Less than two months after the final game there by the team that made it famous, Oracle Arena went to sleep for good. The bright red signage was removed, one letter at a time, on Thursday. There was no ceremony.
But because the building known by many as “Roaracle” provided 13 years of Warriors hoops (2006-2019), it is proper to review the high highs and low lows under the Oracle banner.
In keeping with life span of Oracle Arena and the traditional size of an active NBA roster, we are moved to select 13 Warriors on the All-Oracle team – with random additional honors/dishonors to follow:
Andris Biedrins: Call him “Goose” or “Beans,” or any of his various nicknames, but he had a solid three seasons (2007-09), averaging a double-double (10.5 points, 10.0 rebounds), with at least 15 rebounds in 42 games, at least 15 points in 50 games and shooting 62 percent from the field. Among his career highs: 31 points, 26 rebounds and seven blocks. Sadly, he peaked at 22.
Andrew Bogut: Though acquiring him in March 2012 was unpopular because Monta Ellis was sacrificed, Bogut’s arrival was one of several key moves lifting the franchise from NBA swampland. He played four full seasons, all of which resulted in playoff appearances. His defensive mentality changed attitudes – and was a factor in his return for the Oracle finale.
Matt Barnes: He brought a team-first approach and a fire sorely needed by a club that had spent 12 years fumbling in the dark. He also provided a legit 3-point threat. His association with the “We Believe” Warriors in Year 1 of Oracle ensures eternal popularity in the Bay Area. He returned in 2017 as a role player and earned a ring. He’s the only player to span both eras.
Kevin Durant: No one brought a bigger spotlight to the team, as his signing in July 2016 took the franchise to an unprecedented level of recognition. He brought another dimension to a great team, making the Warriors the odds-on title favorite in each of his three seasons. With two Finals MVP awards, KD had a very productive layover on his way to the Hall of Fame.
Draymond Green: It can reasonably be argued that the Warriors, without him, would not have a single championship. The three-time All-Star and 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year sets the defense, sets the intensity, sets the overall temperature and galvanizes the offense. He’s not the team’s best player, but no one may be more essential to its winning recipe.
Andre Iguodala: Although he was a starter for only one of his six seasons as a Warrior, this was an easy call. Iguodala is equal parts savvy defender, effective offensive player and locker-room sage. His acceptance of a Sixth Man role was another key move for the franchise. His 2015 Finals MVP award recognized his impact. Don’t measure his stats. Simply spell them w-i-n-n-e-r.
Stephen Jackson: The Draymond of the “We Believe” team. Pugnacious, embracing peril and unaffected by pressure, Jack’s vaporization of the great Dirk Nowitzki in the 2007 playoffs was astonishing – and absolutely necessary for the underdog Warriors to have a chance against the No. 1 seed. (He also was clever enough to con a fat contract out of former executive Bob Rowell.)
David Lee: Don’t be surprised — he snapped a 16-year streak of the Warriors not being represented at the All-Star Gane. D-Lee was never going to play a key role on a championship team; his defense was much too leaky. But he was a key scorer for a rising team. His penchant for double-doubles – and fondness of counting them – was ridiculed but indicative of production.
Baron Davis: Former general manager Chris Mullin’s February 2005 theft of BD from Charlotte was the kind of coup that always escaped previous GMs. The Warriors added an impact player with the credibility to lead. If only he could stay healthy. He mostly did. There is no better snapshot of Oracle at its best than his demolition dunk of Andrei Kirilenko in the ’07 playoffs.
Stephen Curry: No one has stronger credentials. This 21st-century hoops revolutionary changed the dynamics of the game. Six-time All-Star and two-time MVP – the only unanimous MVP is league history. Any questions? Didn’t think so.
Monta Ellis: The Warriors don’t have much history with drafting players out of high school, but Ellis was the gamble that paid off. A second-round pick, his combination of quicks and creativity from inside 15 feet were sheer artistry. At his worst, Monta was a headache for his teammates. At his best, he was a quarter-rung below All-Star level and a nightmare for opponents.
Jason Richardson: All those seasons without an All-Star were somewhat interrupted by the exploits of J-Rich in 2001 and 2002, as he won the Slam Dunk contest during both of those All-Star Weekends. He wasn’t a bad player, either, averaging 18.3 points per game as a Warrior. He’s No. 3 on the team’s all-time list of 3-pointers made.
Klay Thompson: Five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA, he has spent most of his eight-year career as conceivably the league’s best two-way guard. Nobody scores faster than Klay when he’s on one of his trademark binges. And, oh yeah, he also holds NBA records for most points in a quarter (37), most points in less than 30 minutes (60) and most triples in a game (14).
13 RANDOM CATEGORIES
Two-way contracts go to: Jamal Crawford and Jarrett Jack, quality men and terrific teammates.
Best moment: At the buzzer, Game 5 2017 NBA Finals. The only Warriors championship won in Oakland.
Most dichotomous moment: Prince sitting courtside next to CEO Joe Lacob in March 2016.
Best rookie: Harrison Barnes (2012-13). He slid rather seamlessly into the starting lineup of a team that won 47 games was pulled an upset in the first round of the playoffs.
Most exciting player not on the All-Oracle roster: Nate Robinson (2011-12). A fearless 5-foot-7 highlight factory.
Best irrelevant season: Brandon Rush (2011-12). Dude played wicked defense, shot 50.1 percent from the field, and his 45.2 percent from deep tops any single season by either Mullin or Thompson.
Questions without answers: How good might Kelenna Azubuike (2007-10) have been had he not wrecked his left knee? How good might Festus Ezeli (2012-16) have been had both knees not been cursed?
Quickest trigger off the bench: Jordan Crawford (2014), who jacked 16 shots in 19 minutes in a game against the Kings.
Oversized cult figure: JaVale McGee (2016-17). He was a part-time player whose ability to catch and dunk lobs brought crazy levels of joy from Oracle crowds.
Oversized cult figure II: Marreese Speights (2013-16). There was something charming about a 6-foot-10, 260-pound man grinning while dropping bombs from beyond the arc. Oracle loved it.
Biggest tease: Anthony Randolph (2008-10), because he was vastly superior to Patrick O’Bryant (2006-08).
Kindest odd gesture: Don Nelson inviting a gimpy Chris Webber, a one-time arch enemy, to finish his career as a Warrior with nine games in 2007-08.
Saddest moment: At the buzzer, Game 6 of the 2019 Finals, series-ending loss to the Raptors that brought down the curtain at Oracle.
Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors’ All-Oracle Arena team originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area