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Monday, May 21, 2012

Golden State Warriors Are Probably Moving to San Francisco

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Joe Lacob, in the midst of getting booed by his team's fans after the Monta Ellis trade.
  • Joe Lacob, in the midst of getting booed by his team's fans after the Monta Ellis trade.

There is an immediate bit of good news accompanying the reports that the Golden State Warriors are moving to San Francisco: There's a strong chance the team will finally trash the comically antiquated "Golden State" part of the name, which the franchise absurdly adopted when it moved from San Francisco to Oakland in 1971.

After all, Joe Lacob, one of the team's owners, has been eying that sexy lady across the bar ever since he walked in with his date, his homely high school sweetheart who cooks for him every night and irons his dress shirts. But he never did think she was the one. She was just someone to be with until he got a job and a car and enough money and confidence to make the move.

The San Jose Mercury News tweeported on Sunday that the W's have "finalized plans to move to San Francisco." Also on Sunday, ESPN's Ric Bucher reported that the team is "close to making a deal to move to San Francisco."

Of course, it's gonna take a lot of paper to consummate the relationship. A basketball arena on Piers 30-32? A bulky mass of steel and concrete seating thousands of people to be constructed over decrepit Piers 30-32? Just making that floating spectacle feasible requires hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Mercury News said it'll be private money behind all this. But given how openly the city has pursued the Warriors, it would not be surprising to see San Francisco offer up lease-free land, at the least.

This month Mayor Ed Lee met with Lacob and sent him a letter -- signed by business leaders and all 11 supervisors, among others -- that stated "we write to urge you to consider building a new home for the Golden State Warriors basketball team in time for the 2017 NBA season."

Since they bought the team in 2010, Lacob and co-owner Peter Gruber have worked to show that the team has definitively escaped the dark days of the Chris Cohan era. They introduced new uniforms. They hired a young but well-known coach. They traded cash for a second round draft pick. They reshaped the roster to be more defense-oriented. They showed an actual interest in winning.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan also sent her own letter of support. Like that final, desperate mixtape full Blackstreet and Jade songs. The Warriors' lease at Oracle Arena ends after the 2016-17 season.

By that time, of course, Steph Curry will be a three-time all-star, Andrew Bogut will be the best center in the conference, Klay Thomspon will be scoring 25.8 points a game, and the Warriors will be battling for a two-seed with the Grizzlies and Clippers. The city (and region) will be hyped and the new-stadium ticket prices and limited parking won't seem a bother. The stands will be packed, the merchandise will fly off the shelves, and the investment will pay for itself. Assuming everything goes according to plan.

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Albert Samaha


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