More than 10 years ago the Golden State Warriors were the eighth seed in the NBA playoffs in their first appearance in more than a decade. They had caught the attention of America by upsetting the No. 1 seed Dallas Mavericks in the first round. They shocked the world by beating the Mavericks, marking the first time an eight-seed had ever toppled a top-seeded goliath in a best-of-seven series. That put the NBA’s focus directly on their shoulders as they took on the Jazz, but Utah was able to hold court for the first two games of the series, sending Davis and his crew back to the Bay Area in a 0-2 hole.
But then the “We Believe” chants started up again in the Bay Area when the Warriors took on the Utah Jazz at home in Game 3 as point guard Baron Davis threw down one of the most disrespectful dunks in playoff history on Andrei Kirilenko.
“B-Diddy” took a handoff from Andris Biedrins, turned the corner on Deron Williams, and soared into the air only to be met by AK-47 himself. Kirilenko was a shot-blocking defensive machine near his peak back in ‘07, but Davis, six inches shorter, put him on a poster anyway. The two hung in the air, briefly, as though the duel would end in an impasse. Then the Warriors guard brought the hammer down, drawing the and-1 foul and giving Golden State a 121-99 lead.
Then, to top it all off, Davis raised his shirt to show he was wearing a girdle or at least something that looked like one, which gave the whole play a show of quite arrogant comic showmanship. The refs went on to call a technical foul on Davis for lifting his shirt.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, that was as good as it got. Davis missed his ensuing free throw, and while Golden State went on to win Game 3, it would lose it’s next two to close the books on the 2006-07 season. Although that was the end of that team, at least for one postseason in Oakland, Davis was a star with the athletic gifts to make plays to his will. That’s worth remembering.