The Golden State Warriors are one of three franchises remaining from the founding of the Basketball Association of America in 1946. Who are their 25 best?
The Golden State Warriors are one of three active NBA teams that trace its lineage to the founding of the Basketball Association of America in 1946, but unlike the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, the Warriors didn’t remain in their original location.
The Philadelphia Warriors were begun by minor-league hockey club owner Peter Tyrrell and the franchise spent its first 16 seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, playing its home games at the Philadelphia Arena throughout its stay, while also playing in the newer Philadelphia Convention Center at times from 1952-62.
Eddie Gottlieb, the team’s first coach and general manager, purchased the team from Tyrrell in 1952 until he sold it to a group of Bay Area investors led by Franklin Mieuli, who moved the team to San Francisco in 1962.
The San Francisco Warriors played … just about everywhere.
They were at the Cow Palace for their first two seasons, spent two seasons playing at both the San Francisco Civic Auditorium (now known as the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium) and Memorial Gym on the campus of the University of San Francisco before returning to the Cow Palace in 1966.
In 1971, the Warriors moved across the bay to the Oakland Coliseum Arena (now known as Oracle Arena) and were renamed the Golden State Warriors.
That’s been their home since, except for the 1996-97 season, when they played at the San Jose Arena while Oakland Coliseum Arena was being renovated and rechristened The Arena in Oakland.
The Warriors have won four titles, two each in Philadelphia and Golden State. The Warriors won the initial BAA championship in 1947, defeating the Chicago Stags in six games and took down the Fort Wayne Pistons in five games to win the NBA title in 1956.
Golden State swept the favored Washington Bullets to capture the championship in 1975, but it would be a 40-year wait to get back to the Finals. The Warriors topped the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games to win the 2015 NBA title.
Philadelphia lost in the Finals to the Baltimore Bullets in 1948, while the San Francisco version of the Warriors lost to the Celtics in 1964 and to the Philadelphia 76ers in 1967.
In 2015-16, however, the Golden State edition of the Warriors learned that history is a fickle mistress.
After going 68 seasons without a 60-win season, Golden State upped the ante last season with an NBA-record 73-9 regular season.
But as Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus told Keanu Reeves’ Neo in The Matrix, “Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.”
This record-setting unit ended its season making the wrong kind of history, becoming the first team in NBA Finals history to lose after taking a 3-1 lead.
The franchise is 2,590-2,884 in its 70 seasons, with its .473 winning percentage ranking 20th among the 30 active teams in the NBA.
The club has made 32 playoff appearances in 70 years and has topped the 60-win plateau twice–the last two seasons.
There have been seven 60-loss seasons, but the worst winning percentage came in 1952-53, when Philadelphia finished 12-57 (.174).
The record for most losses in a season came in 2000-01 when the Warriors were 17-65. The team was 17-63 in 1964-65, 19-63 in 1997-98 and 1999-2000, 20-62 in 1987-88, 21-61 in 2001-02 and 22-60 in 1984-85.
The six consecutive playoff appearances the Warriors had in Philadelphia at the start of the franchise remains the longest such streak in team history.
But Golden State had a stretch of 12 straight seasons, 1994-95 through 2005-06, without seeing the postseason.
Gottlieb served the longest as general manager, from the franchise’s inception in 1946 to August 1963. Bob Feerick had the position from August 1963 to June 1974, Al Attles was GM from June 1976 to May 1986 and Don Nelson served from December 1987 to February 1995.
Current GM Bob Myers has been in his post since April 2012.
The Warriors have had two Executive of the Year winners, Dick Vertlieb in 1974-75 and Myers in 2014-15.
Attles is the franchise’s winningest coach, going 557-518 in the regular season and 31-30 in the playoffs from 1970-83. Nelson was 422-443 and 14-21 in two stints, 1988-95 and 2006-10. Gottlieb went 263-318 and 15-17 from 1946-55.
Current coach Steve Kerr was hired in May 2014 and is 140-24 in the regular season and 31-14 in the postseason, becoming the third Warrior coach to be named Coach of the Year in 2015-16.
Blue Man Hoop
Alex Hannum was named in 1963-64 and Nelson won the honor in 1991-92.
The Warriors have had the No. 1 pick three times in their history, once in the lottery era.
They have picked second once, third six times and fifth six times. The Warriors have never had the No. 4 overall selection.
Here are the 25 best players in the history of the Philadelphia/San Francisco/Golden State Warriors. Players had to have appeared in 150 games and averaged a minimum of 20 minutes per game for the team to qualify for this list.
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