As first tweeted by Grantland's Zach Lowe on Friday and reported at SB Nation's women's basketball site Swish Appeal today, the Golden State Warriors are inching closer to relocating the WNBA's L.A. Sparks to the Bay Area for the 2014 season (which will likely begin in mid-May).
Hearing talks to have the current Warriors ownership group take over the WNBA's L.A. Sparks are gaining steam.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) January 11, 2014
Even if you're not a particularly big fan of the WNBA or have never bothered to give it a chance, it doesn't get much better for Bay Area basketball fans than bringing a team with versatile Olympian Candace Parker and Stanford alum Nneka Ogwumike already in place.
The team is competitive, which would make them easy to root for - although they're stuck in a stacked Western Conference with Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx and Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury as top contenders, they have the pieces in place to contend in the near future.
Also noteworthy: Andre Iguodala is apparently a WNBA fan and has even said he'd like to own a team someday.
Anyway, it's not a done deal yet - a L.A. based owner could step up or negotiations could break down - but one of the tasks that will confront ownership is a re-branding effort: there's a possibility that they'd handle this team similar to the way they handled relocating the Dakota Wizards to Santa Cruz, which included changing the name and uniforms to establish consistency with their NBA team.
So here's a few questions for the GSoM community to chew on with both of the Joe Lacob's other pro basketball franchises having an extended break in their schedule:
1. It's not entirely clear where the team will play, but it's possible they go with re-naming this WNBA franchise the "Warriors" as well. How do you like the idea of having a NBA, D-League, and WNBA team all named the Warriors?
2. With a name change, they'd also have to come up with a new logo. For those unfamiliar with L.A. Sparks history, the team was initially owned by Lakers owner Jerry Buss and branded to complement that NBA squad.
For reference, here's what their current uniforms look like:
Photo by Kirby Lee | USA Today Sports.
Photo by Jennifer Stewart | USA Today Sports.
And here are their current primary and secondary logos (the latter of which I've never actually seen used anywhere):
So what would you like to see as a logo for the Bay Area's new WNBA team? What design elements would you want? What color schemes do you think work better than others? Or should it just be as similar to the Golden State jerseys as Santa Cruz are?
3. How do you feel about this overall? The Warriors organization has been interested in bringing a WNBA team to the Bay Area for some time and this really is the best opportunity for them to get a competitive franchise with stars they should be able to market to Bay Area basketball fans relatively easily.
Tell us how you feel about this development in the poll below and if you have ideas for a logo or color scheme, feel free to leave them in the comments below as well.
For far more on the situation as it develops, check out the storystream at SB Nation's Swish Appeal.