16

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.

“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