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RIP: Nate Thurmond

It was announced today by the Golden State Warriors that their former Center, Nate Thurmond died at the age of 74 after a bout with leukemia.

Thurmond, a member of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list, played collegiately at Bowling Green before being drafted third overall in 1963 by the Warriors.   Thurmond was an All Star by his sophomore season and made the mid-season festivity seven times.  Thurmond was not known for his offense, a little surprising considering he exceeded 20 Points per Game per season.  Rather, he was known for his rebounding prowess finishing in the top five in boards per game six times.

Thurmond would be traded to the Chicago Bulls however thirteen games later he would be moved to the Cleveland Cavaliers, close to his hometown of Akron, Ohio.  The big man was a vital part of the Cavs miracle run to the Eastern Championship.

His number would be retired by both the Warriors and the Cavaliers.

We here at would like to extend our condolences to the friends and family of Nate Thurmond at this time. 

Tim Hardaway and the Golden State Warriors Retired Numbers

Normally we don’t talk about retired numbers until it become official, but we will touch on this story as some more meat on the bone has been added.

Following the moves of Kevin Durant to Brooklyn and Andre Iguodala to Memphis, the Golden State Warriors announced that sometime in the future that they would retire their numbers.  Both were vital to the recent championships for the franchise so it is not unexpected, though this announcement does seem early.

When asked about this, former Warriors star, Tim Hardaway said that his friends had the following to say in an interview to SF Gate:  

I'm laughing because as soon as they said Kevin Durant's number's gonna get retired, here they go, he said, 'Man that's some BS.  How they gonna retire his number and he only played there for three years and you played there for six years, and you giving them all the sweat and tears and everything like that and they're not gonna retire your number.'"

But, you know they deserve it, you know they won championships, man. They won championships, they was there, not to say I shouldn't be up there, but you know I can feel what Joe Lacob is saying and he wanna bring them joy and show them gratitude for what they did for the city.”

In the interview, Hardaway wanted to make it clear that it was the opinions of his friends and not of himself.

Hardaway was a member of the famous RUN-TMC trio with Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond.  Mullin’s number has been retired, but he is also in the Basketball Hall of Fame.  As of this writing, Hardaway and Richmond are not.

At present, Golden State had retired six numbers: Wilt Chamberlain (#13), Tom Meschery (#14), Alvin Attles (#16), Chris Mullin (#17), Rick Barry (#24) and Nate Thurmond (#42).

We will definitely be paying attention to this one!

8. Tim Hardaway

Tim Hardaway was the catalyst of the famed Run TMC (with Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond) for the Golden State Warriors that took the NBA by storm in the early 90s.  Hardaway was a point guard who set the running style of the Warriors in motion.  When traded to Miami in 96, Hardaway teamed with Alonzo Mourning to make the Heat title contenders.  Hardaway was also a great perimeter shooter who opponents could not leave open and he became the undisputed master of the crossover dribble with his mad dashes to the basket.  A 5 time All-Star and 5 time All NBA performer, Hardaway definitely has the credentials statistically with over 15,000 points and 7,000 assists.  Best remembered for his ability to get to the hoop and then dish, Hardaway is one of the best pure point guards in league history and arguably the best at his position not in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

53. Bill Bridges

Bridges was an undersized power forward who had a long lasting career in the NBA due to his abilities to play defense and especially to rebound. Currently in the top 30 in all time rebounds in league history, Bridges made 3 all-star teams and averaged 11.9 points and rebounds throughout a very consistent career. He won his only title in 1975 with the Warriors and then did something that not many have had a chance to do. He retired as a champion.

88. Latrell Sprewell

Probably better known for his antics off the court (choking a coach and his complete inability to manage his finances), Latrell Sprewell was a very good basketball player in his prime. A very good two way player, the Shooting Guard constantly improved during his tenure in Golden State, which was until the famed incident with P.J. Carlesimo. He did rebound in New York and made his fourth All Star game, but degenerated upon arriving to Milwaukee and returned to being a pariah to the fans. Had Latrell Sprewell ever lived up to his full potential he may have been a fringe candidate for the Hall, but the odds of them touching ‘Spree’ seems distant right now.

#5. Steph Curry: Golden State Warriors

Steph Curry has two MVPs and three NBA Championships, and we can say that he is a Hall of Famer now as nobody who has done that has been kept out of Springfield.  The interesting thing now will be to see how well Curry and the Warriors perform in a season where they are not expected to win the West, while also coming off an injury-plagued year.  Previous Rank: #5.

#26. Draymond Green: Golden State Warriors

Already a three-time NBA Champion, Draymond Green's key to the Hall of Fame will be his defensive acumen.  He is already a former Defensive Player of the Year and has been named to three First Team and two Second Team All-Defensive rosters.  Green’s Elite Period numbers rose slightly last year, but he needs a more significant statistical year to get into the Hall of Fame hunt.  Previous Rank: #25.

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