Saturday, April 26, 2014

Golden State Warriors Could Get A Name Change

When the team moves to San Francisco,
should the name change as well?
The Golden State Warriors may be the latest NBA team to have a name change.  We had the New Orleans Hornets turn into the New Orleans Pelicans this season.  Next year, we will see the Charlotte Bobcats turn into the Charlotte Hornets.

The Warriors are contemplating their own name change.  Except they will keep the Warriors nickname.

With the upcoming move to a state-of-the-art arena in San Francisco for the 2018-19 season, the Warriors are toying with the idea of renaming themselves the San Francisco Warriors.

That was the team's name from 1962 to 1971 when the franchise moved from Philadelphia to San Francisco.  During that time, the Warriors bounced around to various arenas in the Bay Area before settling into their current arena in 1971.  With that, the team was renamed the Golden State Warriors.  It has been that name since, and while I prefer the name "Bay Area Warriors", the Golden State moniker is one of the most unique in sports.  Changing it to San Francisco Warriors could be risky.

Should this happen?  I say no.

Two things about the name: one is that it is kind of cool.  Usually you have a city name like most teams have.  If not, usually the state is the way to go (like Colorado Rockies, Utah Jazz, Arizona Diamondbacks, etc).  Even more rare is a geographical identity.

Among the four major sports leagues, you have the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Golden State Warriors.  It is different and, like those other names, allows for pride for an entire region.  Even if the team moves to another city in the Bay, it is still the region's team.

On the other side, you don't want to change the name because it may peeve off your fan base.  The team's move to San Francisco is actually an unpopular one.  The team has resided in Oakland for over 40 years and the citizens feel like the team is abandoning them.  Though it will still be in the Bay Area, the Warriors will be in an entirely different city.  This is big for Oaklanders who could also see their Raiders and Athletics teams move soon from their horrible stadium.

Leaving the city of Oakland is one thing, but abandoning them with a name change to San Francisco over Golden State would really sting.

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