OAKLAND Warriors

I’m going to start this blog by getting something off my chest, something that’s been bothering me.

I’m an Oaklander, born and raised, from Sobrante Park Elementary School to Claremont Middle School to Oakland Tech High. I’ve been a Warriors fan since Jerome Whitehead was one of the top scorers. And it bothers me that my hometown team doesn’t represent my hometown.

What is this GOLDEN STATE junk?!

Change the name to OAKLAND WARRIORS.

I really took notice of this in college. At Clark Atlanta University, there were mostly East Coast natives in my freshmen class. We spent many days debating hoop. I often heard statements like: “Where does Golden State play?” and “Why do you like Golden State if you’re from Oakland and they’re from Los Angeles?”

I take it as a slight to my hometown that the Warriors refuse to change the name. This is not a question of the Warriors’ presence in Oakland. I know firsthand of the work they do in the city and benefited from some of it myself growing up. But I can’t help but feel like they’re embarrased to be associated with us on a national scale. I feel like the girlfriend in a relationship where the guy introduces her as “my friend” or “co-worker.”

Why is it they aren’t the Oakland Warriors? They were the San Francisco Warriors when they played in San Francisco. They were the Philadelphia Warriors when they played in Philadelphia.

Furthermore, GOLDEN STATE doesn’t make sense, anyway. The Warriors don’t represent the state of California. The only other teams in the league to represent an entire state in their name — Indiana, Minnesota, Utah, NewJersey — are the only team in their state. So they actually represent the entire state as far as the NBA is concerned.

The Warriors are representing a state with three other teams! If anything, it should be the GOLDEN STATE LAKERS. They’re the franchise with the fan base that spans the entire state. Not the Warriors, whose real estate shrunk even more in recent years with the rise of the Sacramento Kings.

And don’t give me the nonsense about we don’t want to alienate the rest of the Bay Area. That argument has been rendered moot by the litany of teams that carry a fan base much larger than the boundaries of the city they represent. San Ramon season ticket holders aren’t going to back out, sponsorship won’t decrease, if the Warriors officially claim Oakland. If they did, they’ll be back if the team becomes a winner.

Let’s just say it will offend the rest of the area if Oakland is singled out. Fine. Then how about the BAY AREA WARRIORS. That makes more sense than Golden State. Either way, it’s time the Warriors — especially if they’re about to be a contender in the coming years — settle down and make a commitment. It’s time the Warriors stop being a “playa” and keeping their “options open” and respect the area that has lined their pockets for decades despite their lack of success. Enough with this Golden State crap.

Show my city some love.

Marcus Thompson

  • Zeke from Walnut Creek

    Marcus – You are correct. It should be the Oakland Warriors. Golden State just confuses people. In fact when Chris Mullin was drafted out of St. John’s in 1985 one of the first things he said was, he didn’t know where Golden State played. I think the origins of the Golden State name go back to 1971-72. The Rockets left San Diego for Houston and the Warriors played six home games in San Diego that year. I don’t know whose idea it was, perhaps Franklin Meuli. There might be a story there for you. I would think Al Attles would know. “The Destroyer” has been with franchise since its days back in Philly.

  • Keith

    I’d like to respond to your suggestion that the Golden State Warriors
    change their name to the Oakland Warriors. First off, I’m an east-coast
    transplant who grew up following the NBA, but I never really was a true
    fan of one team. When I moved to San Francisco five years ago, I turned
    the TV on one night, and the Warriors were playing. My first reaction
    was: “That’s right…..the Warriors do play around here,” before asking
    my roommate exactly where they played. I also found it quite strange
    that the team was called the Golden State Warriors, considering the fact
    that 3 other NBA teams call the Golden State home.

    Clearly, one major reason that no one knows where the GSW play is
    because they have been so terrible (and possibly worse, irrelevant) the past
    dozen years, and, therefore, rarely in the news outside the Bay Area.
    But it goes without saying that calling the local team the Golden State
    Warriors when it only represents a portion of the state is just bad
    marketing, good team or not.

    That said, I decided to take it upon myself to rename the Warriors.
    I’ve seen your comments on this topic in articles and Q&A forums, and I
    read your recent blog as well. I understand that you propose to change
    the name to the Oakland Warriors, but I’m just guessing you are a little
    biased. Unlike the Athletics and the Raiders, who use ‘Oakland’ in
    their moniker, the Warriors are the only pro basketball team in the entire
    Bay Area, so they do represent the entire metropolian region. If San
    Francisco or San Jose also housed an NBA team, then I would certainly
    agree with you. Your second suggestion, to change the name to the Bay Area
    Warriors, however, doesn’t correct one of the major problems with the
    current name, that is, the general public still cannot associate a city
    or exact location to the team. There are many bays in the U.S. (and
    consequently, many bay areas), so assigning a name such as the Bay Area
    Warriors makes little sense.

    But when thinking about other major bay areas in this country, only one
    immediately springs to mind. The metropolitan region of Tampa/St.
    Petersburg/Sarasota has three major professional sports franchises, one
    which plays in Tampa, the other two in St. Petersburg. There are no other
    competing sports teams in that metropolitan region, and all three of
    those teams, the Buccaneers, the Devil Rays, and the Lightning, use ‘Tampa
    Bay’ in their names, even though there is no city called Tampa Bay. I
    propose that the Warriors follow this lead. The bay which we all
    surround is called the San Francisco Bay, so my suggestion is to name the team
    the San Francisco Bay Warriors. This is the only name that both
    represents the area and gives casual fans an exact location to conjure in
    their minds. One final comment: please do not think that I am pushing for
    San Francisco to be in the name just because I live there. If it was
    called the Oakland Bay or the Northern California Bay, I would
    lobby for a similar change.

    Keep up the great reporting.

  • Marcus Thompson

    From what I’m told from a Warriors staff member, the Warriors did get the “Golden State” monicker because they played in several cities, including San Diego and other neutral sites.
    And Keith, you are right. I am biased and want Oakland in the name. While I do think the term “Bay Area” is understood to represent the San Francisco Bay Area, I do think calling the team the San Francisco Bay Area Warriors is better than Golden State, though have fun trying to fit San Francisco Bay Area on the road jersey.
    Still, for the record, I think it’s fine to be based and named after one city while representing an entire metropolitan area that includes various cities — even when there aren’t any other teams in that league in a neighboring city. There are several examples that such a situation works (i.e, Dallas, which shares a metropolis with Fort Worth). But, as you said, I’m biased.

  • Winston

    I could’ve sworn that Rowell said something about the NBA wanting $500K for a name change (or perhaps it was a change in logo?).

  • Marcus Thompson

    A half a mil is nothing to a team with a $40 million center on their bench.

  • ACV

    I live in the peninsula and was formerly a SF sports fan. I made the switch and became and oakland fan after I realized how poorly treated Oakland is by both the media and people from the surrounding areas. The one team I’ve had trouble truly supporting though is the warriors just because of the fact of how they’ve disrespected Oakland since moving there. This is one subject that gets me really fired up and angry. There is no other team in basketball that has treated their city worse than how the warriors treat Oakland. They should change the name to show some respect. I think it’s hilarious that people would stop going if they labeled themselves as an Oakland team. All it does is give oaklanders a little more pride and gives people nationally a sense of where the warriors actually play.

    Also, Oakland warriors just sounds better and rolls off the tongue easier than golden state warriors