The last time the Warriors were in the playoffs, their starting lineup consisted of Latrell Sprewell, Chris Webber, Chris Mullin, Avery Johnson (ironic) and the irreplaceable Billy Owens. Which one of these is unlike the other?
The Ray Jackson of the 1993-94 Warriors, Owens was the 3rd overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 1991 Draft. However, the former Syracuse Orangeman did not fancy Sacramento and refused to play for the Kings.
In typical Warriors fashion, the Golden State front office saw this situation: a prima donna college player with character issues, no outside shot, weight problems, lack of discipline and “space-cadet” status. Plus, Owens refused to play for the Kings, thus lowering his trade value to absolute nil. So what did the W’s do? Hey, let’s give them a future Hall-of-Famer!
So the beloved Run TMC was disbanded as Mitch Richmond was sent packing to Sac-Town, where he averaged over 20 ppg for the next 10 years or so. Meanwhile, Owens averaged 11.7 points per game for his career, establishing himself as one of the biggest draft busts of all time in his various NBA stops (Miami, Sacramento, Seattle, Philly, another Warriors stint and finally Detroit). He “retired” after the 2001 season. He was recently named to the Syracuse All-Century Team. He was not named to the Warriors All-Century Team.