Even Don Nelson, who was supposedly anti-rookies, came around to embrace the D-League call-ups.
With last night being the, uh, last night for the NBA's regular season, I decided I had to catch one last Golden State Warriors game - for old time's sake.
The season finale didn't disappoint, either, as Golden State Of Mind's Atma Brother ONE explains in his recap of the Warriors 122-116 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors fought hard, played with heart, hustled and did everything else one would associate with a team that started three D-Leaguers surrounded by a couple of guys that seemed to want to win more than anything else - even for a team that finished just 26-56 on the season.
This season, I was impressed with a lot of the things the Warriors did - particularly from a D-League standpoint.
After the jump, I went through the SBNation archives to put together a time line of this season's Golden State D-Leaguers.
- 16th- Golden State started the season off in style with the addition of former Bakersfield Jam head coach Scott Roth to the Warriors bench. Roth, one of my favorite coaches in my time following/covering the D-League, was well-deserving and seems to have made the best of his time with the Warriors as I've seen marked improvement in D-League call-ups Anthony Tolliver and Chris Hunter while they've been in Golden State.
- 20th - The Warriors first foray into the D-League talent pool came, actually, before the D-League's season even started when they signed former Fort Wayne Mad Ant Chris Hunter. Hunter came out on fire in his first game as a Warrior and continued to play solid all season.
- 18th - The Warriors picked up an injury exception and GSoM polled the community. Rod Benson won the vote, but unfortunately never received a call-up. Anywhere.
- 28th - Their next foray nearly happened in late December when Don Nelson decided the Warriors needed a small forward due to injury issues. This was the first time I'd suggest the Sioux Falls Skyforce Reggie Williams - don't worry, it'll make sense later on.
- 9th - The Warriors eventually decided on bringing in Cartier Martin to fill the small forward role, though he'd last just two 10-day contracts with the team. All was not lost, however, as Martin eventually signed with the Washington Wizards for the season.
- 16th - Golden State eventually encountered more injury problems, leading to them needing to invoke the dreaded NBA Rule No. 3 (Section A). To counter that issue, the Warriors signed Anthony Tolliver from the Idaho Stampede.
- 18th - Don Nelson decided he liked his new team of ragtag misfits, going as far as to affectionately rename his Warriors the "Golden State D-Leaguers."
- 21st - Unfortunately, Tolliver didn't start out very hot for the Warriors. I said it was okay, though, because I still believed in him.
- 25th - Then some cat in the D-League named Reggie Williams talked about his game and why the NBA scouts didn't think it was NBA-worthy.
- 25th - That same day, Anthony Tolliver then dominated Amare Stoudemire - basically. We won't talk about what happened in any of their other meetings.
- 30th - To end a crazy January, Coby Karl was called up to the Warriors to replace Cartier Martin. Unfortunately, he didn't stick either, but he recently caught on with his dad's Denver Nuggets.
- 4th - Golden State of Mind's djfuzzylogic turned on the D-Leaguers after they lost 110-101 to a veteran Dallas Mavericks team. This one hurt my heart a bit to include, but I had to include it.
- 11th - A week later, though, Atma Brother ONE decided the Golden State D-Leaguers were ready to be promoted to the Golden State ALL-STARS after a 30-point drubbing over the Los Angeles Clippers.
- 27th - Anthony Tolliver had 19 points, 14 boards, five assists and a steal. He even hit 3-of-6 from 3-point range, single-handedly proving that I'm not an idiot when he remembered that he's not a terrible 3-point shooter. Things were looking up for the D-Leaguers.
- 28th - The Warriors called up Reggie Williams (!), a signing I had been touting for exactly two months. I then did the happy dance.
- 2nd - GSoM's R Dizzle wasn't impressed with Reggie Williams first D-League game.
- 8th - It took me EIGHT days before I started bragging about Reggie Williams. Still, I toldjya so.
- 18th - dj fuzzylogic is back on the D-League bandwagon after some D-League Destruction!
- 22nd - The Warriors signed Reggie Williams for the remainder of the season. Ho hum.
- 25th - Reggie Williams signed for the rest of next season. Hooah!
- 28th - Reggie Williams firmly makes dj fuzzlylogic a believer. Sad it took so long, but it happened.
- 29th - Don Nelson said nice things about Reggie Williams. I don't disagree with him.
- 1st - The Golden State Warriors announced a new alternate Golden State D-Leaguers' jersey for the 2010-2011 season. April Fools!
- 7th - Don Nelson won his NBA record 1,333rd game as a head coach, even though half of his roster was made up of D-League call-ups.
- 15th - The season ended with a victory and two D-Leaguers playing all 48 minutes. :-)
Coddamn, I'm going to miss this team.