Number Retirements: Who’s Next? Pacific Division

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Welome to another installment of the “number retirements” series, a series in which I go over each team by division and see you could possibly be next in line to have their jersey number hanging in the rafters. This is part five of the series. Click on the links below to see parts 1-4.

Today I will be going over number retirements with teams in the Pacific Division. Let’s get started.

Golden State Warriorshi-res-230724_crop_north

Retired numbers:

  • 13, Wilt Chamberlain
  • 14, Tom Meschery
  • 16, Al Attles
  • 17, Chris Mullin
  • 24, Rick Barry
  • 42, Nate Thurmond

We know what Wilt Chamberlain has done, including scoring 100 points in a game while on the Warriors. He is also the only player to have his number retired for three separate NBA franchises (76ers, Warriors and Lakers). Tom Meschery was also a teammate of Chamberlain during his 100 point outing while also making a name for himself. Al Attles spent his entire playing career with the Warriors, and became the teams ambassador. Chris Mullin spent the majority of his career for the Warriors being named an All-Star five times while being selected to multiple All-NBA teams. Rick Barry helped the Warriors win the NBA title in 1975, and was the MVP that season. Nate Thurmond averaged more than 10 points and rebounds per game, and was named to the All-Defensive team multiple times while with the Warriors.

The next two guys I think should be included are the other two members of “Run TMC”. Run TMC was the nickname for teammates Chris Mullin, Tim Hardaway (no. 10) and Mitch Richmond (no. 23). The combination of those three guys helped lead the Warriors in scoring for most of the time while also becoming fan favorite. Most of their home games were sold out. It is really only a matter of time until we see all three of those guys have their jerseys hung together at Oracle Arena, and the NBA Hall of Fame.

Los Angeles Clippersmcadoo2

Retired numbers:

  • None

Before “lob city” the Clippers were the laughing stock of Los Angeles. With the recent struggles of the Lakers, the Lakers are the laughing stock of Los Angeles. The Clippers have a long way to becoming Los Angeles’ basketball team, but they are gaining some fans.

The reason for the teams franchise revival is from the likes of Chris Paul (no. 3) and Blake Griffin (no. 32). Both guys have brought the team to new heights, and are both looking to expand it to a Conference Finals or an NBA Finals appearance. If they both continue to play like they have been for the past couple of seasons, they could be the first Clippers to have their jersey hanging up on the rafters.

For those who don’t know who is pictured above, it is Bob McAdoo (no. 11). Long before they were located in Los Angeles, the Clippers were in Buffalo as the Braves. During their tenure there, McAdoo was the star of the team. He was named MVP, selected as an All-Star multiple times, and won the scoring title twice. It is unlikely that the Clippers would retire his jersey, but it is possible.

Los Angeles Lakerskobe-e1421801971103-1940x1091

Retired numbers:

  • 13, Wilt Chamberlain
  • 22, Elgin Baylor
  • 25, Gail Goodrich
  • 32, Magic Johnson
  • 34, Shaquille O’Neal
  • 42, James Worthy
  • 44, Jerry West
  • 52, Jamaal Wilkes
  • Microphone, Chick Hern

The following players are honored by the franchise but not officially retired.

  • 17, Jim Pollard
  • 19, Vern Mikkelsen
  • 22, Slater Martin
  • 34, Clyde Lovellette
  • 99, George Mikan

There is a lot of history with the Lakers, dating back to their days in Minneapolis. As stated earlier, Chamberlain helped Los Angeles win the title in 1972, also winning Finals MVP. Elgin Baylor spent his entire career with both the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers. Despite never winning a title, Baylor was one of the more popular players having a career average of 27.4 points and 13.5 rebounds during his 13 year career. Gail Goodrich was a member of the 1972 championship team while leading the Lakers in scoring for multiple seasons. Magic Johnson is arguably a top 10 or even top 5 NBA players of all time. He is a five time NBA champion and three time NBA MVP while being one of the more influential players in the league. Shaq was another dominate player in the league while rocking an Lakers uniform. The three time Finals MVP is one of the best centers to play in the NBA. James Worthy was also a great player for Los Angeles, helping them win three NBA championships and winning the MVP in one of them. There is also Jerry West, the man you see everyday on the official logo of the NBA spending his whole career with the Lakers winning the title in 1972 and being named an All-Star for 14 seasons. Jamaal Wilkes was also a member of the Lakers for three championships. It is nice to also see the team honor significant players when they were located back in Minnesota, even if they are not officially retired.

Now this is an obvious choice on who is the next guy up, it’s Kobe Bryant. It is hard to believe that this could possibly be the end from him as most fans like myself grew up watching Kobe dominate the game like he did in the 2000’s. The question I would throw out there is, which one of his numbers will they retire. Will they go with his current no. 24, or his old no. 8. In my opinion, I can see them going with both here. 24 is more likely because that’ll be the number he’ll be wearing in his final game. He also wore 8 through championship runs, All-Star appearances, and also the jersey he wore when he scored 81 points in a single game. So to answer my own question, I think they both will be retired in the near future. Feel free to comment if you disagree.

Another name I will mention is George Mikan (no. 99). While it is not a normal number you see unless it’s in the NFL, it is honored by the Lakers. Mikan was the dominate center before guys like Shaq, Wilt, and even Bill Russell came into the league.

Phoenix Suns

steve-nash-suns-2

Retired numbers:

  • 5, Dick Van Arsdale
  • 6, Walter Davis
  • 7, Kevin Johnson
  • 9, Dan Majerle
  • 24, Tom Chambers
  • 33, Alvan Adams
  • 34, Charles Barkley
  • 42, Connie Hawkins
  • 44, Paul Westphal
  • 832, Cotton Fitzsimmons

Dick Van Arsdale was a three time All-Star and was of the first players in play for the Suns when the franchise started 1968. Walter Davis is also a multiple time All-Star and is the Suns all-time leading scorer. Kevin Johnson was the leader of the Suns during the 1990’s, starting at point guard and being selected as an All-NBA Team member five times. Dan Majerle was also an All-Star for the team and was a defensive stopper. He has been selected to an All-Defensive Team. Tom Chambers was a three time All-Star as well as a two time All-NBA selection. Alvan Adams spent his entire career with Phoenix winning Rookie of the Year and an All-Star selection. Charles Barkley only spent four years with the team but was an immediate impact. During his time there he was named league MVP, and All-Star all four years with four All-NBA selections. On top of that he helped guide the Suns to an NBA Finals appearance, but ultimately lost to the Chicago Bulls. Connie Hawkins came into the NBA with a great with the ABA and continued to do great, having multiple All-Star selections and All-NBA selections. Paul Westphal was an All-Star with the team, but also had a good coaching career guiding the team to the NBA Finals in 1993. 832 is the amount of victories Cotton Fitzsimmons had during his coaching career in the NBA.

I think the obvious choice is Steve Nash (no. 13). The former two-time league MVP was really fun to watch in his early days with Phoenix. Nash had great playmaking skills as well as ball-handling and shooting skills. He led the league in assists five times and made the Suns a Western Conference threat every year he was there. Another member I can see being next is Shawn Marion (no. 31). Marion was a great all around player with one of the most ridiculous shots I have ever seen (look it up if you do not know what I am talking about). He was a four time All-Star and two time Third Team selection. Amar’e Stoudemire (no. 32 or no. 1) can be another named mentioned because when healthy he was fun to watch with Nash and Marion. The question could be if it should be either 32 or 1 as STAT changed his number after he had a major knee injury.

Sacramento Kings

Retired numbers:

  • 1, Nate Archibald
  • 2, Mitch Richmond
  • 4, Chris Webber
  • 6, “The Sixth Man”
  • 11, Bob Davies
  • 12, Maurice Stokes
  • 14, Oscar Robertson
  • 16, Peja Stojakovic
  • 21, Vlade Divac
  • 27, Jack Twyman
  • 44, Sam Lacey

The Sacramento Kings have been around for a very long time dating back to 1923 when they were in Rochester. They then moved to Cincinnati, Kansas City, and now in the capital of California. Nate Archibald started his career with the Kings being a three time All-Star and a four time All-NBA selection. Mitch Richmond was also an All-Star and All-NBA player for Sacramento. Chris Webber is best known for his career in Sacramento taking them the Western Conference finals and making them a constant threat. The 6 is to honor the fans of Sacramento. Bob Davies was a member if the franchises own NBA title in 1951. Maurice Stokes was a double-double machine for them with the Royals whose career was cut short after suffering a brain injury that damaged his motor skills. Oscar Robertson was league MVP and an All-Star during his time with the Kings. Peja Stojakovic is the more recent retirees on this list, but was a fan favorite and can shoot the lights out. Vlade Divac was also a fan favorite and is currently the general manager for the Kings. Jack Twyman and Sam Lacey were also members of the Kings when they went by the Royals in Rochester.

The guy that I can see joining them next is Mike Bibby (no. 10). Thought he was never an All-NBA selection or even an All-Star he was the starting point guard for a Kings team that was always fun to watch.

 

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