (2010-15)

The first big move of the Lacob-Guber ownership, he raised the franchise profile and contributed to the 2015 title team. Mr. Double-Double in 2013 snapped the franchise’s 16-year streak of not being represented in the All-Star game. Props to D-Lee.

23-Harrison Barnes (2012-16)

Small forward entered the starting lineup as a rookie, remained there for the 2015 title team, as well as the 73-win team the following season. His defensive versatility was an essential ingredient for the original “Death Lineup.”

22-Mark Jackson (coach, 2011-14)

Former star player strutted in vowing that “things be changing” in the Bay and made back-to-back playoff appearances. Gave a profile to a faceless franchise.

21-Shaun Livingston (2014-19)

Signing him as a free agent in 2014 was a low-profile move with support across the board of the front office. Three-time champ gave the Warriors lengthy, skilled, mature third guard who cooked defenders in the post. A pro’s pro.

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