Warriors in the Bay Area

Just a stream of consciousness piece, ideas may be kind of jumbled up. I'm not biased towards either side, I'm just putting virtual pen on virtual paper to sort things out and let everyone toss their hat in the ring.

There were never any warriors in San Francisco.

There were never any warriors in Oakland.

I've always wondered about that. See, I wanted to know the significance of the Warriors name. Orlando Magic references Disneyworld; the Boston Celtics is a mispronunciation of the Celts; the Los Angeles Clippers clip the toenails of the Lakers, etc. After casually browsing through the history of the Philadelphia Warriors, I uncovered... not a lot. They were named after an ABL team, the Philadelphia Warriors, who played two seasons from 1926 to 1928. I'm sure this is all standard knowledge to basketball historians. The ABL team also had a few nicknames, the Phillies and the Quakers--in other words, 'Warriors' wasn't even historically/culturally relevant to GSW's progenitor.

Which begs the question, why didn't we change the name when we came over? Sidenote: did you know the Pistons were named after the original owner's piston manufacturing company--and not for being in Detriot? Or that the Rockets just happened to move from San Diego to a more relevant location? That's like the Packers moving to some place named Packersville or something, but I digress. Okay, I know I just ruffled a bunch of undies. I know, there's a long and storied history--not to mention those glorious jerseys from days of yore--under the Warriors name. Two championships, Run TMC, Rick Barry, 29 points in a playoff quarter, We Believe, 100 points in a game--none of that's going away. I'm not seriously entertaining the thought of changing the name, I'm simply gauging public opinion on it.

There's no doubt 'Warriors' is a swell name for a professional sports team; it's just inherently bland. The recently re-minted Charlotte Hornets are historically relevant, a name that's 240 years in the making. The San Francisco 49ers is a case example of a representation of the Bay Area's cultural history. The San Francisco Giants... not so much, but that's a different conversation. Well, not entirely, but we're talking about the Warriors here. In both cases we inherited the names from elsewhere, but in the Warriors case it was already just an archetypical name with no substance behind it.

There's a valid argument that, although 'Warriors' has no cultural significance, the devout fans have took it and breathed life into it. Echoes of 'Waaarrioors, Waaaaarioooors!' raining down from the rafters moments after the final buzzer sounded off, signaling the end of the season, remind me that the fans, the players, personify the moniker. The fans, persevering through an unusually long drought of success--our record 16 seasons without an all star almost doubled the 2nd longest active streak--were undoubtedly warriors. The players this year saw a guy with a lot of heart and passion for the game have that all ripped away from him on a nasty play in the second game of the season, and rallied together in the face of his loss--they were warriors. There's no doubt, to quote the great Mark Jackson, our guys fought. They competed. And they embodied the name on the front of their jerseys, without worrying about the name on the back.

I'm not usually a pessimist, but this won't always be the case. There's a lot of questions brewing on the horizon in regards to both sets of 'warriors'. For the fans, it's 2017. Will the raucous Oracle crowd migrate to Lacob Arena? Will everyone be priced out? Will they be replaced with a quiet business crowd? Will Guber's dream of a Hollywood crowd leave Steph Curry raining threes in absolute silence? Will all the true warriors be left at home, cheering at their screens? Our collective heart as a fan base will remain just as strong. But will we be able to vocalize our support? The second problem with the continuation of the embodiment of the warrior is with the team. Will Jarret Jack stay? Will the lockerroom atmosphere be affected by the inevitable roster changes? Even if Bob Myers keeps this team together until Harrison Barnes is 45, there will be a day when the team is not as close as it was this past season--it sounds pessimistic, but let's remember things weren't even this good some thirteen months ago. This close-knit group of knuckleheads is an anomaly in this league. There will come a day, as depressing as it sounds, when the Warriors will be back in the lottery. When the Preacher no longer has his sermons about 'fighting' and 'competing'. When guys don't dance in the hallways in the pregame. When the guys donning the blue and gold no longer carry that Warrior spirit. Culture, especially in its fledgling state, is incredibly hard to maintain. It is a fickle, evanescent creature; impossible to understand completely.

That previous paragraph isn't to forecast doom. It's to point out the fact that our team name shouldn't just be applicable for intermittent periods of time. We embody the warrior spirit; but it's impossible to be certain that we always will. For now, the name works. But isn't it fun, just for the sake of wondering (not like there's any draft stuff to worry about... have fun with that pick, Utah!), to come up with culturally relevant names? I mean, we're the 7,000 square mile area that gave birth to Apple, Google, the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, thizzin', and so much more! We're a diverse group of people, we surely can come up with some creative names.

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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