Folks, you have to be ready to make certain sacrifices and concessions in this life and we as Warrior fans have to make this one right now: This is a lost season. Not in the important senses, like letting kids embarass themselves against All Stars and letting Don Nelson coach a game with no pants. Those things can still happen. No digressions from the plan there. But we're not making the playoffs and we're not getting out of the lottery in the draft so it's time to start being honest with ourselves about what we're trying to do and how best do it.
How do I know we're lottery bound?
Boston, Cleveland, LA Lakers, New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio, Portland, Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Utah, Orlando, Atlanta, Detroit, Miami, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago, and probably at least 4 other teams that will finish above us in the standings. That's how I fucking know.
Health does not fix this problem, either. Number one, we won't get the only health that matters, Monta Ellis', until sometime in late January or early February at this rate. Number two, healthy Corey Maggette and healthy Stephen Jackson already played. They sucked. We knew they would suck. We were right. Rowell and the BOD were wrong. Again. But they're still rich and you're not. One of those fuckers pulled in $70 million+ just from his day job. And we hear whining from asshole richy riches about burning a few million this year to fix the damned team for the long haul, in the midst of record team revenue and "this wintry economic climate." Cognitive dissonance? No, none.
Blow me, Scrooge. Go fuck yourself.
But let's return to the Monta Ellis issue. Rumors about Raymond Felton leaked by jilted Warriors executives stuck trying to get calls returned by Michael Jordan as Larry Brown holds a gun to their head says one thing and one thing only:
Blazers at home, February 12th.
Sure, Monta might try to come back for the Dallas ESPN game on January 28th. I can see that. It's stupid as fuck, but we're the sort of sad sack franchise that would risk it. But it's far more likely that he'll make his season debut-
1. At home
2. Right before the All Star Break
Why right before the All Star Break? Simple. He won't be ready until February anyway and the Warriors close January on the road and open February with a nightmare schedule. Between January 28th and February 12th, the day before the All Star weekend kickoff, the Warriors play 9 games in 16 days. Nothing terrible there. But it's 3 in 4 nights on the road in Dallas, New Orleans, and Houston. Then it's literally a game every other night against: San Antonio, Phoenix, Phoenix, Utah, New York, Portland, all at home except the second Phoenix game.
The trade deadline is February 22nd and All Star weekend is February 13th-17th. Most teams only play 2 games between the All Star game and the trade deadline. The Warriors' ownership has to time this just right to unwrap Ellis, prime the STH suckerz for the dead weight purge, and still get enough games in with the new bits and the kids to suggest a pulse for 2009-10. The only logical way to get the fans pumped up, hold them off of meaningful return on ridiculous expectations, and build some goofy suspense while working the team out together convincingly after a free-for-all unveiling on the home court in a game that has natural appeal anyway, is to debut him Thursday, February 12th, at home against the big draw young Portland team, play up the future NBA angle, milk fans through another unbearable All Star weekend while drilling the team non-stop after sending Maggette and Jackson to Vegas to get loaded and laid, and unveil the young guns on national television Wednesday, February 18th, Lakers, at home.
There's just no point to doing it any sooner. He won't be ready, he'll have to run and work the whole time, and the team has no prayer of finding any sort of useful rhythym against those squads as they gear up to end the first half on a high note and make their playoff position runs full force coming out of the break. Those teams will already be assembled, prepped, and practiced. They'll be in top form. Bothering to run Ellis' bionic ankle out against that is just a waste of everyone's time. And Maggette and Jackson will just get in the way of everything regardless, so the less heinously counterproductive bullshit, the better.
That's why I say, we're waiting until February 12th to see Monta Ellis play a game.
If our ownership had a brain and a pair, they'd move the crappy vets now and stop pussyfooting around their large plate of crow. They blew it again, the national and local media is about to let them have it, and then everyone will forget them again. Make the damn move, axe the useless never-will-be's- Jackson and Maggette- and do so on only one rigid condition: total cap clearance of both contracts by Summer 2010. There is only one move that does it. Only one.
The fans already get that we're not going anywhere with Maggette OR Jackson. It happens just that fast. Still, you get the sense Ridder and Fitzgerald already have the "Warriors are getting healthy, it's a great time out again!" talk points memorized. Anything for a spare $100,000. Fuckers. I'll pay double for a ticket if I know it will never get put into Stephen Jackson or Corey Maggette or Don Nelson's pockets. Quote me. But I'm an "outlier."
The co-owners like the Cohan model, where they don't have to follow the team or even like basketball at all, par for the NBA course, they just have to collect their checks and stay on their side of the bay or in Washington or at the tax shelter or wherever it is these people suck their blood. But they ought to recognize that the gravy train is about to stop because they own an inexplicably terrible product, unless they can shed the dead weight immediately and simply stop lying to themselves and the fans about trying to "win now." If you were trying to just win now, you'd keep the only combo that won anything and you'd keep trying to win with it. Instead, they've steadily dismantled it via intelligent, perfectly defensible moves like moving Richardson and booting Davis, but they've filled those voids with even WORSE investments that are individually cheaper and boxscore equivalent but plain old retarded in all the important basketball/chemistry/longevity senses.
And now they're afraid of Jermaine O'Neal.
Whatever, they're going to lose money unless they void Monta and don't sign anyone or do something similar. Good luck dumping Maggette and Jackson. But at least they've admitted they're trying to. That's a good start, I suppose.
They should make the quick move they think is TOO quick and move on Jermaine O'Neal. He sucks, he may not opt out, and he should never even show up once we've got him. Despite all of this, Jermaine O'Neal is THE answer to the Warriors' problems.
Too bad the team doesn't have any vision in the front office.
The talk points are already making the rounds.