My wife is always on me about this. When I know I’m right, I’m so concerned about expressing my rightness that I forget a critical element — how I say it.
After a day of digesting the Warriors’ pending move to San Francisco, after listening to Oaklanders and East Bay die-hards lament their team’s departure, after witnessing the Warriors and supporters of the new arena justify the decision to leave while dismissing the ensuing outrage, I couldn’t help but think of my wife’s reminder.
It’s how you said it.
That’s where the Warriors went wrong. But before I offer my explanation of the negative reaction to the Warriors’ announcement Tuesday, I need to get a few qualifiers out of the way:
1. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber committed $450 million to buy the Warriors’ franchise. They’re committing to at least $500 million for a new arena. They can build wherever they want. It’s a right for which they’ve paid.
2. It’s just basketball. I know, jobs are being lost and a blow to the economy is expected. But I can’t be mad that working class people in San Francisco will get jobs. And I believe, even after the Warriors leave, Oakland will still exist and maybe thrive, albeit in a new way. Basketball teams are made by cities, not the other way around. The NBA may have had a special place in Oakland, but it doesn’t define Oakland, and there is plenty of more important work to be done than keeping a sports team.
3. It’s a smart move. It was an inevitable move. And seeing the vision for the arena, perched on waterfront with a backdrop that would make Ansel Adams switch to color, even Oaklanders understand the move.
With that said, this thing could have been executed much better. The proper respect wasn’t paid to a segment of the fan base that kept the franchise relevant and viable despite itself.