The Golden State Warriors have enjoyed the best decade in franchise history, winning four NBA championships and adding two more Finals appearances as the league’s most recent dynastic team.
Like any historically successful period, the Warriors have been propelled by a handful of players who have left an indelible mark as franchise legends. The question now remains — how many is too many when it comes to fortifying their place in history.
How many present and recent players will be immortalized in history by having their jersey retired by the Golden State Warriors?
The conversation reignited on Friday when Draymond Green reposted an instagram story suggesting Kevon Looney was a guarantee to have his No. 5 jersey retired. Green responded with ‘facts’, despite Looney being just 27-years-old and eight years into his career.
The initial post compared Looney’s legacy to that of former Oklahoma City Thunder big man Nick Collison. After 14 seasons and over 900 games, Collison’s No. 4 jersey was retired by the franchise in 2019. He never made an All-Star team and averaged less than six points for his career, yet his impact was clearly profound and couldn’t simply be measured by individual accomplishments.
Looney could be one of six Warriors in the last decade to have his jersey eventually retired by the franchise. So, which players are assured of a spot in immortality, and which require a more prolonged conversation?
There are three locks — players who have already done enough to have their jersey retired even if they retired today. Stephen Curry is the greatest player in franchise history — the Warriors would retire No. 30 now if they could.
Long-time teammates Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are also no-brainers. Each having been integral pieces of the team’s four championships in nine seasons, while also accruing a plethora of individual awards.
Andre Iguodala must be the next one to tick off as the final player in the quartet of four-time champions. Add in the 2015 Finals MVP and the 39-year-old has a solidified place in Golden State history.
Kevin Durant is an interesting one — three years at the franchise is hardly noteworthy, but a two-time Finals MVP in championship seasons certainly is. He’s more likely than not, leaving Looney as the most debatable.
Looney’s on the path to having his jersey retired, but he’s hardly a guarantee based on what he’s done to date. The 6’9″ big man would probably have to end his career at the franchise, and another one or two championships wouldn’t hurt either.
Golden State currently have six jersey numbers retired — Wilt Chamberlain (13), Thomas Meschery (14), Al Attles (16), Chris Mullin (17), Rick Barry (24) and Nate Thurmond (42).