During the Golden State Warriors playoff series against the Utah Jazz the team has decided to honor the “We Believe” Warriors from 2007. This team snuck into the playoffs and had one of the biggest upsets in sports history as they knocked off the number 1 seeded Dallas Mavericks in six games. The team has since been forgotten by many NBA fans, but we at Hoops Nation have decided to remind everyone of the craziness that was the 2007 Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors honored the 2007 “We Believe” during Game 1 against the Jazz and it was LOUD pic.twitter.com/AxMgHQ7eKQ
— KNBR (@KNBR) May 3, 2017
A long time ago, before Steph Curry was a two-time MVP, before 73-9, and before the ring, Golden State were one of the worst teams in the NBA. This wasn’t just a period, but more so a decade-long span of horrible basketball. The Warriors weren’t exactly a laughing stock, but they were definitely a forgettable team. ‘Do you want to watch the Warriors game tonight?’ was not a sentence uttered very much between 1994-2006.
The team at that point was best known for Run TMC, a three-year period in which Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, and Tim Hardaway, led by Don Nelson, created one of the greatest offenses in NBA history. They then traded future Hall of Famer Richmond for Billy Owens. The franchise ripped everything down in the 90s, letting stars Mullin, Hardaway, Chris Webber, and Latrell Spreewell go. The Warriors became just another bad team with bad management.
That all changed in 2006. After rehiring Nelson as their coach, Golden State re-invented their team. After drafting Jason Richardson and trading for Baron Davis, the team added Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, and Matt Barnes. The Warriors ended a 13-year playoff drought that season and finally entered the promise land of the postseason. Their reward; playing the number one seeded Dallas and MVP Dirk Nowitzki. The Warriors had success against the Mavs in the regular season, sweeping them 4-0. The Warriors struck first, stunning the Mavericks at home with the help of Davis’ 33 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists. The series was spilt 1-1 when the Warriors came home, and, using their small ball lineups, the Warriors took both games at home and introduced America to the ruckus of the Oracle Arena.
The Warriors would win the series becoming the first 8th seed to ever win a playoff series in a best-of-7 set. While the series ended 4-2, the Dubs ran circles around the Mavericks using their quick and versatile guards. The team would then move on the Utah, where they subsequently lost to a talented Jazz side, but not before giving NBA fans the greatest playoff dunk ever:
After the playoff run, the Dubs looked primed to become one of the best offenses in the entire league.
Needless to say, this wasn’t the case. They traded Jason Richardson and Jackson while letting Davis cash in with the LA Clippers. The Warriors fell back to the dumpster of the NBA.
While the team only lasted a few seasons, it had a huge impact on basketball. Coach Nelson ran a small ball lineup to perfection. He spread the floor full of shooters and created one of the most dynamic offenses in the NBA. Monta Ellis, Richardson, Barnes, and Harrington were all undersized at their position but were still used effectively. Nelson’s chaotic lineup choices dismantled the Mavericks, providing the blueprint for many offenses used today.
While many Warriors fan are more than happy with how things turned out after the team, the ‘We Believe’ Warriors still deserve recognition as one of the most underrated teams in history.