It’s been a very long time coming, however Boogie Night time lastly arrived for the Warriors on Friday.
Months after surprising the NBA by signing a modest one-year contract with the Warriors, DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins was cleared to play at Staples Middle when Golden State took on the Clippers.
If he can shake off sufficient rust after his Achilles damage? Look out, NBA.
Title aspirations apart, the thrill and drama main as much as Cousins’ first recreation in blue and gold isn’t in contrast to what we’ve seen round these elements earlier than. Cousins’ debut is simply the newest, however not essentially the best in Golden State Warriors historical past.
Taking a spin via the pages of Warriors historical past since they moved to Oakland, right here’s one man’s take a look at their most anticipated debuts:
1. Kevin Durant: The one factor extra surprising for the NBA than seeing Durant in a Warriors uniform in the 2016 opener was watching he and his staff get blown out at house by the Spurs. Durant’s monumental choice months earlier to hitch the Warriors prompted some to consider “he ruined the NBA” as a result of Golden State was too good.
The gang at Oracle on Oct. 25, 2016 roared its approval when the previous Oklahoma Metropolis star stepped foot onto the ground sporting a Warriors jersey. They then spent to the rest of the night time principally groaning whereas San Antonio rolled to a 129-100 victory — for one night time no less than, parity was alive in the NBA. Durant, as anticipated, was spectacular instantly. He scored 27 factors (11-of-18 capturing) to go together with 10 rebounds, 4 assists, two steals and two blocks.
2. Chris Webber: The Warriors have been destined for greatness after their beautiful 1993 draft-night commerce for No. 1 decide Chris Webber. Or so the Bay Space foolishly believed. Webber was immediately one of the franchise’s most gifted gamers ever. He introduced pleasure immediately together with his 15-point, 7-rebound NBA debut towards the Rockets, although Houston prevailed 102-93 in Oakland.
Webber would staff with Latrell Sprewell to provide Golden State two of one of the best gamers in the league and, for as soon as, some nationwide notoriety. He led the Warriors to the playoffs and was Golden State’s third (and final) Rookie of the Yr winner. Nevertheless, his keep was temporary as he clashed with coach Don Nelson whereas finagling his approach out of city after simply one season.
Three. Rick Barry: He was already on his approach to a Corridor of Fame profession earlier than leaving the San Francisco Warriors after the 1967 NBA Finals over a contract dispute with then-owner Franklin Mieuli. After spending 5 star-studded years in the ABA, Barry lastly returned house, leaping again to the NBA. He got here off the bench in the 1972 season opener, scoring 18 factors in an 81-77 loss to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Milwaukee Bucks. However Barry’s Bay Space magic didn’t take a lot time to work once more — two years later he led the Warriors to their first NBA title.
Four. DeMarcus Cousins: The Warriors’ distinctive mid-level acquisition hasn’t written his opening act right here simply but, however the anticipation of him giving Golden State an unprecedented beginning lineup of 5 All-Stars has lengthy since despatched shockwaves all through the league.
Now, if Cousins can shake off sufficient rust
5. Joe Smith: Followers have been satisfied they have been in for a deal with after the Warriors chosen Smith No. 1 in the 1995 draft. C’mon, he needed to be particular if Golden State bypassed Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, Jerry Stackhouse and Antonio McDyess for him, proper? Mistaken. On opening night time, Smith did what he wound up doing all through his Warriors profession — he underwhelmed, scoring 14 factors on 5-of-12 capturing in a 110-92 loss to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets.
6. World B. Free, Joe Barry Carroll, Bernard King: After a franchise-record three straight seasons of not making the playoffs, the 1980 season was full of hope, because of the additions of two stars (King from the Nets; Free from the Clippers) and the No. 1 general decide in the draft (Carroll). The sobering information started with a 20-point, season-opening loss in Phoenix — in their debuts, Free had 21 factors, King 12 and Carroll 13 off the bench.
Wanting (wincing?) again now, the truth is that they traded two Corridor-of-Famers (Robert Parish and the No. Three decide, Kevin McHale) for the malcontent Carroll. Additionally, the Warriors went on to miss the playoffs 9 consecutive seasons. Consider it or not, that futility was later dwarfed by the ineptitude of simply one playoff look in an 18-year stretch. In fact, longtime Warriors followers would inform you, “We believe.”
7. Stephen Curry: Warriors followers thought-about Curry a Godsend from the beginning, however not as a result of they actually believed he’d ever be a transformational participant and ship NBA titles. The child from Davidson was merely a pleasure to observe and, again in 2009, getting some leisure worth was about nearly as good because it acquired for Warriors followers.
First impressions of Curry have been fairly constructive, despite the fact that he scored simply 14 factors on 7-of-12 capturing in a 108-107 season-opening loss to the Rockets. He had seven assists and 4 steals, however he gave no indication of his Three-point prowess. He performed 35 minutes and missed his solely Three-point try. It was the primary of simply two video games in his 659-game profession when he shot fewer than two Three-pointers whereas enjoying greater than 23 minutes.
eight. Ralph Sampson: Earlier than Cousins’ first Warriors recreation Friday night time, Ralph Sampson’s arrival in December of 1987 in all probability marked Golden State’s biggest mid-season debut. In a shocking deal, the Rockets traded the 7-foot-Four, four-time All-Star to the Warriors for Joe Barry Carroll and Sleepy Floyd.
A sellout crowd in Oakland watched Sampson outplay an ageing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Klay Thompson’s father, Mychal, whereas scoring a team-high 24 factors on 10-of-16 capturing. Sampson, who had been one half of the Rockets’ “Twin Towers” together with Olajuwon, additionally had eight rebounds, 5 assists and three blocks, however couldn’t forestall a 113-106 Warriors’ defeat. Seems it was one of the few Warriors highlights for Sampson, whose knee and again troubles shortly torpedoed his profession.
9. Chris Mullin: What a comfort prize the Corridor-of-Famer Mullin turned out to be! The Warriors thought they’d misplaced the NBA’s first draft lottery in 1985 when, because the league’s worst workforce, they landed the No. 7 decide among the many seven non-playoff groups.
Warriors followers have been nonetheless stung by dropping out on consensus No. 1 decide Patrick Ewing to the Knicks on opening night time. However, Mullin instantly displayed his unequalled capturing contact, coming off the bench to attain 15 factors on 6-of-9 capturing in the Warriors’ 105-101 victory over Seattle in the ’85 opener.
10. Baron Davis: One of many biggest deadline steals in NBA historical past, the Warriors obtained an All-Star level guard from the New Orleans Hornets for Speedy Claxton and Dale Davis. Baron Davis got here off the bench in his tough Warriors debut, a 94-88 house loss to the Pistons. He was the eventual inspirational chief of the “We Believe” staff two years later, however Baron’s first recreation produced simply 10 factors (Three-of-11 capturing, together with 1-of-7 on Three-pointers) and eight assists in 29 minutes.
11. Tom Gugliotta: The person acquired in the acrimonious Chris Webber commerce in the primary week of the 1994-95 season actually had no probability to succeed in Oakland. He was a gifted ahead with Washington when he arrived together with three first-round picks in change for Webber. Some followers shortly turned on the soft-spoken Gugliotta, showering him with boos and calling him “Gugli-awful” quickly after his uninspiring three-point debut effort in a win over Utah. He lasted simply 40 video games right here earlier than being shipped to Minnesota for Donyell Marshall.
12. Chris Washburn, John Lucas, Micheal Ray Richardson: All three have been considered franchise-altering skills once they arrived. Washburn was the No. Three general decide in 1986 however spent simply 1 1/2 horrible years right here. Lucas arrived as compensation for dropping Rick Barry to the Rockets in 1978. He lasted twice so long as Washburn, however made little impression. Former Knicks star Richardson got here in 1982 from New York, the place he additionally left his recreation. The widespread thread for all three is that they put the “high” in hype once they obtained to Oakland — drug abuse received in the best way of their careers.
13. Billy Owens: Don Nelson insisted he stole a star-in-the-making when he dealt fan favourite Mitch Richmond to Sacramento in a 1991 opening night time commerce. The versatile Owens, the third decide of the draft, made his debut in the third recreation of the season. He scored seven factors in 18 minutes because the Warriors beat Michael Jordan and the Bulls in Oakland. Owens, although, by no means got here near dwelling as much as his billing.
14. Andre Iguodala: Low-key crucial acquisition in Golden State Warriors historical past. His arrival on a sign-and-trade cope with Denver in 2013 legitimized the group that’s advanced into arguably the best workforce in NBA historical past. Iguodala opened with seven factors, 4 assists, two steals and a block in a season-opening win over the Lakers.
15. Jeremy Lin: This area was full of pleasure whereas ready for the native boy to show his underdog story into NBA actuality. On opening night time in 2010, the previous Palo Alto Excessive star made his debut and was wildly cheered all through his 2 1/2-minute stint in a blowout win over the Clippers. Lin’s solely impression on the boxscore was a steal. In fact, he’d make his mark on the NBA a pair years later when “Linsanity” turned an actual factor.
16. David Lee: Desperately looking for a star, the Warriors settled for this two-time All-Star in 2010. Was a strong participant right here and earned a championship ring as a parting present. He began his Warrior profession with a 17-point, 15-rebound night time in a 132-128 win over the Rockets in the opener. Lee even earned a team-high plus/minus score of +10, for many who comply with such issues.
17. (two-way tie) Manute Bol, Muggsy Bogues: The lengthy and in need of it was followers have been simply mesmerized by their peak. They couldn’t take their eyes off the 7-foot-7 Bol in 1988, and the 5-foot-Three Bogues in 1997.
19. Mitch Richmond: The heralded No. 5 general select of Kansas State scored 17 factors on 5-of-14 capturing in the Warriors’ 1988 season-opening win over the Suns. He turned higher referred to as the “M” in the center of Golden State’s extremely entertaining “Run TMC” that included Tim Hardaway and Mullin.
20. Lester Conner: Lengthy earlier than Jeremy Lin, Conner was the native man who was the item of Warriors’ followers affection. The purpose guard from Fremont Excessive in Oakland, by means of Los Medanos and Chabot schools, was the 14th general decide in the 1982 draft out of Oregon State. He confirmed off his unselfishness in his debut, enjoying 20 minutes off the bench with out trying a shot. He contributed six assists and two rebounds to the Warriors’ win over the Hawks. Conner spent 4 of his 12 years in the NBA with the Warriors.
Apart from Conner and Lin, there have been additionally a handful of different Bay Space gamers whose first look in a Warriors uniform was met with various levels of pleasure. Included in the listing are Phil Smith of USF, Charles Johnson of Cal, Nate Williams of McClymonds Excessive, Jon Barry of De La Salle Excessive, Brian Shaw and Man Williams of Bishop O’Dowd Excessive, Dell Demps of Mt. Eden Excessive, Todd Lichti of Mt. Diablo Excessive and Stanford, Tim Younger of Stanford, Dean Garrett of Metropolis School of San Francisco, Nate Robinson from James Logan Excessive and Phil Chenier of Berkeley Excessive.