In case you missed the recent news, the Golden State Warriors schedule for the upcoming season has been released. And in case you missed the much more important, albeit much less recent news, the Warriors are the defending champions.
Still feels good to say it.
That means the Dubs get to raise a banner again, have a ceremony again, and dole out some flashy rings that are worth more money than I’ll ever see in my life again.
For the players returning to the Dubs, they’ll get their championship hardware on Opening Night. But for the rest of the team? It will be a little bit of a longer wait.
Here’s where things currently stand for the former Warriors to get their rings.
October 18 — Juan Toscano-Anderson
The Dubs, as defending champs, were always going to play on the first day of the season. And the Lakers — the most popular team in the league, and employer of the most popular player in the league, as well as Warrior rivals of sorts — were always the easy choice to put in San Francisco.
Juan Toscano-Anderson signed with the Lakers over the offseason, which means he’ll be in the arena when the Dubs have their championship ceremony ... and he’ll get to collect his ring at the same time as his teammates. Seems fitting.
October 23 — Mike Brown
OK, not technically a player, but the Warriors host the Sacramento Kings in the third game of the season, and Brown — finally getting another chance to be a head coach in the NBA — should grab his hardware then.
December 10 — All of the Boston Celtics
Hahaha just kidding. They’ll get a good view of the banner, though.
December 30 — Gary Payton II
GPII parlayed his tremendous breakout season into a sizable contract in the Pacific Northwest. While we’re all sad to see him not on the Warriors, everyone in Dub Nation should be stoked that Payton is getting a nice payday and an opportunity to play a large role on an interesting Blazers team.
The ovation he’ll get when returning to Chase Center will be huge.
January 10 — Damion Lee
After four years in the Bay, Lee departs to join one of the Warriors biggest challengers out West: the Phoenix Suns. I’m very curious to see what sort of role he gets to play in Phoenix, and by the time this game rolls around, we’ll know.
January 27 — Otto Porter Jr.
Porter was as good as advertised in his first and only season with the Warriors, and as a result the Toronto Raptors gave him a contract that Golden State simply couldn’t match. Toronto figures to be an incredibly fun team this season, and it will be fun to see Porter balling out with their exciting group of wings and rangy players.
Unknown — Nemanja Bjelica and Chris Chiozza
Bjelica left the Warriors to return to Europe, and it’s unclear when he’ll be in to catch a Warriors game and collect his ring. The Dubs could always send it to him if he doesn’t care about having an in-arena ceremony.
As for Chiozza, he’s currently unsigned. If that’s still the case when Opening Night rolls around, then he’ll likely be in attendance to grab his ring against the Lakers — as will Andre Iguodala, if he opts for retirement. Same for Jeff Dowtin, if the Warriors decide to give him a ring.
October 18 is gonna be fun, y’all.