Next up is the honor roll of the Golden State Warriors’ best power forwards.
1. RUDY LaRUSSO
His nickname was “Roughhouse Rudy,” which translated into smash-mouth defense (NBA All-Defense second team in 1969), and ferocious boardwork (8.9 rebounds with Warriors). He was a brawler in the paint, but accurate mid-range jumpers were also in his arsenal. He only played with the Dubs for two years (1968-69) but was an All-Star in both seasons. During that time, LaRusso averaged 21.3 points and once tallied 50 in a game.
2. ANTAWN JAMISON
He later developed into a deadeye 3-point shooter, but with the Warriors (1999-2003) Jamison scored every which way, averaging 20.2 and also snatching 7.5 rebounds.
3. DAVID LEE
Early in his NBA career, Lee’s scoring was mostly limited to put-backs and lefty drives. However, by the time he joined the Warriors (2011-15), he’d become an accurate catch-and-shot-maker from mid-range. Always a hard working, bruising defender, Lee shot 51.3 percent while averaging 16.7 points and 9.3 rebounds with Golden State.
4. JAMAAL WILKES
Before becoming a Hall of Fame-caliber player with the Lakers, Wilkes served his apprenticeship with the Warriors (1975-76). That’s when he was named Rookie of the Year, was a vital contributor to the 1975 championship squad, was an All-Star and was also acclaimed as one of the league’s five best defenders. Overall, Wilkes averaged 16.5 points and 8.2 rebounds with the Dubs.
5. LARRY SMITH
This guy was a rebound hound. In 1981, he was named to the All-Rookie five, and for the next eight years, Smith banged his way to 8.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. He didn’t exhibit much finesse, just a hard-hat, powerhouse game plan.
6. JOE SMITH
Another banger, Joe played with 12 teams over the course of his 17-year NBA career. He started with the Dubs (1996-98) where he was named to the All-Rookie team. All told, he contributed 17.0 points and 8.2 rebounds per game with the franchise.
7. ROD HIGGINS
Aggressive at both ends of the floor, Higgins was the perfect role player. Never forcing a shot, always scrapping on defense, and playing a heady, unselfish game. During his two stretches with the Warriors (1987-92, 1995), Higgins was an under-the-radar winner.
ALSO – Tom Meschery, Fred Hertzel, Chris Gatling, Draymond Green.
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