Right after Chris Mullin fired Mike Montgomery
to hire his former coach, Don Nelson, to coach the Golden State Warriors, he should have walked to the closest mirror and told his reflection that he was fired as well since he has as much to do with the sorry state of the Golden State Warriors as does the coach who should have stayed at Stanford. But of course front-office personnel would always rather fire coaches and trade away players than face the truth, which is they really have no idea how to put together a roster that will win games.
Mullin became the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations in April 2004 and since then he has made mistake after mistake after mistake and everyone wants to blame the coach instead. Mullin's first mistake was the signing of Adonal Foyle to a 6-year/$51.2 million contract, when no one was really trying to outbid him.
Foyle has been a worthless player for seven of his nine seasons, not playing defense or offense particularly well. His best season was, you guessed it, his walk year and that is also the only year he played a full 82-game season. He played reasonably well in 2005, but even then his player winning percentage was only .635 and he had little impact on games.
Mullin's second error in judgment was two of the three players he has chosen to build the Warriors around: Jason Richardson and Mike Dunleavy. For all of Richardson's athletic ability, if he is the star of your team, then your team will never be very good. He has improved his offensive rating over the past three years, but even at its apex, it is still barely above the league average. Instead of taking smart shots, Richardson instead elects to shoot a lot, using most of the Warriors' possessions, to score his points, efficiency be damned. Defense will probably never be something he is interested in playing either.
Dunleavy was an excellent college player, but he is not in college anymore and he is not particularly good. His play will cause the team to lose as many games as it wins, something he has in common with his teammate, Jason Richardson.
Trading for Baron Davis at the 2005 deadline did little to help the Warriors much either. Davis is an oft-injured malcontent, whose best year came at the age of 21 in 2001 five years ago, and who when healthy is not worth his playing time. He has been even worse than Richardson in dominating the ball and has an equal offensive rating. In keeping with the common theme, no team with Davis as one of its main stars will ever be good.
The signing of Derek Fisher from the Los Angeles Lakers is another headscratcher because Fisher's best attribute is his ability to knock down 3-pointers after the opponent double teams the center and he is not even that consistent at doing that. The Warriors have no big men any team feels the need to double so Fisher is hamstrung as a player. He is a sure ballhandler, at least even if he is not very productive.
In order to not be all doom and gloom about Chris Mullin's tenure, he has done two good things since he was hired. He locked up Troy Murphy long time and he drafted Ike Diogu. And that is about it. But it's always the coach's fault.