Golden State Warriors

Warriors moving to San Francisco – how will the team change?

Adam Lauridsen doesn’t just run an extremely popular and well-respected blog about the Golden State Warriors, he’s also a lawyer. From what I’ve been told, he’s an extremely bright and capable lawyer, someone who wouldn’t report something just to get attention. So when he tweeted the following on Sunday afternoon, people took notice:

Marcus Thompson II reports that while the Warriors aren’t denying Lauridsen’s report and will almost certainly end up in San Francisco, the proposed arena at Piers 30/32 isn’t set in stone … so to speak.

The Warriors, according to league sources, had preliminary discussions with the San Francisco Giants. But those discussions didn’t pan out as, according to one source, the two sides clashed over how much control the Giants would have.

The Warriors could still end up part of the $1.6 billion Mission Rock project, which was unveiled April 4. The 27-acre plan—which will develop the land south of AT&T Park—isn’t scheduled to break ground for three years. Plus, the aforementioned site on The Embarcadero, isn’t without issues. Parking for a new arena there would be scarce, not to mention the potential traffic headache could be enough to scare off the city officials who would have to approve the plans.

One source with periphery knowledge of the negotiations said don’t be surprised if the Warriors agreed to the deal for an arena on Piers 30 and 32 as a message to the Giants. With years worth of bureaucracy awaiting both projects, plenty time exists for the two sides to work on a deal and change directions.

But let’s assume the Embarcadero arena plan comes to fruition. In the first of a three-part installment, here are four things that will change about the franchise.

1. National media attention will increase.

Like how baseball players who have nothing left to prove in the minors but can’t quite cut it in the Majors are known as “Four-A” players, the Warriors have inhabited an imaginary zone in between the NBDL and NBA in the minds of many for a very long time. Most people around the country have no idea where Oakland is or what it’s like. More pointedly, the United States doesn’t care about the Warriors. A new arena will give the NBA and the companies who cover it a wealth of new stories to cover. The NBA’s spotlight is on the Celtics, Knicks, Lakers and Bulls, and will remain that way for the most part — but the Warriors’ move to San Francisco will garner more attention than anything the franchise has done since 1975 (besides the Latrell Sprewell choking incident).

2. The Warriors will get an All-Star Game very quickly.

The new arena will be close to hotels, restaurants and bars. It will be pretty, plush and sparkly. Waterfront views and the Bay Bridge would replace HWY 880 and the pedestrian bridge to the BART station. David Stern and Adam Silver can nosh with Joe Lacob and Peter Guber at Boulevard, then head to the arena. Lacob has probably already made a reservation for four in 2018.

3. Free agents will be easier to sign.

There’s no such thing as a good “shooter’s arena.” The San Francisco Giants may have trouble enticing sluggers to come hit at AT&T Park, but the Warriors won’t have that problem. On the contrary, the opportunity to live in a luxury condo on the Embarcadero within walking distance to a brand new arena in San Francisco will appeal to some NBA players. Remember, Baron Davis lived in San Francisco when he played here. The “cool factor” is incredibly important to many NBA players, and driving to the Coliseum complex just isn’t all that cool.

It’ll help the Warriors’ chances of luring impact free agents if they start winning between now and 2017, though. That certainly isn’t a given considering this team’s past.

4. The team’s name will change.

Any frequent radio listener has heard the commercial for a certain casino where the guy talks about how he rooted for the Warriors when “they were the San Francisco Warriors.” That’s coming back. Whether the Warriors switch back to the throwbacks that say “The City” or go with a slightly tweaked version of those hardwood classics remains to be seen, but “Golden State Warriors” will vanish.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and Part 3, where we’ll explore four things that will change about the Bay Area and four ways Warriors fans will change. 

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