Friday, June 24, 2011

Golden State Warriors

Another NBA Draft has come and gone, and usually, as a fan of the Golden State Warriors, it's one of my least favorite days of the year. It seems that it's always another reminder of how bad the fortune of my hometown team can be, and you just can't help but think of a slew of names that commissioner David Stern has said ondraft day - Todd Fuller, Patrick O'Bryant(notes), and even Mike Dunleavy (I do realize he's been a decent pro, but no true W's fan should be able to stomach looking at the guy's name for more than a few seconds).

So with the Warriors having the 11th pick in the 2011 draft, I figured it would be a bit more of the same. But I must say, and hopefully I'm not just being the eternal optimist, but when I turned off the TV just after midnight Eastern, there was a good feeling running through the bones of this long-suffering Warriors fan.
Klay Thompson (11th Overall) - Now if the Warriors have a lot of anything, it's guards who can score the basketball. And what do the W's do with their first pick? Well they draft Klay Thompson, a guard who can score the basketball.

Now honestly, I don't believe that anyone can truly know just how Mark Jackson is going to run the W's as coach. But from what I do know about Thompson, he would have been perfect under former coach Don Nelson. Athletic, loves to shoot and can spread the floor. Fits right in with the Warriors that I know.

Another thing that stands out about Klay has to be his pedigree. His father Mychal Thompson was an important contributor to the "Showtime" Lakers of the late '80s, and a multiple-time champion. Only good can come from that.

But I was prepared for the W's to draft Klay. Everything I had been reading leading up to the draft made it seem like this was the direction the team was going. So when the Warriors got who they wanted, I couldn't help but be pleased. And as I wrote in my last piece, can we stop second-guessing Jerry West? If The Logo blessed the decision, then I'm rolling with it until I see a reason to think otherwise.

Jeremy Tyler (39, from Charlotte)—The buying of this draft pick showed one wonderful thing—that the Warriors' new ownership is willing to splash out some cash. I can't remember the last time the W's made a move like this, and even if it's on a risky big man like Tyler, who left high school early and then couldn't cut it playing professionally in Israel, you have to respect the thought process behind it. The Warriors have been looking for a tough inside presence for a long time, and it's apparently worth a couple of million bucks to owner Joe Lacob to try and find him. I really hope that he did.

Charles Jenkins (44)—A high energy point guard from Hofstra who made the locals in the crowd at the draft go nuts when he was picked. Seems like a great value as the 44th overall pick, and someone who could spellMonta Ellis(notes) or Steph Curry. With his addition, as well as Thompson's, it does make me wonder what exactly Jackson has in store for back-up guardReggie Williams(notes). Or could Ellis still be on the move somewhere and no one is talking?

But it's another draft in the books for the Golden State Warriors. Of course only time will tell how it turns out, but in a draft that was considered weak, to get two players who should be able to contribute right away (Thompson and Jenkins), and a project (Tyler), who may one day turn out to be the big man that the W's have been looking for since I started watching the team, I'll take it.

Can't wait to see them all in uniform, but with the drama that the league is going through, I just hope that it's sooner rather than later.

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