In all, Attles has been a Warriors employee in some fashion for 57 years, going back to when he was drafted by the team in 1960. He was there when Chamberlain scored 100 points in 1962. He was there when the Warriors moved from Philadelphia to the Bay Area months later. And he suffered along with local fans as the team bungled its way through the years after he left as coach, and hit bottom in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Attles kept the faith. We knew it was only a matter of time when they got rid of me as a coach, Attles joked. I said things are going to get better.
With the Warriors now in their third straight Finals, he has experienced some gratification.
There’s an old saying, growing up in New Jersey, what goes around comes around, Attles said. And we really, really knew that this was going to eventually happen, and I really, really am amazed sometimes when I go out and see how these guy play, because I knew when I played, we didn’t play like this. I had some pretty good players, a guy named Wilt Chamberlain, who you may have heard of. But these guys are good players.
These mistakes were compounded by ineffective drafting. The team’s 2013 first-round selection was Bjoern Werner, a raw pass rusher who was out of the league by 2016. The following year’s top pick was traded for Trent Richardson, who averaged 3.1 yards per carry for the Colts in parts of two awful seasons. One year later, Phillip Dorsett went to Indianapolis with the 29th overall pick; he’s averaged fewer than 26 receptions per season in his budding career.