(One minor note: I’m finally using my full name, not that any sane person should care. I wanted some distance from an old NBA PR job, but those days seem long gone. Might as well go full government name.)

Eventually, when we’re all old and I’ve grown a gray Baron beard, someone will purchase this mess. The worth shall inherit the meek. I have no clue why the David Lee for Anthony Randolph deal happened, or how it impacts the Warriors price tag. Pre-deal, the Warriors roster was intriguingly flexible. Now, Larry Coon can’t glance at our cap situation for fear of turning to stone.

Here’s what I’m certain of: The buyer of the Warriors can’t bring Anthony Randolph back. I keep reading about how Randolph didn’t fulfill his potential—that he’s been a bit of a disappointment. I was only let down by AR’s ankle, not his play. I’d bet money we regret the trade, mock me if and when I’m wrong. As we wait for what’s next, I recall the meme that doomed his Warriors career:

Frankly, Anthony Randolph is too inconsistent.

Where are the stats on this consistency? Honestly, show me the standard deviations, pull out the graphs. His game logs seem normal to my dull, mushy brain. Say that inconsistency proof exists. Still, why was consistency so valued on last year’s awful team? I know Mikki Moore was consistent—consistently compostable.

The inconsistency message was a Wright-thin excuse for doling out scrub minutes (Vlad Rad must play center, Randolph’s too inconsistent, isn’t it obvious!). Half the Warriors fans swallowed this swill, while hoop nerds outside our bubble laughed knowingly. This was an exercise in self-destruction, true to form for Oakland’s masters of masochism.

Now we’ll never benefit from what Anthony Randolph could have been—he was given away for the right to sign Lee. I can’t claim to know his future career trajectory, but I would have paid to see it. Ben Franklin might bite my hand if I fork over cash for seats in 2011.

To all who criticized Randolphiles for buying into “hype,” I say “you have a legitimate view.” But I bought his damned stats, which were impressive…when he played…which was rarely…probably because he played for those who celebrated mediocrity at impressive’s expense.

Regardless of how you feel about Randolph, admit this: We deserved to find out. We deserved more minutes, more evaluation, more leeway, more flying blocks, more two-handed screaming-stuffs, more excitement in an otherwise dreary year. And we deserved another season, with a different coach. We deserved better.

One of the most gratifying fan experiences is watching a player grow into his own. Perhaps it’s stupid to derive so much pleasure from this investment but I honestly love it. The analysis of a young player’s improvement is the best reason for following the sub .500 club. As human beings we should enjoy watching the young progress—it taps into a visceral parental urge. While I detest racial sports paternalism (As in, the stupid dress code and age requirement), hoping for growth is more than acceptable. There’s a vicarious thrill in watching an athlete grab hold of his talent.

Randolph’s “Eurkea!” moments were adrenaline jolts. His unique skill set had drawn me in, the Nelson drama had me on the edge of my couch. Every Randolph outing was a head-jarring whoosh down a teetering rollercoaster. A missed shot could rob you of Anthony Randolph in favor of 30 Mikki Moore minutes. So obviously, the stakes couldn’t have been higher. Whenever he played well, my subconscious shouted, “Yes! Maybe they won’t trade him! Maybe I’ll get to see how this plays out.” Well, he’s been traded, this is how it played out. And, as Cleveland mourns LeBron this offseason, I watch Randolph highlights with liquid metal roiling my intestines. It sucks to be a Warriors fan.

22 Responses

  1. Protect the Paint

    great post!
    It is sad to not see Curry and Randolph have the chance to develop. I could only imagine how amazing that would be off a pick and roll. Curry’s vision developing and blossoming into breathtaking rim-rattling dunks, leavin gteh arena speachless. Alas, we fell victim to another trade which will catapult randolph’s career into all star, and leave David Lee somehow hurting us (could happen).

  2. Warner

    Hello Warriors fans I’m a knicks fan and wanted to see the other side of the spectrum. I first want to say that you guys should be very pleased with the player that you just received. I understand it might have come at a potentially high cost with randolph but with lee you have a guy who works his butt off every night. He’s also improved every season under a team that’s gone through so many changes it makes Heidi montag look like a blank canvas. Lee is a solid guy in the locker room as well who can mentor some of the younger guys on your team. I have to say when I found out the knicks got stoudemire i was furious cause i knew lee was on his way out. I would take lee over stoudemire any day and i know the knicks are going to regret this move within 2 years if not immediately. So I’d say give him a chance at least before you judge and enjoy the 23 pts 12 rebs and 4 assists every night

  3. dZuck

    Matt Mohr is right, you are all wrong. Get used to it. His word might as well be the ten commandments for warriors fans. You think I’m being sarcastic, I think you’re being retarded.

    With Randolph, our starting five was a mess. Curry and Ellis, and then….a rotation of tall athletic guys in the 4/5 and who knows what would happen basically. Now, if the Warriors actually set a plan, they can pencil in production from Curry, monta, Lee and Biedrins in the 1,2,4,5. Add a high quality 3 and that’s a legitimate starting five that can play together without being completely ridiculous. Is it great? no. But it’s a plan and it makes sense and we can work off of that with a real base set. In two years, with this trade, Monta has gone from our no. 1 scoring option to our no. 3. that’s huge.

  4. Matt Mohr

    Actually big jake, or shall i call you overcompensating jake, i made no mistake at all because all of the players you named were euro/canada born, miller and stockton are both US born like lee, so as i said the first all star since miller and the first to START because you sure as hell know that starters in the all star game are way more impressive since john stockton started his last all star game.

    Yes I am more superior than you

  5. Jason F

    Matt Mohr, if you think your “article” (term used very loosely) was well written, my 11th grade English teacher, Ms. Glass, would like to have a word with you. Keep bringing your takes, though, because, like Ethan, I find them to be pretty entertaining in a “wow, this guy has no idea how ridiculous he sounds” kinda way.

  6. Matt Mohr

    big jake: you bring up a valid point but i never used race as a main point, i never said he was traded because he was white or that it had anything to do with race which shows how weak your come back is after your article on how randolph is god, but i can admit i made a mistake. My one request tho is an apology back because you named the most obscure all stars ever, AK, big z and wally??? really reaching deep with that one……….

  7. BigJake

    Mohr Facts Please:
    1. Players are not traded for because of their race, so the fact that Lee is white is irrelevant to your argument about his skill or quality as a basketball player.

    2. If you are going to make some ridiculous reference to race when there is no logical reason for doing so, you might at least want to check your facts:

    White All-Stars since 2000 (when Stockton played in his last all-star game:
    David Lee
    Chris Kaman

  8. Ethan Sherwood Strauss

    I think Matt Mohr’s comments are funny. Keep raining the hate, let me have it!

  9. Matt Mohr

    oh and i always use my full name because im a man

  10. Matt Mohr

    Ok so once again I have to interject and bring some light to you ethan and everyone who agrees with this. If randolph had such “amazing” stats where are they in your article? Oh thats right you didn’t put them in because just like the article written a few days ago with the bunny as its premiss, you state a fact that everyone already agrees on, and I end up reading another boring useless article. If you worked or work for the NBA then I’m freaking santa clause because you have no idea what you are talking about. So, let me write to you in a correct manner, that in which I actually back up my claims and give true facts instead of fantasy ones. Randolph, as talented as he may be, was never going to develop into a star in the bay, he has had multiple documented coaching/attitude issues, which you cant blame all on nelly and was clubbing while he was injured. I mean come on!!!!! If you are in fact a star in this league then you better act like one and I sure as hell do not want the face of my franchise to be a guy that when we only have 8 men on the team is enjoying the finest strip clubs oakland has to offer. Randolph had been vocal about getting out of the bay at the begging of the season when jack left. His agent asked for a trade, but thats ok I guess, I mean I would want my star player to not like the city he plays in right?? And has everyone forgot about Beidrens??? lee and beidrens are great big men to have especially since it takes pressure off of beidrens now that we have a productive PF.

    Now lets move onto Lee,
    Before I dabble in Lee’s amazing stats, yes i actually back up my claims, I want to remind everyone that no player is going to the bay with just monta and curry, you need a big man everyone knows that. Lee now makes the warriors more lucrative for role players and stars. Now onto lee who is the first white player to make the all star game since brad miller (before miller it was john stockton). A player that even when the knicks were tanking the season for the lebron sweepstakes, still gave his all day in and day out. Made the allstar team in his first 3 seasons in the nba, others who have done that: Shaq, Tim Duncan, david robinson, kevin garnett and a long list of other future hall of famers. Averaged 20 pts and 11 rbs in 81 games last season. But oh my mistake randolphs 8 pts a game in 2008-2009 is sooooooooooooooooooo much better. You cant seriously count last season because 33 games is not a good indicator of any players season.

    So there you have it cool ethan (watch the movie slackers your probably exactly like that guy) no spread sheets, no graphs, just the facts and numbers to back up a WELL written article i wrote in 20 min. and no I do not get paid to do this but someone should pay you to stop posting these articles. Maybe you can become a garbage man because everything you say is TRASH. I cant believe that you had a job in the nba, tim donaghy must be rolling over in his cell. And david lee, YOUR THE MAN DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY OF THIS THE BAY LOVES YOU.

    Once again thank you and


  11. Ambal

    You are absolutely right “bub rub nubs da dub”. Would K. Durant be sitting on the bench for Nelson, he would never become a star. Some of these people compare AR to Rony and this just shows that they are on the same level of basketball knowledge as Riley is. AR could play any position from 1 to 5. He could have been next Magic, but Nelson could not find anything for him other than place in “doghouse”.

  12. BigJake

    Here is the problem: Randolph made real warriors believe in a future that included more than the first round of the playoffs…. a core of him and Curry could potentially…. POTENTIALLY bring the franchise back to glory. I recognize that there is no certainty in potential, but there is something special and it is better than what we ended up with.

    The problem is that the Lee move signals desperation and hope to make the 1st round of the playoffs. That was the goal of this trade. It cannot possibly be argued that D-Lee will take the Ws to the finals while taking up $18million of the money under the salary cap. Lee is 27 years old and it is unrealistic to think that he will be getting any better at this point in his career. THere is no doubt that he is a quality player who makes the team better for at least the next 2 years. The problem is that we signed him for 6 years and in the process of acquiring him…. gave up our 2 best defenders, our player with the most potential, and a very reasonably paid ($3mil/year) role player in Bukie. The only reason that any GM would pull the trigger on this trade is that they are extremely shortsighted, they do not care about their job, or they are a moron.

    All three of those options are possible here.

    First, he turned 20 last year, we should expect inconsistency from a 20 year old. To be consistent at age 20 with all the pressure of being in the NBA makes you a freak.
    Second, he was not really inconsistent, and I would argue that his inconsistencies were almost entirely because of horrible coaching. Nelson wants the wins record, to get his paycheck for this season, and then to retire. Last season he mailed in a BS performance calling it a coaching job. Constantly changing people’s playing time and messing with the confidence of young men playing a game that requires complete confidence.

    But, statistically – in spite of inconsistent minutes and Nellie’s head games – he was better than one of the top 5 best PFs of all time at the same age…

    Because of his similarities in height, build and passion Raldolph is often compared to Kevin Garnett. All the naysayers would laugh at this comparison, but look at the 48 minute averages for Kevin Garnett from the 1997-1998 season when he was 21(ESPN only goes back to 1996-1997 for these stats) and compare it to last season when Randolph was 20:

    Randolph was better in every category besides assists and steals… statistics do not lie.

    Anthony, it hurts me to say this, but all the best of luck to you in NY. I am sad that I will not get to watch you play over the next couple of years.

    I have a feeling that I will be stewing over this in 4 years when you are getting into your prime at 24 and D-Lee is 31 and I am waiting for him to make the transition from NBA player to expiring contract….

    – Sadness in the South Bay

  13. bub rub nubs da dubs

    + 1

    You don’t trade someone with superstar potential for a borderline injury reserve all-star in his prime. Follow the OKC philosophy. Stack talented young players, hold on to them, let them take you somewhere. No shortcuts. Shortcuts lead you to no-man’s land.

  14. Robert

    He could become good, but he could become like another Darius Miles type of player. I rather get a 20/10 guy now then wait a few yrs. For every highlight he makes 4 or 5 bad plays. People are comparing Randolph to LaMar Odom, but LaMar was good right away. Don’t blame coaches for not nurturing or teaching players, because great coaches aren’t there to to teach skills, it’s if you have them or not. Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, Larry Brown, Jerry Sloan never groomed players, they played players that can play right now.

  15. Danny

    @Scott, actually we couldn’t have retained AR easily and signed Lee as a UFA. We didn’t have the available cap room to be able to bring him in otherwise, or any other big UFA for that matter. Unloading those 3 contracts freed up the necessary space to be able to sign Lee. On the other foot that’s why the Knicks had to wait on the Lebron decision before they could commit to the deal. If Lebron had magically chosen them, they wouldnt have had the cap space to take on those three contracts with giving both Lebron and Amare max deals.

  16. Danny

    I’m going to have to agree with 49erJohnny on this one. The dude has potential for sure and showed glimpses. He unfortunately plays similar to Turiaf. Good off the bench for some energy and a spark, but he plays so out of control he could never seem to stay on the floor long enough without getting into foul trouble. All indications coming out of training camp were that he was going to be the starter but got hurt the week before the season. Came back from injury and they slowly worked him in. Once he seemed healthy enough they tried to make him a starter and he seemed to be in foul trouble generally less than half way into the first quarter. Then got injured again. Also i would say that unless he bulks up quite a bit size wise, he might be doomed to an injury riddled career. The general size he is going to match up against night to night, his body makeup and style of play/on court IQ just aren’t really close to being at a comfortable level for this league. Funny how the general consensus when we drafted him seemed to be “why did we draft this guy?” to now it seeming like the worst move we could have possibly made to get an all star PF who can log steady minutes and remain healthy while also being at a point of just entering his prime. So we have the dude locked up throughout his prime and still more than usuable at the age the contract ends.

  17. Scott

    I completely agree. We deserved to see how good AR could be. The fact that he was traded for a FREE AGENT is ridiculous. AR should never have been in the conversation for David Lee. Usually in a sign and trade, the player decides on which team he goes to and the former team accomodates. Riley could have gotten Lee and still kept AR easily. If he were an above average GM and wanted to unload AR, he probably could have come away with Cousins and Lee this offseason. For a team with a history of lopsided trades, this is was incredibly dumb. The Knicks got much more for Lee than the Cavs got for Lebron, that too in a sign and trade.

  18. Ambal

    I have nothing against Lee. He is a solid player and a smart guy. But trading AR should never happen. Those people that signed Monta for 9 mln and traded away AR they just don’t have a clue what they are doing. I really worry about their mental health. And the problem is of course with somebody who put them in control of the Warriors.

  19. Tan

    Spot on. Having been a W’s fan for 17 years, I thought we had a great core to build around with Randolph being one of those key pieces. They had potential, played an exciting brand of basketball and best of all, they were young and we could have watched them grow together and possibly become something special.

    We had the pieces in place to possibly replicate what OKC have done but the FO has once again become impatient and too reactive. I like David Lee, but I would rather keep AR4 and see how he develops.

    You’re right. It sucks to be a Warriors fan…

  20. 49erJohnny

    Really im kinda glad to see Randolph go. The problem I have with him is he’s a dolt on the basketball court. He even admitted that one thing he needed to improve on was his basketball iq. Well that’s an understatement. Look at it like this if Randolph turns out to be some all star caliber player the warriors can pick him up in 6 years as a free agent. Let some other team teach this guy how to play. To me he was hard to watch him and Maggette made me want to punch my television they were so sloppy. Anthony Randolph didn’t win in high school or college and he wont win in the nba. Not with his selfish undisciplined fundamentally unsound style of basketball.