Hard to believe I’ve been around the Warriors for more than 25 years now. I purposely don’t say “covered” the Warriors for 25 years because that wouldn’t be technically true. I covered them for 12 or 13 years, then continued to stick around them for the next 10 or so.
I started covering the team the year Chris Webber was traded, and so for the next 10-plus years, it meant I was covering bad teams. The Warriors went 12 straight years without making the playoffs, and I was there for all of them.
To think that I’ve gotten to see a team go from the periphery of the NBA to the centerpiece of the NBA is pretty unreal. After seeing what the Warriors have done for the past decade or so, I would now never trade in those awful years. What a ride: From 17-65 to 73-9.
You can divide this period of time into two parts: Pre-Curry and Post-Curry. Everything started to change in 2009, when the Warriors picked Stephen Curry with the No. 7 pick in that summer’s draft. Nobody knew, of course, how much things were going to change. But it all did when the Warriors took Curry out of Davidson.
The Warriors likely would have never stumbled into Curry if it weren’t for two guys: David Kahn and Jordan Hill. Kahn was the general manager of the Timberwolves at the time, and he had this brilliant idea of selecting two point guards with the Nos. 5 & 6 picks — neither of whom were Curry. Kahn took Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn, and there sat Curry for the Warriors.
They already had a smallish guard in their backcourt named Monta Ellis, and there seemed to be a very real scenario that the Warriors might want to “go big.” And there was an intriguing big that was going to be out there: Hill, a power forward from Arizona. But there was no way the Warriors were taking Hill. None.
That decision was made during Hill’s interview with the Warriors.