The Warriors have five years to undo the damage they’ve done, and they’d be wise to get started right away.
What damage? Well, in holding that ostentatious news conference to announce their plans to move to San Francisco, the Dubs dissed Oakland in a big way.
Planned or not, the backdrop when the team’s owners and smarmy NBA commish David Stern posed for photos on Piers 30-32, with the gaudy “2017” jerseys in hand, was ironic. It was Oakland — squarely, literally and figuratively in the rear-view mirror.
It had to hurt anyone who lives in the city that’s so loyally hosted and supported the Warriors through years of futility, forging a reputation as one of the most rabid fan bases in the league.
It could make for an uncomfortable half-decade, as the Dubs play out the string at Oracle Arena before the gleaming new area across the Bay is ready for play.
So how to mend fences? Start right now, with this: Change the team’s name to “Oakland Warriors.”
It might seem like a hollow gesture to some, and perhaps others will say they’d just as soon not see the name changed if it’s going to change to “San Francisco Warriors” in six years.
But admit it. You’d buy that jersey. Or that hat. Or that T-shirt.
And it would be a cool way for the owners to pay homage to a city that’s been a big part of the franchise’s history. Oakland deserves at least that much.
Oh, and free beer for the next five years wouldn’t hurt, either.
BEST IN THE WEST: The NBA playoffs have been a tough watch this year. Thuggish ruggish bone. Flagrant 1’s, 2’s and 6’s abound. The Celtics and 76ers, and the Heat and Pacers, almost literally beat the snot out of each other in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
But there’s something awfully appealing about the Western Conference Finals: Spurs vs. Thunder.
It’s two teams that, while dramatically different in terms of experience and overall athleticism, simply play the game the way it was designed to be played — on two different planes.
The Spurs simply play old-school, traditionalist ball. They have a nucleus of stars, complementary players who willingly accept and excel in their roles, and a tried-and-true method of ball movement that would make James Naismith shed a tear.
The Thunder play solid fundamental ball, too, but what makes OKC special is that they play with such obvious joy. Led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, they remind you of an AAU team comprised of guys who have known each other since they were in diapers, and they all absolutely love each other.
The West Finals are what basketball is all about: playing with class, discipline and joy.
SPEED ROUND: The life of Barry Zito: One awful start, and all of the good work that came before it gets washed away by a wave of I-knew-this-was-coming. ... On the flip side, if Tim Lincecum, who has been brutal for most of the year, has one dominant start — say, eight innings, two hits, one walk, 13 strikeouts — the fans will shift into He’s-back! mode. ... Can someone please tell Rolando McClain to shut up? ... And finally, it’s time to recognize Josh Reddick for the stud that he is. Expected to be little more than a fourth outfielder, Reddick is starting to look like a legitimate star who could anchor the A’s lineup for years to come. If you’re a longtime fan and remember the pre-steroid days, you look at Reddick and see a little of a young Jason Giambi.
Mychael Urban, a frequent co-host of The Wheelhouse (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) on 95.7 FM The Game, can be followed on Twitter @BigUrbSports. His website is UrbsUnchained.com.