Honorary Warriors For Life? Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson

Relax, this is just to have fun reminiscing...

Today’s HWFL column goes out in honor of the game against Kawhi Leonard’s Los Angeles Clippers. Strictly speaking, it’s Kawhi’s team, but you never really know if he’s playing. We also walk down memory lane with Captain Jack.

Honorary Warriors For Life

The concept is simple. There are some players who are not in the Warriors organization, but Warriors fans will still root for anyway (as long as no Warriors interests are at stake). So they are not a part of Dub Nation, but they still are welcomed into Dub Nation. This is very often because they are former Warriors players, but not always.

Honorary Warriors For Life

The concept is simple. There are some players who are not in the Warriors organization, but Warriors fans will still root for anyway (as long as no Warriors interests are at stake). So they are not a part of Dub Nation, but they still are welcomed into Dub Nation. This is very often because they are former Warriors players, but not always.

More details are included in our master list of all those voted Honorary Warriors For Life so far. In short we do a Twitter poll and getting >75% support achieves Honorary Warrior For Life; >50% support of voters who know them achieves Honorary Warrior.

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard may be the greatest player to have no Stans. Everyone respects the abilities and talent. To me, the most absurd part has been his ability to steadily and majorly upgrade his capabilities each year.

  • 2011-2014. Defense elite upgrade.

  • 2014-15. Volume scoring upgrade.

  • 2015-16. 3PT shooting elite upgrade.

  • 2016-19. Isolation scoring elite upgrade.

  • 2019-20. Playmaking upgrade.

Now you would think Warriors fans would have a strong opinion about him. After all he and the Spurs tortured the Warriors from 2011-2015 (yes I included the championship year). In 2015-16, Steph evolved to beyond Kawhi’s domination, but he threw a scare into everyone in the 2017 Playoffs until his injury. And of course, he helped put the Raptors over the Warriors in the 2019 Finals.

Despite all the negative things Kawhi has been party to, he never smack-talks. He gives amusingly literal responses to questions and seems to care not a little bit about the Fame lifestyle.

More importantly, he also kneecapped the unkillable-zombie Spurs out of nowhere and seems to have permanently torpedoed them into second-tier status. He then helped the Raptors but immediately left before anyone could really start to feel one way or the other about him. Then he forced a trade to the Clippers while apparently leading on the Lakers as long as possible to sabotage their free agency plans.

If that wasn’t enough to make you think he was a sleeper agent for Dub Nation, then he forced the Thunder to trade Paul George and triggered the demolition of Russell Westbrook’s Cupcake Commandos which then caused the hilarity of Westbrook joining James Harden, two players whose peculiar fan bases had just spent years keyboard-slaughtering the other; and also forcing the trade of Chris Paul, one of the most gifted and obnoxious players in the world, to basketball Siberia.

So… you can’t be blamed for loving, hating or not caring about the fellow. And so perhaps it is no surprise that the poll results are really really neutral.

Well 24.1% / Poor 28.4% / Don’t care either way 46.3% / Don’t know who they are 1.2%.

A quarter of Dub Nation pulls for him, a quarter pull against him, and the other half just doesn’t care. So sadly, we can neither award Honorary Warriors status, nor Warrior Villain status. He just remains… there.

Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson only played for the Warriors 2006-07 through 2008-09, but what a three-year run. First, he was the leader of We Believe. The next season he led a team that was colossally ripped off and I believe still holds the record for most wins by a non-playoff team. Then he finessed a three-year extension and then immediately asked for a trade and ended the year early to have surgery.

I enjoyed Steph and Captain Jack reminiscing (around 2:30) about the early days.

Well 68.1% / Poor 2.8% / Don’t care either way 26.4% / Don’t know who they are 2.8%.

Dub Nation still pulls for Captain Jack, but the sour ending of his Warriors career seems to have bumped his numbers below fellow We Believer Matt Barnes. He misses the 75% threshold, but we still declare him an Honorary Warrior.


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