The weather was bleak, a greying sky that bore no contrast to Oracle’s concrete corrosion.  Inside the stadium, far too many fans bubbled with far too much enthusiasm.  After eons of Cohanese water torture, legions of Warriors supporters persevere like three-eyed fish near a nuclear plant. They simply won’t die, no matter the circumstances. Many have said that sports mean more on the East Coast. That’s a lot of crap.

Two swift stabs killed the collective excitement. First to the stomach–Cousins went to the Kings. Not everybody was sold on DeMarcus, but drafts are about dreaming. We envision the best-case scenario and Boogie can be great. When DC got King’d, some Oracle faithful unleashed pained yelps.

The second stab was a coup de grace to the jugular.

“…the Golden State Warriors select Ekpe Udoh!”

Boos are supposed to rain down on players. But Oracle’s attention was focused on the big ol’ ceiling scoreboard.  Fans screamed upwards—as though cursing the heavens. David Stern was Emmanuel Goldstein in the two minutes of hate.

Udoh can’t be great–let’s hope he’s good.

Initial dismay has given to misery. This wouldn’t have happened with Greg Monroe.  Even Xavier Henry offered warmer feelings. Udoh casts a pall because the Warriors are replete with younger, similar  players. Based on Udoh’s relatively advanced age, I doubt he’ll ever be better than Randolph  or Biedrins. But Udoh could convince a certain GM to ditch those two. Oh and remember Brandan Wright? I think he just dislocated his playing time.

I asked some player questions for but got beat to the punch on draft assessment queries.  Anthony Morrow thought Udoh a great pick. Perhaps Ammo was secretly thinking, “Udoh’s a great pick because he’s not Xavier Henry!”

Before I wrote this, I read differing Udoh takes from Adam Lauridsen and Matt Steinmetz. Ekpe is a player on whom reasonable people can disagree.  I suppose that’s better than a completely laughable pick. But Adam is higher on Anthony Randolph than Matt is.  And how you feel about Randolph should influence how you feel about Udoh.

John Hollinger posited that Randolph could lead the league in shot blocking. Udoh’s only elite skill is the swat. If part of you fears an Anthony Randolph dumping, then this pick should be a bitter tin-foil sandwich. I don’t know who’s in control, but I can guess that more minutes for Udoh means fewer for Randolph.  If the current crew lingers, it’s important to remember: They benched AR in favor of washouts.  And those guys didn’t look nearly so swell in a suit.

12 Responses

  1. JD

    Who is complaining, and why?

    This guy single-handedly turned Baylor from a no-defense team, to one of the best in arguably the toughest League in NCAA last year, to one of the best in the Tourney. He can defend, he swats, he is a very good offensive rebounder, his scoring lacks. Plus, he can run.

    If the Warriors have a bunch of guys that resemble him, then I guess what they can do now is unload those guys, clear up some cap(if they take any) and get another good player in on a sign and trade.

  2. dick lick

    ladies and gentlemen, the next hasheem thabeet

  3. XK

    I have to say… I love that first paragraph. 🙂 Well done.

  4. jason


  5. DeuelWarrior

    Wow. Ninerz put a lot of thought in to that all capitol blurb. At first I was dumbfounded when I heard the talk of getting Udoh but then I realized he is exactly what we need. Young, Good Head, Hard Defender and a professional. The kid is sick. I am glad to have him on the Warriors.

  6. eddy

    what the hell were all you mob idiots booing about at the oracle? did you actually watch the tourney and see what a beast this guy was for baylor? he’s exactly what the warriors NEVER have. F all you who want another swingman, or another POB in Gmonroe. Watch basketball, fools. And realize you need a guy who plays hard defense and wants to make you eat your shots–if you want your team to win, that is. Not a bunch a skinny fags like wright and cry-face randolph. with next season’s new coach, this guy is gonna start looking like dale davis of the 90’s pacers. no flashy numbers, but never backed down from oakley, mason, ewing or any of the new york punks back in the day. that’s this guy. Udoh.

  7. dubsallday

    I agree with Larry Riley on what Udoh brings to the club- he has an NBA ready game, and goes hard on both ends of the floor. Udoh will be better than projected. He’ll definitely be better than Biedrins. I’ve always felt that Biedrins could never be a 15-10 guy, let alone the 20-10 guy the Warriors have long been missing. Entering his seventh season, Biedrins has never shown significant improvement in anything other than rebounding. Scoring wise, his best seasons were during the Baron era, and the Monta-less season which Captain Jack played point-foward. Biedrins offensive skills are so limited, he barely scores on his own. In six years, he has shown no desire to improve offensively. Don Nelson even said so himself, when he tried to help Biedrins out of his free throw slump. The time has come for the Warriors to dump this guy asap. I’m sure they can find a more competent starting center for $9M/year.

    I’m confident Udoh will find his way in to the rotation, barring the Warriors don’t trade him. He makes his living in the paint, having averaged nearly 14 points and 10 boards at Baylor. At 23, he’s approaching his prime, and still has a lot of room for improvement. However, I already have him way ahead of Brandan Wright, and just behind Randolph on the depth chart. We haven’t seen Wright play in years (yes, years), and what Udoh has over Randolph (besides a more polished game), is an identity. Udoh knows coming in to the league that his primary position will be power foward.

    Randolph on the other hand, has played the last two seasons a confused, inbetweener. Too big and out of control to play the 3, and too soft to bang down low as the 4. And at times last season looked really bad for Randolph, when Nelson played him at center. In some ways, Randolph is too skilled for his own good. I still think he has the skills to be better than Chris Bosh. He just needs to mature, and get bigger. I’m hoping the addition of Udoh could motivate him enough to get him there. After all, this could be a make-or-break season for Randolph.

    On another note, does anyone else look at Ekpe Udoh, and think of former Warriors’ #1 pick, Joe Smith? The two have similar frames, and skill-sets. However, Joe Smith was much better offensively coming out of Maryland, and was a beast on the boards. Unfortunately, he sort of killed his career and all-star potential somewhere in years 3-4, when he seemed to fall in love the perimeter jumper and shied away from his inside game. Sadly, his game never improved much after that. Nevertheless, Smith had a long, decent career as a serviceable backup.

    Worst case scnenario, I can see that happening with Udoh, but I have my doubts. It’s possible, seeing as how Nellie loves bigs who can shoot from the outside. However, Udoh is not a great mid-range shooter, and is more defensive-minded. Plus he was drafted for the Warriors’ long term needs, and came out of college known for his defense, which is what the Warriors always need.

  8. oaklandgorilla

    Welcome to the Warriors Udoh! I agree that ninerz is an idiot

  9. Mdub

    I’m not enthralled with Udoh but I can appreciate his work ethic and his desire to play the game and play on the Dubs. I don’t think Monroe would have as much of a motor to play up to his expectations.

    Moving on, Ellison and the minority owners should talk to Kevin Pritchard now about being the next GM.

  10. No Udohn't

    Udoh will bring a work ethic to the team like no one the Warriors have seen. The man comes from a humble upbrining and his solid family/collegiate roots will keep him grounded and focused on one thing – bettering his team through bettering himself as a player. Udoh has it going at both ends of the court with killer shot blocking instinct and untouchable jump hook. Udoh will make this team better, I assure you that.

  11. NINERZ!808

    I didnt like this pick at all either!!