Gene Keady: “But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely.”
Brian Cardinal: “Which is?”
Gene Keady: “A legend, Mr. Cardinal.”
Legends are remembered forever, and that is why we are celebrating a great career today. It was announced earlier today that the Golden State Warriors would be retiring the jersey of a true champion. He is someone that was only with the franchise a short time, but he left his mark in such a way that no one else will ever wear his number.
No. 35 Brian Cardinal
Statement from Warriors Co-Chairman & CEO Joe Lacob on Kevin Durant: pic.twitter.com/D2TPPZPuz1— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) July 1, 2019
I am sure that they just misspelled “Brian Cardinal” as “Kevin Durant”, but it is high time that the Custodian was properly remembered for his championship NBA career. Cardinal only played a single season in Oakland, but he saw action in 76 games and even started 11 times during the 2003-04 season. The Warriors went just 37-45, but they set the stage for their future dominance by drafting Andris Biedriņš, who was later traded to free up cap space to sign NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.
So yeah, the Warriors are not THE WARRIORS without Cardinal averaging a career high 9.6 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. It was also a big season for Cardinal because he only made $663,679 that year, but he played well enough to earn a huge 6-year, $37 million contact. He eventually won an NBA championship with the Dallas Mavericks in the first year after the contract.
We can even go back further, as in the fall of 1998 I, a young freshman playing at the co-rec, got into a pickup game with Brian. Our team won thanks to a sweet assist I dished out on a break. That gave Brian the confidence to nearly lead Purdue to a Final Four during the 1999-2000 season, his NBA career, his role in building the Warriors’ dynasty, his huge pay day with Memphis, and eventual NBA championship with Dallas.
You’re welcome, Brian.