Four years ago the Golden State Warriors, the No. 8-seeded team in the 2007 NBA playoffs, shocked the basketball world when it upset heavily favored and No. 1-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
Led offensively by the explosive trio of Baron Davis, Jason Richardson and Stephen Jackson, the 2007 Warriors embraced the “We Believe” mantra and treated the fanatic Bay Area faithful with a playoff performance for the ages. Davis, Richardson and Jackson never saw a 3-point shot they didn’t like, and that fearless attitude spread like wildfire on the entire roster. Also on that underdog team were the well-traveled Al Harrington and Matt Barnes, and two young players in second-year guard Monta Ellis and third-year center Andris Biedrins.
The architect of the “We Believe” Warriors was Don Nelson, the “Mad Scientist” who was known for his free-wheeling offense and wacky game plans. Nelson had a leg up on the Mavericks because he knows their personnel very well, having drafted the core of the ’07 Dallas team.
Golden State won the season series against Dallas during 2006-07, and that template fueled the Warriors to the biggest playoff upset since the 1994 Denver Nuggets shocked the Seattle SuperSonics.
Bay Area sports fans have not been excited about its Warriors since ’07, a magical moment frozen in time it seems in the minds of Warriors fans. There is real optimism this upcoming season – once the lockout ends – because the new-school Warriors have the pieces to push for a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, at the San Jose Event Center the “We Believe” 2007 Warriors will play in an exhibition game against the current crop of Warriors, featuring young “Dubs” Stephen Curry, David Lee and Dorell Wright and one holdover from the 2007 squad – Ellis. The game tips off at 6:30 p.m. PST.
Scheduled to participate in the exhibition game and play for the “We Believe” Warriors are Richardson, Harrington and Bay Area native Barnes, the game’s host. A few former Warriors who weren’t on the 2007 team (Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Anthony Morrow and C.J. Watson) are also tentatively on the program.
Jackson and Davis, the two leaders of the ’07 squad, are not scheduled to appear, although there is still a chance that Davis could make a surprise appearance.
“With the lockout, we’re all thirsty to do something,” Barnes told the San Francisco Examiner. “I got the idea from a friend of mine who’s a promoter in the Bay Area. He approached me about doing an old vs. new Warriors game, and then I thought how it’d be cool to do it with 2007 team. That team is pretty legendary.”
A portion of the proceeds will go to Matt Barnes’ Athletes vs. Cancer Foundation.