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Warriors bring broadcaster Jim Barnett back after underestimating how important he was to the fans

OAKLAND – Warriors television analyst Jim Barnett announced he would return for all games next season in his 30th with the team, tweeting that he was “unretired.”

The mutual agreement before last season that would have ushered Barnett away from the television booth and into a role as a team ambassador did not go through in part because of the fans, Warriors president Rick Welts said Monday.

Welts said initially the plan was to celebrate Barnett’s final season as a full-time broadcaster.

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“When we sat down with him (before last season), we actually thought we had a great game plan in place, and I think over the course of the year we in fairness probably underestimated just how important he was to the fans, and I think he underestimated how much as he got closer to actually stepping away how much he would miss the day-to-day of being on television,” Welts said. “So I think it came to a totally appropriate great conclusion that we’re thrilled about and he’s thrilled about.”

Barnett, who turns 70 next week, was “overwhelmed” by the support from fans, who tweeted using #KeepJim and #keepjb.

“He got a lot of love, which was very deserved and part of the plan at the beginning, but I think how he was looking at it and what we heard from the fans, I think it made it a very, very welcome conclusion at the end to bring him back next year,” Welts said.

“We listen to our fans on everything, and as long as he was willing, to come back in the role he’s going to come back in is going to be great.”

Diamond Leung

  • http://rossstovall.com Ross Stovall

    I wish Fitz would retire.

  • Stan

    How wrong could they have been? As bad as the A’s trying to just dump Ray Fosse after 40 years of loyalty. And double Jim’s pay!

  • Grey Warden

    I never bought the whole ‘Barnett wanted to retire’ thing the Warriors were trying to instill on us. They want Yes Men and Barnett wasn’t one of them (at least not 100%). Jim still has plenty of energy and passion for broadcasting so retirement or a move to a “special” role was never voluntary on his part. I’m glad he’s back, and hopefully he’ll be doing more than just 1 more season.

  • thewarriorsrule

    agree!

  • thewarriorsrule

    welts, if you truly listened to your fans, then you wouldn’t have tried to fire barnett in the first place!

  • sunshipballoons

    hooray. I sat next to JB in the north endzone at a Cal game once (and not against Oregon). He was there by himself and just wanted to talk to everybody. He knew a ton about Cal football, but spent much of the game talking about shooting. Amazing experience.

  • sunshipballoons

    Oh please. No way it’s possible that JB maybe didn’t want to travel to 41 games per year at age 70? Please go away.

  • sunshipballoons

    I don’t buy the whole conspiracy thing. He’s 70. Traveling 50+ days per year is exhausting.

  • leonps

    Unbelievably good news! Intelligent decisions, like this one, are rare and indicate the Warriors are in good hands. I’m sure they are planning to give J.B. a big raise to prove they no longer underestimate his value. His seniority is based on excellence and excellence shouldn’t be a reason to be replaced. I believe Adam L., the Fast Break blogger, started the grassroots J.B. support. Diamond is doing a great job, BTW.

  • mduvall_420

    Good news! Now if they would listen to the fans and get rid of the shameless homer and company flak sitting next to him they would be 2 for 2.

  • Bubba1971

    I wouldn’t blame Barnett if he did decide to do just home games now. But, I’m glad he’s back ! Fitzgerald, on the other hand, needs to go ! He is too self-absorbed !

  • thewarriorsrule

    u must not know anything about the warriors, or watch the passion that jb displays every game. to go through so many years of suffering and losing, and the warriors finally start winning, u think that he would just want to walk away? not very smart thinking, sunshipballoons.

  • sunshipballoons

    First of all, no need to be such a jerk about it.

    Second, you’re saying that it’s not possible that, even though he’s passionate and loves his job, JB maybe actually wanted a reduced schedule involving only home games (remember, he wasn’t retiring completely). If you think that, okay, good for you. Reasonable people know it actually is possible that he wanted to retire.

  • thewarriorsrule

    where did you hear that rumor? please provide a link. reasonable ppl believe he did not want to retire.

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors/2014/03/23/keep-jim-barnett/

  • sunshipballoons

    Yes, reasonable people also can believe he did not want to retire. Both are beliefs that can be held by reasonable people.

  • thewarriorsrule

    i think you’re the only one who believed he wanted to retire