Following in the footsteps of former Sacramento Kings owners Gavin and Joe Maloof, the Golden State Warriors announced today that they would be expanding into the world of entertainment. Golden State Entertainment will “create original content to tell compelling stories that are both rooted in and transcend the world of sports and entertainment.” That means, yes they’ll make documentaries about basketball, but they’re also releasing music for some reason.
On April 22, the music division of Golden State Entertainment will release a single from K-Pop artist BamBam called “Wheels Up,” which BamBam also performed at halftime of the Warriors season finale. The local tie-in is that the song features Oakland recording artist Mayzin, who has 2500 followers on Instagram and wears a Kobe Bryant high school jersey in his profile photo. But at least they’re showcasing a musician from Oakland instead of a guy who lives in one of the Millenium Towers.
If you’re not a K-Pop fan, you may know BamBam as the guy who got Andrew Wiggins his starting spot on the All-Star team by tweeting about Wiggins to his ten million followers.
It’s the best time to begin 2022! He is one of the best two-way players!— BamBam (@BamBam1A) January 8, 2022
Wiggs deserves to be an All-Star, vote Andrew Wiggins into the 2022 NBA All-Star Game..and I can’t wait to meet you all very soon#AndrewWiggins #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/bpOXKAJ920
BamBam is also an official “global ambassador” for the Warriors, and he did raise the team’s profile, if also psyching out Wiggins from the pressure and ruining his ability to make free throws. He and Maple Jordan finally met two weeks ago.
in the gym with @22wiggins x @BamBam1A #BamBamxGSW pic.twitter.com/fN3GOTXi9R— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 5, 2022
According to Chief Business Officer David Kelly, who was formerly in charge of managing the salary cap for the Warriors, basketball and entertainment go together.
“If you think about music and film and sports, they all go in the same direction,” says Kelly, a musician who has released eight albums and toured internationally. “They’re all aligned with each other. They’re all adjacent to each other.”
Kelly, who records under the name of All Natural (cap D), will still keep his job as chief legal officer for the team, although he doesn’t have to manage the cap anymore. His newest album The Greyhound was released last summer, a collaboration with Dug Infinite.
The question is, do basketball and entertainment go together? There’s some successes. The Last Dance and Winning Time have been big TV hits. Common became the first EGOCGMVP winner in history in 2021 (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Celebrity Game Most Valuable Player). Dame Lillard rapped at the 2020 All-Star Game and it was only 90% embarrassing. In the 90’s, the album B-Ball’s Best Kept Secret featured NBA players rapping, and without which we never would have gotten Jason Kidd’s single “What The Kidd Did.”
It’s not like the Warriors are doomed to fail either. Their proposed documentaries about Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Jeremy Lin both sound interesting. Owner Peter Guber was a wildly successful movie producer. And while I can’t speak with any expertise about K-Pop, that BamBam certainly seems charming and popular. But I hesitate to trust any project spearheaded by Joe Lacob. And the whole endeavor sounds, well, Kings-esque.
The Maloof Brothers, Sacramento’s former playboy owners, created Maloof Productions during their high-flying mid-2000’s heyday. Their highest-profile music signing was Jamie Lynn Spears, younger sister to Britney, though she never released an album with them, possibly due to her teen pregnancy or because she was too busy stealing her sister’s money. They produced the TV show Living Lohan, a nine-episode reality show about Lindsay Lohan’s family that didn’t feature Lindsay herself. Entertainment Weekly gave it an F.
Maloof Productions also released a horror comedy called Feast that was featured in the third season of Project Greenlight, and went on to bomb at the box office. At the same time, the Maloofs were selling the family’s exclusive rights to beer distribution in the state of New Mexico in order to support their casino, the Palms, which was the first casino to have a recording studio inside. The Maloofs sold all but 2% of their interest in 2011, and the casino is now owned by a group led by Houston Rocket’s owner Tilman Fertitta’s cousin.
It’s not just the Maloofs, either. The Kings also had a halftime performance to promote a local artist: Vivek Ranadive’s daughter Anjali, whose song “We Turn Up” featured French Montana, who clearly signed on due to his love of the music and not a massive payment from Anjali’s dad.
The Warriors also embark on ambitious NFT projects - no one met the reserve price for the most expensive ones in the first auction - but Kings guard De’Aaron Fox went a step further, and ran an NFT Ponzi scheme that ripped off investors, compensating them with autographed jerseys that would have to be worth thousands of dollars to make them whole.
Now, are the Warriors going to go down the same path as the Maloofs? Of course not. they’re going to be light years ahead of the entertainment industry, obviously, but they’ll also improve on the Maloofs’ choices simply by not attaching themselves to the family members of troubled child stars. We do have some suggested projects:
“Losing Time”: A scripted HBO series about the disintegration of the Golden State Warriors in the 1994-5 season, where Chris Webber demands a trade and Don Nelson is run out of town. Do you think they could get Brendan Gleeson to play Nellie?
“Fraser”: Assistant coach Bruce Fraser moves to Seattle to host a call-in show on local radio where he dispenses advice about dribbling, footwork, defensive strategy, and life. You’ll love his finicky brother Niles, who only wants to run the Princeton offense, and his prickly father, a retired ref who injured his hip in a brutal t-shirt gun attack.
“Jars of Klay”: Klay Thompson’s Christian rock album.
“Going Berserker”: A documentary about the brief, one-year career of Warriors mascot Berserker 75. He only lasted one year, a season where the Warriors played in San Jose due to construction on the Coliseum Arena. And his back story is truly horrific: “During the excavation of the Oakland Coliseum floor in preparation for the building of the new Oakland Coliseum, a crate was found in the plumbing channel used for freezing the floor. It is surmised that Berserker survived on peanut shells and popcorn left over from the circus and many other events. Coolant and asbestos may account for his abnormal appearance.” We’re not surprised that an employee in the Chris Cohan era was paid in peanut shells and stale popcorn.
“The Big BANG! Theory”: In this sitcom, a group of nerdy scientists share an apartment with ABC’s top play-by-play man, Mike Breen, who constantly ruins delicate experiments by surprising them with his emphatic calls of clutch three-pointers.
“Who Wants To Be A League-Minimum Millionaire?”: Joe Lacob hosts a quiz show where NBA veterans answer a series of progressively tougher questions about NBA history, defensive coverages, and the novels of Ayn Rand in order to win the ultimate prize: A contract with the Warriors at the league minimum (worth up to $2.6 million this season, depending on years of experience). Of course, contestants can walk away at any time and sign with the Lakers instead.
“Kerr Your Enthusiasm”: Steve Kerr plays a fictionalized version of himself, dealing with the petty annoyances of life by calmly defusing confrontations with waiters, colleagues, and friend’s spouses with self-deprecating humor. Except for Draymond Green, who like Susie Green dresses in crazy outfits and provokes Steve into profane outbursts.
“A Great Time Out (Remix)” by Pitbull: Mr. International puts his own spin on the classic jingle from the 1999-00 Warriors season. We’re pretty sure Antawn Jamison would re-visit his iconic role for Pitbull.