As the saying goes, 'absence makes the heart go fonder' and this rings true more so for Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith who during his tenure has signed and traded for exactly 5 former Golden State Warriors (6 if you included the failed attempt at getting CJ Watson). With the additions of Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas, two players on the Warriors roster when Smith was Executive Director of Player Operations with Golden State, the Orlando Warriors have once again rebuilt themselves...as the Orlando Warriors. The combination has not netted any positive results, yet, as the Magic have lost 3 straight since the trade.
While chemistry issues are at the forefront of whether this team has a future or even a present, history shows that the backcourt duo of Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas maybe exciting to watch. But they might not necessarily yield the best results.
In the short time that forever Warrior fan favorites Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas were together, they captivated audiences at the Oracle for their flash and swagger (before swagger became swaggerific) more so than actual wins. The collective record during their two year stint was 59-105. But what seemed to matter more during that brief moment was their tenuous balance of playfulness and what seemed to be utter disrespect for authority or tradition in what at times seemed like wrecklessness. In-game slam dunk worthy plays to each other were crowd pleasing but also mind-numbing for coach Eric Musselman to witness.
For more, watch this highlight from the 2002-2003 sophomore-rookie game which Carlos Boozer, the victim of the highlight, described Richardson as having "no class." The Warriors racked up accolades as Arenas won MVP of that game. And Richardson added to his legend as a Warrior.
But the duo, back then, was a headache for coach Eric Musselman. Of course they were both young and this last highlight was considered by Boozer and a few others as having utter disregard for the NBA traditions. Arenas and Richardson both publicly feuded with Musselman over playing time and some.
But of course this was all ages ago and since then Richardson has become one of the best complimentary players on average to solid teams. Arenas is still ... Arenas. But I suspect Stan Van Gundy to figure it out sooner than later and Smith seems to know better than to put former Warriors as the superstars of your team, strategically using and paying players like Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus, and not-using Adonal Foyle how much they should be playing and being paid.