Best Lovable Loser

Garry St. Jean

General Manager,

Golden State Warriors

The man they call "Saint" doesn't figure to be living in the Bay Area much longer. We'd be remiss not to sing the praises of the person most responsible for building the team that the sports Web site CNNSI recently rated a notch below the University of Maryland Terrapins in its NBA power rankings. St. Jean's particular genius for losing was on display earlier this year. When malcontent center Marc Jackson signed an absurd $24 million contract with the Houston Rockets last summer, St. Jean exercised the team's right to match the offer, not wanting to lose the player for nothing. But after Jackson groused about being stuck in Oakland, the team punished him by gluing him to the bench and, in the process, destroying his trade value. The Warriors ended up finally getting rid of Jackson in February for a player lame-duck coach Brian Winters didn't even pretend to be interested in using. But Jackson stuck around long enough to create a season-spanning spell of distractions, including a profanity-laced tirade against St. Jean that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Little wonder the Warriors haven't experienced success since the early days of the Clinton administration.

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