By: Sherwood Strauss
CJ Watson. You rarely think about him, and why would you? He’s likely going to another team. He’s not winning the Warriors any titles—let alone dragging them from the fetid swamp. You probably have a life, a kid to feed, a job, videos games, a Cohan voodoo doll to poke, whatever. God knows why you’d be thinking about CJ as he guts it out in this cruel joke of a season. You likely don’t even know what CJ stands for (Charles Jr.). Or that his middle name’s “Akeem,” or that he’s milks alpaca on his farm in the off-season (okay, not really).
Here’s what I think I know: CJ Watson is a solid, pesky, defensive player. He is completely undervalued, underrated, and under-appreciated. And—well this isn’t something I know—I guess he’ll be the next quality player to shame the Warriors with spotlighted future success.
The dude has quick hands. They’re really a cartoonish blur. His arms move so fast CJ looks like a casino dealer (the only difference is that one guy toils away while people waste their money in a depression pit, and the other guy works in a casino). Those hands are the reason the Warriors are 8 points better on defense with him on the court. They’re probably the reason he’s leading the clubhouse in plus/minus. I know, I know, plus/minus is an evil pagan practice, detested by all true lovers of the game (that’s me channeling Kawakami for fun. It’s been a long season).
CJ wanted his shot last year, when he openly tweeted about pining for Orlando. The Dubs just had to keep him because pissing off players is what management does. He’ll become yet another referendum on the rot from the top. A good management team elevates players, but the Warriors get little out of them and don’t seem to care.
Right now, the D-League is cringing every time the cell reads “510” (Did you hear the joke about the D-League team that called up a player from the Warriors?). I guess you could say the Warriors made CJ’s career by discovering him. But it won’t feel that way when he’s bucking threes for Orlando/Celtics/Lakers in next year’s playoffs.
CJ Watson on WarriorsWorld TV