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Golden State’s arena sign of things to come

Sep 12, 2013, 4:53 PM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors - Game Six Getty Images

The suddenly-relevant Warriors have made big strides.  Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Bogut, & Co. have turned the Bay Area into a basketball hotbed – you could practically feel the crackle of energy in the air as they upset Denver in last year’s playoffs.

The sky’s the limit for this team, and local investors are taking notice.  The Oracle’s lease runs out after the 2017 season, and plans are in the works across the bay for a sumptuous brand-spankin’-new waterfront arena tagged at $1 billion – that’s billion with a B.

Beyond the arena itself, however, is what the whole project says about the team:

1) They’ve electrified the town.

Big-dollar investors don’t drop that kind of cash without good reason.  There is big money to be made through licensing, media rights, merchandising, advertising, concessions, and the list goes on.  This all happens when strong public support goes hand in hand with investors’ attention – both of which the Warriors suddenly have.

2) They’re here to stay.

After all, Oracle 2.0 won’t be ready for another 4 seasons.  As it stands now, every contract on the team will have expired by that time.  The only ones still on the books through the end of the 2016-17 season are Curry and offseason newcomer Andre Iguodala. Bay Area med-tech venture capitalist and Warriors owner Joe Lacob’s potential use for that cap space doesn’t bode well for the rest of the NBA.

  • First, keep the major players – Curry is key, and Thompson and Bogut are a close second.  Barnes is no slouch either.  Curry-Thompson is a potentially deadly 1-2 punch, if next year they can adjust to defenses who figure them out after last year’s lights-out playoff performance and if Thompson can avoid a sophomore slump.  Bogut is a reliable rebounder with good hands and instincts, and he can score when needed.  Curry is signed through 2016-17, but Bogut’s is up next summer and Thompson’s has a club option the summer after that.  Get them back.
  • Second, build around that core.  They’ve got a good thing going and just need to make a few well-timed tweaks.  Andre Iguodala might prove to be just that.  However, my first response is no, due to his age for two reasons.  First, he turns 30 in January, not old but also not young.  Second, in his 9 years he’s proved himself as a good player but not a franchise cornerstone.  Still, he could be a solid missing piece and a good small-forward addition to supplement Curry at point, Bogut inside, and Thompson/Barnes on the wing.

Keep an eye on the Warriors.  They’ve got a great chance to do some big things.  Not right now, not this season — they’ve got a ways to go before competing with the Heat and Thunder.  But keep an eye on them, come spring.  And definitely keep an eye on their new arena, come 2017.

  1. flickflint - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    THEY NEED TO SIGN THE BASED GOD! HE’S THE ONE WHO TAUGHT CURRY TO SHOOT. PAY THE MAN

  2. rickyspanish - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    If I’m ever in that area, the first thing I want to do is go to a Warriors game. That is the most intense crowd in basketball.

    • topdawg4ever - Sep 13, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      You betcha! As a lifelong fan and season ticket holder, I don’t think there is a better team than the Dubs when it comes to fans. The Coliseum (otherwise known as Oracle Arena) is a rockin’ good time.

  3. spursareold - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    GS says nothing to me but “second round out”. They’re Clippers, North. Very exciting to watch, but golfing by mid May. They just can’t defend well enough to get further, not even with Iggy.

  4. teambringitstrong - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    I don’t believe that will have any sustained success. I’m Bay Area guy but I predict they will be much like Sacramento in the early 2000s. Without the cowbells.

  5. hildezero - Sep 12, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    Damn. That Oracle guy is hella rich?

  6. hildezero - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Wait. I didn’t mean it as a question. XD

  7. freudnumb - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    With all due respect to Curry, Thompson, and Bogut … You left out the team’s only all star in gazillion years.

    • therhettski - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:40 PM

      True. Lee averaged a double-double for them last year; two-time All-Star; a very good player on just about any team in the league. He is an offensive player, but the Warriors’ offense centers around their backcourt: Curry and Thompson. Mark Jackson doesn’t need high-scoring post players; he needs reliable post players who complement his gameplan around the guard play. Remember, he is a point guard at heart (led league in assists once; led Pacers to Finals once) and he structures his team accordingly.

      Then again, Bogut’s contract is up two years before Lee’s…

    • ProBasketballPundit - Sep 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Lee is a stat all star. He doesn’t actually help his team other than a little offense. Defense and rebounding are terrible. (Don’t quote me his rebounding numbers, look up some advanced stats. His teams rebound better with him on the bench.)

  8. topdawg4ever - Sep 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    So I guess the guy who wrote this article is new to the Bay Area? Is just now discovering what all of us Dubs fans have known for years? The Warriors have been a fan fav for a LONG time- win or lose (mostly losing) and have always had great numbers at their games. The new arena was in the works before last season’s playoff appearance. There has never been any doubt that the Bay Area can support a new arena and that the team has always been popular no matter whether winning or losing.

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