Can someone explain to me why we’re bringing back Dwight Howard and not Derrick Favors?

Expand full comment

Only Tom Meschery (#14) days left until training camp! Back to numbers up in the rafters, Tom's 14 was retired by the Warriors on October 13, 1967, and was featured as part of the team logo from 1971 until 1974 (https://www.toddradom.com/blog/2020/12/17/a-retired-number-tribute-like-no-other-golden-state-warriors).

Tom's family had fled the Russian revolution in 1917 and moved to China, where Tom was born as Tomislav Nikolayevich Meshcheryakov (Томислав Николаевич Мещеряков). During WWII they were moved to an internment camp near Tokyo for 4 years, and they emigrated to San Francisco after the war. His father changed the family name to Meschery during the red scare in the fifties.

Tom played at Lowell High, a regional powerhouse at the time, and then at St. Mary's, helping them get to the elite 8. He was drafted by Philadelphia as the #7 pick, and they moved the team to San Francisco after his rookie season so he got to come back home. He made the all-star game in 1963, and was the first foreign born player to do so. He helped the Warriors reach the finals in 1967, but then was picked by the SuperSonics in the expansion draft. Tom finished his career after 4 years in Seattle.

Here is some footage of that finals match-up, with Tom and a young Rick Barry taking on Wilt in the first finals with the Celtics in 11 years: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldoBfVUW6Wc At least, I think Tom is in there, not the highest resolution.

Nicknamed "The Mad Russian", Tom was another one of those tough dudes on the court. Here is his wife talking about how she was not aware of his on-court personality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4x5rmoBcuw

After hanging up his high-tops, Tom took up poetry, and has been writing poetry and novels since. He was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 2002, which is a pretty cool second career, and makes more sense for a basketball player when you find that he is related to Tolstoy. He also taught high school English in Reno for a few decades.

Here are a few interviews from a decade ago:



And, some more grainy highlights:


This SI article is long-ish, but I found it a good read for more background: https://www.si.com/nba/2017/06/15/tom-meschery-golden-state-warriors-championship

including this quote:

"I loved Curry—who doesn't?—and I really started identifying with Draymond Green," says Meschery. "We were both undersized players who were asked to do so much more than a normal power forward. I had to score as well as pound the boards. Now, overall, obviously, Draymond is a lot more talented than I was and certainly a far, far better ballhandler. But I see a lot of myself in him."

and also:

“There’s lots of people in the Bay Area who look at my banner and say, ‘Who’s that guy?’” says Meschery. “I understand that. In terms of production, I’m not Rick Barry or Wilt Chamberlain or Chris Mullin.

“But I’m homegrown, a child of San Francisco. I was on the first team that came here from Philadelphia. I feel a very strong connection to the Warriors. So while I’m not the Best Warrior or the Immortal Warrior or anything like that, I like to think of myself as the First Warrior. And that makes me very, very proud.”

And finally, Tom has a blog if you want to follow him, Meschery’s Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: https://mescherysmusings.blogspot.com/

Expand full comment


YouTube on JK. I don't know the analyst, but he seems to be breaking down young players from different teams. It got me excited for year 4.

Expand full comment
Sep 18·edited Sep 18

Spoiler Alert

Lakers lose in 7 to the Boston Celtics in tonight’s episode of Winning Time

EDIT- Also it looks like thats it for Winning Time. they added a small snippet at the very end between Jeannie and Jerry then they summarized the rest of the Lakers history during final credits. I guess they got word the ghouls running HBO weren’t going to renew. Its ok though i just cancelled my Max subscription. Im only gonna miss the last season of Doom Patrol. They can shove their reality tv crap down their ******




Breaking: #WinningTime Cancelled After 2 Seasons at HBO


We’ll probably not see a show of that scope and magnitude for a long while. Yeah you've got ur epic shows like Game of Thrones but a show that focuses on a singular genre like this with this type of casting

Expand full comment

Only Latrell Sprewell (#15) days left until training camp, and we are halfway through the final month of the off-season.

Another one of those "what could have been" players, and one of those "why do these bad things always happen to the Warriors" events. For so many years it seemed like it was just one thing after another.

In retrospect, with our better understanding of mental health issues, I feel sorry for him that he didn't have better support for working things out. But, it is always a balance, on the one hand, yes, clearly he had problems to have just snapped like that, but at the same time, he is responsible for his actions, and I'm never in support of violence for trying to solve a problem.

A result is, his ESPN biography mostly focuses on him assaulting a coach, rather than what he did on the court:


But, I'd rather remember his game, where he averaged 18 points a game and had some incredible on-court moments as a two-way player.

Here is a profile from 1997:


More from Basketball Time Machine:


And here is a grainy compilation of his Top 10 dunks:


Expand full comment
Sep 17·edited Sep 17

Does anyone have an idea of where Garuba gets his shots from?

Is he a big that shoots from around the rim, but that's about it?

His shooting percentages are not terribly impressive, and on very low volume. In particular, his 2P% seems pretty low for a center.

I don't trust the stats much, though, since he only takes 2.5 shots a game. His per-36 rebounding number is nice, though (~12 rebounds).

Expand full comment

Excited for Garuba! Exactly the kind of player we should have used the second 2-way on. I think he has a fair shot to be utilized better with GSW than the Rockets.

Expand full comment

Fun fact per bbref: His full name is Destiny Usman Garuba Alari.

Expand full comment

Thanks, such an interesting analysis.

Expand full comment
Sep 16·edited Sep 18

OT: hey dubby, I’m curious what your take on the State of California sueing Big Oil.

I mean, I feel like: about f’n time!

But I know you work to an extent in the renewables industry and am curious about your thoughts.

Ps I loved this article Joe V!

Expand full comment

Shams: Queta to the Celtics. (Two-way)

Expand full comment

Lots of fans feeling like this off-season is going on forever, and we can't wait to see how the new Warriors TJD, Podz, and Usman will fit in, well, them and CP3, Dario, and Cory too, and maybe even Dwight Howard???

Well, hang in there, it's only Al Attles (#16) days until training camp. First it was back-to-back Brazilians, now it is back-to-back retired jerseys.

Al's nickname was "The Destroyer", and he was a menace on defense. He played for the Warriors for 11 years, coached for 13 years, and has stayed with the organization from 1960 until today. That's like, exactly my entire life, and I'm not young.

Somewhat unfortunately, probably his most famous highlight was an on-court altercation, but even that shows something about his personality. This was in game 4 of the 1975 finals, with the Warriors, coached by Al, up 3 - 0 on the Washington Bullets. Mike Riordan decided to jump Rick Barry, who was known to have a bit of a temper himself, and Al flew off the bench and got in the middle of it, probably to save Rick from retaliating and getting tossed. In the end, Al did get kicked out of the game, but in those days, this was not for coming off the bench and joining a fracas, but for continuing to argue with the ref. The Dubs managed to win that game without him on the sidelines, sweeping the Bullets for what was their last NBA championship for quite a few years.

Here's the fight:


And here is an article published a few weeks before the fight, titled "Attles Battles No Longer":


Oops, got that one wrong.

Here is a bit more about that '74-'75 Warriors team:


Also, there was no vet favoritism from this guy. From an NBA.com article (https://www.nba.com/warriors/news-blogs/al-attles-warriors-through-and-through-20190830):


Playing for Attles meant that everybody was involved; he frequently used rotations of 10-11 players, most of whom reached double-figures in minutes played. Warriors legend Rick Barry, who played both with and under Attles, put it this way: “We were a team of the highest order.”

“Everyone on that team knew that his time would come,” said Barry. “If you weren’t cutting it, someone else would get a shot. Al didn’t care who it was — and I should know.” In Game 7 of the 1975 Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Bulls, Barry, who had averaged over 30 points per game in the regular season, was benched by Attles after a cold shooting performance in the first half.

Barry continued: “Think about that. How many coaches would take their top player out of a game that important? But the guys picked me up.” That was The Al Attles Method.


Here is an NBCSBA video on Al:


And finally, for all of us JTA fans, we can also thank Al indirectly for Juan's love of basketball. In case you hadn't heard the story, Juan's third grade teacher was none other than Wilhelmina Attles, Al's wife, and she helped Juan attend a Warriors camp that really started his basketball career.


Expand full comment

Is Duby coming back?

Expand full comment

So two-ways are LQ and Garuba right? The Dubs still don't have a 14th, and the 15th will be vacant. When will we know whether the teams get two vs. three 2-way contracts to use?

For that 14th slot, either LQ or Garuba could get promoted, and then there's the laundry list of vets and youngsters that are in camp or doing tryouts for the Dubs.

Expand full comment

Here’s CBS’ team evaluating Houston picking Our Guy Garuba two years ago. Avery Johnson compared him to Kenneth Faried and the other guy said he was the 3rd best defender in the draft (behind Mitchell and Mobley). https://youtu.be/wbGL--02kuQ?si=e8zQ3d8A0Iq62SUT

Expand full comment

Garuba is an interesting pick up. He’s seems like the player Kerr has been (semi-successfully) trying to get Kuminga to be the last couple of years, but 1/10 the price and bigger/stronger. Kuminga’s offense may be the upside that gets him paid, but Garuba’s defense seems pretty playable right now.

Expand full comment