NBA: Warriors exec says ‘no final decision’ on ‘San Francisco’ name change | Inquirer Sports

NBA: Warriors exec says ‘no final decision’ on ‘San Francisco’ name change

/ 02:42 PM January 10, 2017

Golden State Warriors, from left, Andre Iguodala (9), Kevin Durant (35) and Stephen Curry (30) wait during a called foul during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. AP PHOTO

Golden State Warriors, from left, Andre Iguodala (9), Kevin Durant (35) and Stephen Curry (30) wait after a called foul during the second half of a game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. Image: AP

The Golden State Warriors are relocating to a new arena in San Francisco in 2019, and the team may very well have a new name by then.

Just as fitting as their move from the Oracle Arena in Oakland to the neighboring Chase Arena in San Francisco, there’s a growing speculation that the franchise would soon drop ‘Golden State’ from its name, to be replaced with the squad’s new location.

The team’s president and COO Rick Welts addressed these rumors last week, claiming that the franchise has yet to approve the potential brand change, predicted to become ‘San Francisco Warriors’.

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“The team’s success has caused us to really rethink whether or not that’s something we should or want to do,” Welts said on the Warriors Insider Podcast, transcribed by CSN Bay Area.  “I guess it’s fair to say there’s been no final decision made.”

“Four years ago, I think the conventional wisdom in our building here in Oakland was that, yes, we should attach a city name to the team, that it would become a more global franchise,” Welts described. “There was a lot of head-scratching four years ago about where the Golden State Warriors even played, in other parts of the world.”

What’s in a name

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The Warriors started under the Philadelphia banner, as the Philadelphia Warriors, before moving to San Francisco in the early ’60s. The franchise then moved to Oakland in 1971 and was renamed the Golden State Warriors. Should a change happen, therefore, it would be not much of a name change, but in fact only a re-assumption of the old name ‘San Francisco Warriors’ which the team carried from 1962 to 1971.

Since the term ‘Golden State’ also refers to other cities in the state of California, the nebulousness of the name have confused many beyond the Bay Area.

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But ever since the team’s recent championship success and surging popularity, even casual fans now know where the franchise is located.

“What’s happened with the team over the course of the ensuing years, until today, has made the Warriors if not the preeminent, at least among the three best-known NBA franchises around the world,” the Warrior executive continued.

“And everybody who didn’t know where the Golden State Warriors were four years ago, if you’re a fan today, anywhere in the world, you know where the Golden State Warriors are,” he said

Welts, however, said that as of now, the odds are against any change and the team would most likely keep its name.

“But if you were a betting man, I think you would probably want to wager that the name might remain the same,” Welts revealed.

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Welts also disclosed that the “Golden State Warriors” was coined as an effort to attract fans from all over California, and not just in the Bay Area. Khristian Ibarrola

TAGS: California, Golden State Warriors, name change, OAKLAND, Oracle Arena, relocation, San Francisco

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