The yellow Strength in Numbers T-shirt has been a staple of the past two Warriors postseasons, along with last-second victories and “back in my day” NBA haters. For the NBA Finals this year, the team added a nice wrinkle by putting the autographs of all 15 players on the backs of the shirts, which are provided to every fan at Oracle Arena home games. The autographs make the shirts both a little more intimate and a little more bedazzled.
But not all handwriting is created equally, or legibly. Here are the Warriors’ autographs, ranked from best to worst.
1. Harrison Barnes (fourth row, far left): A first-ballot Hall of Fame signature. Strong, stylish capital letters (look, you can read it as “HB,” which is Barnes’ nickname!), followed by perfectly readable penmanship, both names fading out into whispering contrails. Not sure if it looks good on a contract extension, but it’s a winner everywhere else.
Alternate profession: 1940s movie star
2. Festus Ezeli (upper right corner): Granted, there is no possible way these letters spell “Festus Ezeli.” The first name looks like “Putin” and the second is just a drawing of a dentist’s chair. Still, there’s something about the repeating loops and the equator Ezeli draws through most of the signature that makes it endearing.
Alternate profession: Jazz drummer
3. Stephen Curry (top row, middle): At first glance it’s a mess, and in no way connectable to “Stephen Curry.” Look closer and you see a clearly decipherable “Steph,” overlaid with a giant C and underlined with an elegant curl. Sure. Of course. He’s not only redefining basketball, he’s redefining the autograph.
Alternate profession: Sorcerer
4. Brandon Rush (middle middle): Brandon Rush’s signature looks like it was etched into the ice by a Ukrainian figure skater. To achieve this effect, Rush uses a Spirograph to write his name, which is inconvenient in banks but otherwise amazing.
Alternate profession: Girl Scouts troop leader
5. Leandro Barbosa (fourth row, far right): Barbosa’s autograph is exactly as you would expect –frenetic, springy, utterly unpredictable and slightly unhinged. It looks like an ear of corn on the stalk and he probably struck a warrior yoga pose right after he wrote it.
Alternate profession: President or serial killer
6. Ian Clark (fourth row, second from right): My high-school-aged daughters would call Clark’s autograph “basic.” Nothing special, certainly, but at least you can read it, which is exceptional in the age of thumb-typing. Not sure why his I looks exactly like his C, though.
Alternate profession: Human resources administrator
7. Andrew Bogut (third row, far left): Bogut’s signature makes me dizzy. It’s not really a name. It’s an elaborate Mobius strip, or a city built upon a gravity-defying electrical plane. Are you okay, Andrew? What’s going on in there? Do you want to talk about it?
Alternate profession: Time traveler
8. James Michael McAdoo (second row, far right): I can’t decide if McAdoo’s John Hancock looks more like a football from the Sammy Baugh Era or the open mouth of a vicious barracuda. In any case, it’s more corporate logo than autograph.
Alternate profession: Graphic designer
9. Shaun Livingston (second row, middle): OK, it has a little flair. It also looks like “Dr. 2E,” which makes no sense.
Alternate profession: DJ named Doctor 2E
10. Kevon Looney (fourth row, second from left): This toss-off signature would probably be in last place except for the fact that a lightning bolt zaps through the entirety of both names. Come to think of it, Looney should probably be in first place.
Alternate profession: YouTube celebrity
11. Marreese Speights (bottom row, left): The Warriors should promote Mo Buckets’ signature as either a seismogram representing the shaking of Oracle Arena during a playoff game, or as the EKG of a Dubs fan during that same contest. But not as a signature.
Alternate profession: Neurosurgeon or barista
12. Draymond Green (bottom row, right): Nice and uncluttered, and goofy in a British-colonel-smoking-a-pipe way. A very mellow signature, which is weird. The negative: There actually is no treble clef in “Draymond.”
Alternate profession: Eighteenth-century inventor
13. Klay Thompson (third row, far right): It’s cool that he writes his name like Klaythompson, but there’s not a lot of flash here. Which is appropriate, since Klay is too chill to care about anything.
Alternate profession: Surfer
14. Anderson Varejao (second row, far left): I already know what Varejao’s defense would be: “Oh, well, see, we don’t really have cursive in Brazil. We are forced to print everything. It’s a terrible burden.” Well that’s BS, Andy, because BARBOSA USED CURSIVE. That squiggle over the “a” does not redeem him.
Alternate profession: Toddler
15. Andre Iguodala (upper left corner): What in the actual hell is going on here? Is Andre Iguodala’s nickname “Bale”? Or “Boke”? Did he write his jersey number in here somewhere? It’s hard to say, because there doesn’t seem to be a single Roman letter or Arabic numeral depicted. The guy described as the Warriors’ most cerebral and hardest-working player is an autograph disaster.
Alternate profession: Sleepwalker