Golden State Warriors fans love to reminisce about the good ol' days. And when we mean the good ol' days, we mean the 16 years of now former president Robert Rowell.
Rowell was let go today in what the Warriors are calling a mutual parting of way.
It's obviously unfair to classify all the moves as Rowell's, since he mostly worked under former owner Chris Cohan and he only gained major power in the past decade. In addition, other executives perhaps had more power in the organization for certain periods of time like former coach and GM Garry St. Jean.
However, Rowell was an important part of the decision making process and deserves some credit for the Warriors problems during this time.
1. Not drafting Kobe Bryant
Do you remember who the Warriors drafted in 1996? Together with Garry St. Jean and Dave Twardzik, the Warriors made one of the biggest mistakes in the team's draft history.
Todd Fuller was selected 11th by the Warriors while Kobe Bryant still on the board. Bryant was drafted 13th by the Charlotte Hornets who immediately traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers and the rest is history.
2. Hiring 7 straight coaches who lasted 3 seasons or less
Starting in 1995, the list includes Rick Adelman, P.J. Carlesimo, Garry St. Jean, Dave Cowens, Brian Winters, Eric Musselman, and Mike Montgomery. None of these coaches took the Warriors to the NBA playoffs.
3. Letting Gilbert Arenas get away
Unwilling to guarantee Arenas a long term contract, Rowell and Cohan allowed Arenas to get away. Interestingly, several years later, the Warriors reportedly offered Arenas and Elton Brand max contracts after Baron Davis left.
4. Letting Baron Davis get away
Unwilling to guarantee Davis a longer contract, Rowell and Cohan allowed Davis to get away. Davis had just taken the Warriors to the playoffs in 2007 and the next year to the cusp of the playoffs with a winning season. The departure of Davis started a downturn for the Warriors and the team completely lost the momentum it had developed.
5. Trading Jason Richardson
Jason Richardson was a fan favorite and an essential part of the Warrior's 2007 playoff run. Soon after the We Believe season, Richardson was traded on draft night for the right to pick another draft bust in Brandon Wright.
6. Signing large contracts to bad players
Among the bad contracts that Rowell signed include Corey Magette's five year $50 million deal and Stephen Jackson's three year $27.8 million deal. Both players were eventually traded before their contracts ended.
7. Failed high draft picks like Joe Smith, Mike Dunleavy and Adonal Foyle
Joe Smith, perhaps the biggest number one pick bust in draft history, went to the Warriors while four straight All Stars went next in Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, and Kevin Garnett.
Mike Dunleavy was drafted number 3 overall by the Warriors in 2002 with players like Amare Stoudemire and Caron Butler still on the board. Adonal Foyle was drafted number 8 by the Warriors in 1997, while Tracy McGrady went one pick later.
8. Keeping Don Nelson on too long
By 2009, Don Nelson's time had run out. The magic of his We Believe 2006-2007 season was gone along with most of the players. The Warriors needed to rebuild, yet Rowell signed Nelson to a two-year extension.
9. Letting go of Chris Mullin
Former beloved player Chris Mullin had made some marvelous moves during his tenure as VP of basketball operations. His 2007 trade of Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. and Ike Diogu to the Indiana Pacers of Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson sparked the We Believe season. Mullin's contract was not renewed in 2009, reportedly due to tension with Rowell in the front office.
10. Letrell Sprewell chokes his coach P.J. Carlesimo
OK, this really isn't Rowell's fault and Sprewell deserves all the blame. But it was pretty bad and it happened under Rowell's tenure. Sprewell was suspended for the rest of the season and then traded to the New York Knicks.
Did we miss anything? What are your thoughts, now that Robert Rowell is gone? Post them in the comments below.