Best fantasy dynasty: Ewing x Run TMC or Sprewell/Webber?

UPDATE II: Bondy replied on Twitter and said indeed the Ewing contract situation occurred in the summer of 1991. Richmond got traded in November 1991.

UPDATE: Is the timing off on this one? I’ll keep you posted if anything else pops up, as I tagged the writer…

I’ve long held the belief that the best Golden State Warriors starting five to never have actually taken the court was when Chris Webber left after the team was all ready for him to assume the power forward position with Rony Seikaly at center, in the midst of winning the first five games of the 1994-95 season. This with returning All-Star Latrell Sprewell and Chris Mullin in his eleventh year, still scoring double-digits per game. But Webber exited stage left and it all bottomed out.

Maybe if Tim Hardaway hadn’t torn his ACL the year before, the Warriors wouldn’t have had to face the Charles Barkley-led Phoenix Suns and could’ve made more of a dent in the playoffs. Maybe Webber might’ve stayed and the Dubs could’ve had epic playoff battles against the-then-champion Houston Rockets (plus avoided Michael Jordan during his first retirement). We’ll never know, but it’s fun to ponder something that was so close to reality.

But now there’s a new fantasy Warriors dream team, and you would’ve never guessed had it not been for this post’s headline and picture: Patrick Ewing on Run TMC!?!

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News recently interviewed the New York Knicks’ general manager at the time, David Checketts. It seems the Warriors’ owner at the time, Jim Fitzgerald, and team president Dan Finnane were conspiring with Mullin‘s agent Bill Pollak and Ewing’s agent David Falk (also Jordan’s agent, of course) to utilize a loophole in Ewing’s contract that would force him to become a free agent.

And according to the interview, Ewing ”desired a relocation to Golden State”. That’s just not something we heard back in the day. Here’s the excerpt with Bondy explaining it all, but man, if Pollak hadn’t spilled the beans or didn’t happen to also be Charles Oakley’s agent… crazy!

Because of a unique contractual clause, New York’s center would become a free agent if he wasn’t among the NBA’s top-4 highest-paid players for the 1991-92 season. Ewing’s deal left him at No. 4 in salary, behind only Cleveland’s John Williams, Houston’s Hakeem OIajuwon and Chicago’s Michael Jordan.

Mullin’s salary was ranked fifth, but a restructured deal would push Ewing into free agency.

According to Checketts, Ewing desired a relocation to Golden State and his power agent, David Falk, was pulling the strings. Mullin agreed to participate but was apprehensive.

“Pollak was basically saying, ‘Look, Mullin is from New York, he doesn’t want to cooperate, he doesn’t want to be the reason Ewing gets to leave New York,” Checketts said in an interview with the Daily News. “But he’s in this tremendous conflict situation. Because if he makes it happen and you have Mullin, Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Patrick Ewing on the Warriors — they’re winning a bunch of titles.”

The deal never went through because Checketts threatened to sue Finnane for “contractual interference” and it would have resulted in “bad faith” among the NBA and its other owners.

Now, I generally despise doing what-ifs and comparing dynasties and the like. But this one seems innocent enough, as they’re make-believe teams, at the end of the day. Nobody gets thrown under the bus in the process, really.

I’m still taking my Sprewell/Webber squad (with Hardaway, Mullin and Seikaly), only because I had access to season tickets that year. Loved Mitch Richmond, though. That’s a tough one because Sprewell was a helluva baller, too (and him choking PJ Carlesimo probably never happens in that alternate universe).

One of you should also suggest who the squad would have been, had the Kevin Garnett deal gone through — comment below. I’m too tired looking up the rosters for that one. So… who ya got?