Warriors Win NBA’s Most Screwed Up Team Award

A team of headcases. Every league has to have one. Where the players’ antics are bound to grab the front pages as often as the back. Where the front office competes with the players to see who respects the coach less. Where every fan of a losing team can look, and say, “at least I’m not a fan of those guys.” But with Isiah Thomas gone and the Knicks actually looking like they have a plan, who inherits the title of the NBA’s problem child?

Don Nelson

(This is how Don Nelson looks when he wakes up every morning.)

Quietly, but surely, the ridiculousness has been mounting in the Bay Area. The Golden State Warriors are an absolute train wreck right now, with the team making up injury reports, threatening their own players to opt out of contracts, and at least four players missing tonight’s game with dubious — or no — excuses.  Click to after the jump to find out why, as bad as your squad might have it, at least you’re not a Warriors fan.

It starts with Monta Ellis, whose offseason Moped accident apparently set a good tone. He’s missed the last two weeks, with what the team called stiffness in his ankle. Problem is they forgot to tell Ellis that his ankle hurt.

“My mom was sick. That’s why I took the time off,” said Ellis, who has missed the last seven games. “It had nothing to do with my ankle.”

Then there’s Jamal Crawford, for whom the Warriors gave up a legitimate presence in Al Harrington. Three months later, Crawford isn’t “in the team’s long-term backcourt plans.” Last week, coach Don Nelson threatened Crawford that if he didn’t opt out of his contract this summer, they’ll be trading him somewhere he doesn’t want to go.

Marcus Williams
was brought in last season by GM Chris Mullin, who finds himself on the outs with the front office. Williams has played a grand total of 54 minutes this year, and not because of any injury. He and his $1.2 million salary have been riding the pine. He’s also being bought out.

Is it any wonder no one wants to play for this team? Besides those three, the Warriors are down a few more men this week. Andris Biedrins has been gone with family issues and Brandan Wright with a nagging injury, but two others haven’t even bothered to come up with excuses. Corey Maggette was given the day off for “personal reasons,” and Ronny Turiaf will miss tonight’s game with what the team termed “travel complications.” I term that “bulls**t.”

Don Nelson’s a legend. He doesn’t need to put up with this. But when every individual on a team has their own agenda, and players and management aren’t even bothering to get their stories straight when they talk to the media, that speaks to the leadership. Or lack thereof.

But we need the Warriors right now. In these depressing times, 29 other fanbases need the reassurance that things could always be worse.