Richardson shouldered half the cost of a series of full-page advertisements in Monday's Bay Area papers, including this one, thanking Warriors fans for their unstinting passion and apologizing for not bringing the club's streak of playoff-less seasons to an end.
"Regrettably, we just didn't get it done for you," read the ad copy. "We are committed to doing whatever it takes this summer to make the 2006-07 season one that you can be proud of."
The ads which bore the signed first names of all 14 current Warriors came about after Richardson and team president Robert Rowell talked last week about what they could do as a sign of appreciation to the record-setting numbers of fans who came out this season. With 18,723 on hand for Monday's home finale, the Warriors set a season record of 749,185, smashing the previous high of 670,368 set last season.
"We were just talking about how great our fans have been, not only this year but throughout the years I've been here in my career," Richardson said. "I just wanted to let them know that we'd keep working hard to get there, especially next year. Our fans deserve it. We have the most loyal fans in the NBA.
Rowell wouldn't specify exactly how much the ads cost, although he did say it was "over $100,000," split between Richardson and the team.
"I think it was important that it was from the players, because they truly appreciate the fan support," Rowell said.
Several of the Warriors didn't know anything about the ad they had signed, but Rowell thought that was by Richardson's design.
"That's kind of Jason's style," Rowell said. "As a captain of the team, he's representing all his guys. That's what a good leader does, pulls everyone up with them, and that's Jason. That's been Jason ever since he's been in a Warrior uniform."
TIP-INS: The Trail Blazers, beset all year with disciplinary problems, suffered one more when star forward Zach Randolph was fined and suspended for Monday's game after taking off during the third quarter of Portland's 86-81 loss to Golden State on Saturday. ... Troy Murphy snagged 11 rebounds, leaving himself with 743 in 74 games. Assuming he plays in Wednesday's finale, he'll need just four more to guarantee he'll average a double-double for the third time in five seasons.