Don't Call The Doctor: Warriors Get Rid of Killer Trainer

Free Will gets results! Last summer when the Golden State Warriors sale was finalized, I made this suggestion as to where that organization should begin its housecleaning:
There's a lot of talk about making wholesale changes in the organization, from coaching staff to the GM's office, to the food vendors. You know what would make a real difference right away? Get rid of the current medical staff (assuming there is one. for all we know they just get by with smelling salts and Ben-Gay). Every year, the Warriors' slim hopes are dashed by seemingly endless injuries that leave their roster hopelessly depleted for months on end. The team has a depressing tendency to endure season-ending injuries, even to guys in their early twenties. Then, the ones who survive get run ragged as they play dozens of "seven-man roster" games...which they lose. I tell you, it's depressing to think of how Stephen Curry might be getting mistreated as we speak.
Well, guess who's heading out the door: Abdenour Out As Warriors' Athletic Trainer

A day before the Warriors are expected to have all 15 players healthy and availaable for the first time this season, head athletic trainer Tom Abdenour announced Tuesday that he is leaving to take the same position at San Diego State.

Abdenour, 56, is in his 24th season with the Warriors and said he will stay with the team until it finds a replacement. He was hired before the 1987-88 season and was inducted into the National Athletic Trainer's Association Hall of Fame in 1990.

Recently, Abdenour has come under criticism from fans because of the Warriors' cyclical injury problems.

Apparently, the Warriors received more emails demanding Abdenour's ouster as those agitating against Don Nelson, and no wonder. The numbers crunchers at the Chronicle have figured that in the last two seasons the Warriors used 96 unique starting line-ups over 164 games. This year was shaping up to be no better. Andris Biedrins was on the cusp of his annual season ending injury, while expensive free agent David Lee endured a bizarre arm infection that nearly killed him. Stuff like that just doesn't happen to other NBA teams, or at least it doesn't seem like it. They would have been better off with smelling salts and Ben-Gay.

Abdenour's departure - to take the same job at San Diego State, watch out kids! - isn't a panacea, but it's a definite step in the right direction. The few times the Warriors have been at full strength, they've been competitive, but the repeated cascading injuries quickly dashed those hopes. And, don't forget that their miracle 2007 playoff run happened during a rare window when Baron Davis was healthy and Stephen Jackson had just joined the team (and had thus not been screwed up, yet). A good medical staff won't literally send the Warriors to the playoffs, but at least the team won't be screwing up the bodies (and careers) of guys whose professional windows are narrow enough as it is.

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