Goodbye, Warriors: Which NBA Team Should I Adopt?

I’ve lived my entire life in California’s East Bay, near Oakland. I’ve always rooted for Oakland’s sports teams and I’ve always loathed San Francisco’s sports teams. For a diehard Oakland fan like me, today’s NBA news is unwelcome…

Warriors unveil plans to move to San Francisco

My Golden State Warriors have 5 years left in Oakland, and then they’re moving back to San Francisco.

It always bothered me that that team would not call themselves the Oakland Warriors. I guess I can stop holding my breath waiting for that name change to occur. They’ll soon be the San Francisco Warriors.

I’ll definitely drop the Warriors as my NBA team when they move to San Francisco in 2017. I cannot support any San Francisco team. That’s out of the question. I don’t root for San Francisco teams. I root against San Francisco teams. As an Oakland NBA fan, I’m faced with two big questions:

1. Which NBA team will I adopt as my home team when the Warriors pack up and leave Oakland? The natural choice is the Sacramento Kings, but the Kings could be leaving Sacramento before the Warriors leave Oakland. If the NBA expands at some point during the next 5 years, I’ll probably adopt the expansion team regardless of their location.

If the Kings leave Sacramento and there’s no league expansion by 2017, I might latch on to one of the four ABA teams that merged into the NBA during the late 70s. Oakland pro basketball has roots in the old ABA. I can’t see myself rooting for the Brooklyn Nets (New York, ugh) or the Denver Nuggets (as a Raider fan, I can’t support Denver), so that leaves the Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs as the old ABA candidates for adoption.

2. Should I drop the Warriors right now, or should I wait until they actually leave Oakland? I wasn’t a fan of the current ownership group before the news broke about the move to San Francisco, and now I think even less of them – so it would not be difficult for me to dump the Warriors immediately. However, it would feel strange to not support a team that plays in Oakland.

I’m leaning toward continued support for the Warriors until they move out of Oakland, while hoping that the move withers and dies in the notorious abyss of San Francisco politics. Few cities can match San Francisco for municipal chaos and red tape. There are no guarantees that the Warriors will have their new San Francisco arena built and ready within 5 years, even if they were to break ground tomorrow.

This much is certain: If the team is officially renamed as the “San Francisco Warriors” before they actually move out of Oakland then I’ll stop supporting them when the name change occurs.

There’s one strange twist in all of this for a lame-duck Oakland Warriors fan. Like most Warriors fans, I’ve been concerned about Warriors outcome in the draft lottery later this month. If the Warriors don’t draft in the first 7 positions then they must hand their pick over to Utah. That would be quite damaging, and I’d been hoping that the Warriors land a top-7 spot and avoid surrendering their draft choice. Suddenly, after today’s news about the team moving to San Francisco, I don’t care what happens to their draft choice this summer.

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