San Francisco Rumors
The 18,000-seat, privately financed multi-purpose arena that will include a public plaza is currently under construction. It will be located in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco. The Warriors believe the new venue will be a world-class destination, and plan to host many of the most prominent entertainment events on the calendar each year.
Members of the Warriors’ operations staff, headlined by general manager and two-time NBA Executive of the Year Bob Myers, have played a game in San Quentin yearly since 2012. In that time, those players — known collectively as the Green Team because of the color of their scrimmage jerseys — have become friendly with numerous inmates. Last summer, outside a chicken and waffles restaurant in San Francisco, Myers was ecstatic to run into a man he had met in San Quentin. “A lot of people think we come in here and want the exposure,” Myers said. “But the truth is, we come in here just to interact with these guys, show them that they matter. I just heard a couple of them are getting out soon, which is the best news.”
The Warriors star fielded questions from fans on The Bill Simmons Podcast posted Sunday night, and one fan wondered what KD’s favorite part of the Bay is (beside winning the NBA championship with Golden State). “It’s just the culture, it’s just the food,” Durant said. “It’s just so many different pockets of mom-and-pop restaurants in different pockets of San Francisco, the Bay Area and Oakland. It’s like so many small, really boutique restaurants and the culture in there is overwhelming and you really get entrenched in that. You can tell they take it really seriously. I never experienced nothing like that, so I thought it was really cool. Just different restaurant experiences.”
These were the San Francisco Warriors until 1972, when Oakland became their home on the other side of The Bay. Now, more than seven years after venture capitalist Joe Lacob and entertainment magnate Peter Guber headed a new ownership group that bought the team and made it clear from the start that they were San Francisco-bound, everything old is new again. And, as they see it, well-earned. “A lot of (the reaction) is relief, to get to this point, because this has been a hard, hard thing to do,” Lacob told USA TODAY Sports. “(It was) the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve been involved – over 30 years – in a lot of companies, and some went down, some succeeded, but this is a tough thing. I have great respect for any owner who gets a new stadium or arena done. It’s hard.”
While there are plenty of critics of the move, including a passionate contingent from the region’s East Bay that alleges the organization never truly embraced the city of Oakland, it certainly helps the optics that the Warriors are footing the $1 billion bill for the privately-financed venue. The combination of the arena becoming a reality and the Warriors’ recent success on the court is the kind of thing that seemed unlikely just a few years ago, when so many folks looked sideways at Lacob and Guber when they would talk about building a global brand. “I think the way it was put (during the ceremony) was ‘The Madison Square Garden of the West,’” Lacob said. “Madison Square Garden is a pretty unbelievable place, and to be the Madison Square Garden of the West … I think is a pretty big – if you can achieve that, that’s pretty good.”