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Warriors president Rick Welts on how wealth could result in new people attending Warriors games in San Francisco

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Warriors president Rick Welts was in New York to accept the Sports Business Awards honor for Sports Team of the Year on Wednesday and beforehand spoke about Warriors fans as they relate to business.

Asked by CNBC about the wealth in the Bay Area and if that has shifted the kind of people that want to buy tickets and attend games, Welts said it hasn’t yet.

“I think there’s greater interest because of the winning, but I think the fan base has remained remarkably the same,” Welts said. “I think we have an incredibly diverse fan base. We cut off our season ticket sales at 14,500 three years ago, and really it’s those same 14,500 people that have been there ever since. We’re renewing at 98, 95 percent, so we’re not bringing a lot of those new people you’re talking about into the fold yet. But hopefully we’re designing a stadium that will take advantage of that wealth.”

Chase Center, which is scheduled to open in San Francisco for the 2019-20 season if the team can clear legal challenges, will cost “a billion and a half dollars” in privately-funded money for the project, according to Welts.

Season ticket renewal rates surpassed 90 percent for a fourth straight season at Oracle Arena in Oakland, and those holders will have priority for Chase Center when the prices of tickets are expected to rise.

The season ticket holder wait list, meanwhile, has grown to over 28,000 members, according to the Warriors. They paid non-refundable deposits to join and will have priority over the general public for Chase Center.

Asked about the economy, Welts said, “We are living in a very unusual environment in the Bay Area right now. The whole Bay Area is on fire in a good way. It’s the center of innovation of the world. The economy is roaring. There is very little that we have to complain about right now.”

Asked about issues about California’s economy and how they could affect how the Warriors plan, budget and strategize, Welts said affordability is becoming “a front burner issue in the Bay Area.”

“The cost of housing is really not where it needs to be for everyday people who have regular jobs to be able to afford to live there,” he said. “Now some of that’s going to accrue to the benefit of Oakland and some of the surrounding areas, but it’s a real problem we have to address.”

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Warriors fan dressed up as the Ultimate Warrior, got on the dance cam, made incoherent postgame promo

Warriors fan Brian Tong attended Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals dressed up as the Ultimate Warrior, the late WWF championship wrestler.

That got everyone’s attention.

Tong danced during a timeout in the action with such vigor that he was featured on the Warriors’ dance cam and appeared on the video scoreboard. A sampling of his moves while in costume can be found here in this video.

A host and editor for CNET, Tong has interviewed the Warriors in a media setting in his day job.

On Tuesday night, Tong made it to television in costume, appearing to scare the bejesus out of the guy in the next seat.

Then came the Ultimate Warrior impersonation.

After the Warriors won, KRON shot him doing an Ultimate Warrior-like promo outside of Oracle Arena, and it was as bizarre and incoherent as one might expect.

“The Warriors came from the sky and took down Portland into a tailspin like the Ultimate Warriors,” Tong told the television station.

Tong pointed to the championship belt he brought to the game, pointed to it, and called out Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard.

“Lillard, see this Lillard,” Tong said. “You will fall to the Ultimate Warrior.”

Tong laughed. He had some more words for the Trail Blazers on Instagram.

“Send your hopes into a tailspin of despair…the cold abyss of no return…Portland…Trailblazers…,” he wrote.

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Luke Walton won’t address Lakers job opening, says of Warriors: ‘I love my job here. I absolutely love it.’

Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton walks to the bench while playing against the Chicago Bulls in the second quarter of their game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Golden State Warriors interim head coach Luke Walton walks to the bench while playing against the Chicago Bulls in the second quarter of their game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton smiled as he deflected questions about head coaching openings and said he would only answer ones about the playoffs.

Asked about the Los Angeles Lakers job opening, the former Lakers player said, “All I’m worried about is the playoffs right now.”

Told he was among the coaches being mentioned for the Sacramento Kings job opening, he said, “Nice, it’s nice of them.”

Walton has also been linked to the New York Knicks’ possible opening if interim Kurt Rambis isn’t retained as head coach.

Walton spoke after he had been on the dais during the Coach of the Year press conference for Steve Kerr. Walton finished ninth in the voting, receiving one second-place vote and two third-place votes. He served as interim head coach when the Warriors went 39-4, including an NBA-record 24-0 start.

“I love my job here,” Walton said. “I absolutely love it. I love the playoff battles that we’re in right now. We’ve got prep work to do. Every bit of focus right now should be on the playoffs. So any questions I’m asked about anything else is a distraction in my opinion, and then I’m being selfish. So I’m not answering anything about anything except for our team and the playoffs.”

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Warriors rookie Kevon Looney undergoes surgery on his other hip

The newest member of the Golden State Warriors, Kevon Looney, 19, of Milwaukee, Wis., answers questions during a news conference at their practice facility in Oakland, Calif., Friday, June 26, 2015. Looney was selected by the Warriors with the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

The newest member of the Golden State Warriors, Kevon Looney, 19, of Milwaukee, Wis., answers questions during a news conference at their practice facility in Oakland, Calif., Friday, June 26, 2015. Looney was selected by the Warriors with the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Warriors rookie forward Kevon Looney underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip on Friday, according to the team.

The surgery in Vail, Colo. came eight months after the team’s first-round draft pick underwent a similar surgery on his right hip and a month after he had inflammation in the left hip.

Looney, 20, is expected to miss a minimum of another four to six months before returning to basketball activities, making him likely to miss the NBA Summer League.

The 30th overall draft pick, Looney played in five games for the Warriors and 12 games for their NBA Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz this season.

A Warriors spokesman said the team had previously mistakenly listed Looney’s latest hip injury as his right hip instead of his left. The change was made Wednesday.

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Rockets’ James Harden should have been called for offensive foul before game-winning shot against Warriors

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets agrues a call with NBA official Gary Zielinski during their game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center on December 25, 2015 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 25: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets agrues a call with NBA official Gary Zielinski during their game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center on December 25, 2015 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

HOUSTON — Houston guard James Harden should have been called for an offensive foul before he hit the game-winning shot in the Rockets’ 97-96 win against the Warriors in Game 3 on Thursday, according to the NBA.

It was incorrect for officials not to call the foul on Harden for initiating contact with defender Andre Iguodala to create space, according to the league. A foul call would have given the Warriors the ball back with a 96-95 lead with five seconds left.

The Warriors benefited from a no-call as well, according to the league. Iguodala should have been called for a loose ball foul on the previous play defending an inbound pass that was stolen and led to an Ian Clark layup that gave the Warriors that 96-95 lead.

The NBA also reported its basketball operations department is reviewing the contact Draymond Green made with Beasley on an inbound with one second left and the Warriors forward looking to foul. Green threw Beasley to the ground in a foul that should have been called, according to the league.

The league assesses non-calls directly related to the outcome of possessions in the final two minutes of games within five points.

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Stephen Curry, Patrick Beverley get into scuffle in Game 1 of the playoffs

Patrick Beverley knew his job in the playoffs would be difficult. The Rockets point guard is tasked with guarding reigning league MVP Steph Curry. Even the league’s best defenders often fail to contain the Golden State point guard, who is averaging 30 points per game.

Not even six minutes into the first quarter of Saturday’s Game 1, things got chippy between Beverley and Curry. The two locked arms and exchanged shoves before Draymond Green intervened. Beverley and Curry both received technical fouls.

Beverley, who was Curry’s teammate on USA Basketball’s U19 team that won gold at the FIBA World Championships in Serbia in 2007, is a notoriously pesky defender. He has rustled up the likes of Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook and DeMarcus Cousins. Now Curry can be added to that list.

Beverley checked out of the game towards the end of the second quarter. The crowd inside Oracle Arena has booed the point guard every time he’s touched the ball on Saturday.

Golden State currently has a 60-33 lead over Houston at halftime.

Follow @CourtneyRCronin on Twitter.

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Clippers’ Doc Rivers jokes about Warriors owner Joe Lacob comments: ‘Good to be smarter than everybody’

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers leaves the floor at the end of the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Sunday, March 8, 2015, at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)

Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers leaves the floor at the end of the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Sunday, March 8, 2015, at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. (D. Ross Cameron/Bay Area News Group)

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers joked about Warriors owner Joe Lacob’s recent comments to the New York Times Magazine about the defending champions being “light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things.”

“Just good to be smarter than everybody, you know?” Rivers joked on the Dan Le Batard Show on Friday. “It’s nice. It’s a nice place to be.

“But listen, when you win, you can talk. You know what they say, ‘To the victor go the spoils,’ and so you know, they’re the champs. Listen, they won 73 games. They’re obviously doing something right. You know and so you can’t say much about it until you beat them…You know what, if we win it, I’m going to have all kinds of things to say just like Joe.”

Rivers laughed.

Asked about Stephen Curry being ahead of everyone else, Rivers joked: “It’s from the planning that Joe Lacob’s doing. Clearly.”