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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5. Rick Barry

It may seem wrong for a franchise icon like Rick Barry to show up on a list like this. Any list of the greatest players in franchise history often has Barry and Wilt Chamberlain jostling for position just under Stephen Curry.

Yet the reality is that Barry, for all of his success with the Warriors, left the franchise not once but two different times over the course of his playing career.

The Warriors drafted Barry with the fourth overall pick of the 1965 Draft and he was immediately one of the best players in the NBA. He made the All-NBA First Team as a rookie, then finished fifth in MVP voting in his second season while leading the league in scoring at 35.6 points per game and propelling the Warriors to the NBA Finals.

Things broke at that point. Barry accused the Warriors' owner of not paying him money he had earned, and ended up leaving to join the Oakland Oaks of the ABA, engaging in a stiff legal battle for the right to do so. He sat out the following season, then proceeded to dominate the ABA for the next few seasons.

When Barry returned to the NBA he was forced to play for the Warriors due to his previous contract, so Barry rejoined Golden State and would lead the team to the NBA Finals in 1975 and bring home the franchise's first championship since it moved to California.

Barry's relationship with the Warriors was never copacetic, and he continued to clash with teammates and management. He left the team for good in 1978, joining the Houston Rockets and setting records for assists and free-throw percentage. What could have been with Barry and the Warriors was never fully realized.