12 Players who turned their back on the Golden State Warriors

Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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7. Micheal Ray Richardson

Unfortunately for the Warriors, their experience with John Lucas was not the only one where addiction shattered a relationship with a player. A few years after they let Lucas walk, the Warriors acquired Montana guard Micheal Ray Richardson, a three-time All-Star the New York Knicks had drafted with the fourth pick of the 1978 NBA Draft.

The Warriors traded inconsistent forward Bernard King to the Knicks in exchange for Richardson, who at 27 years old was right in the prime of his career. He had some dynamic games for the Warriors early that year, showing off his scoring prowess and his passing chops, but would ultimately play just 33 game for the franchise before they traded him that same season.

Why did the Warriors move him so quickly? The answer is cocaine. First introduced to it in 1978, Richardson struggled with his addiction in secret. He managed to find on-court success early in his career despite his double life, but it caught up to him in Golden State. He reportedly missed an East Coast road trip with the team because "he owed money back East, and there were people looking for him."

Richardson eventually received a lifetime ban from the NBA, administered by NBA commissioner David Stern for three violations of the league's drug policy. His time in Golden State was brief but depressing, made all the more painful when Bernard King exploded into an All-NBA player for the Knicks.