Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber were joined by NBA commissioner David Stern yesterday to announce the Warriors’ intention to build a new area on San Francisco’s Pier 30/32, just an Andrew Bogut outlet pass from the Giants’ AT&T Park (ok, an overthrown outlet pass). Along with reminding us that successful organizations have been built in towns just as unglamorous as Oakland (eg. Oklahoma City and San Antonio), the San Jose Mercury News’ Monte Poole sticks up for the East Bay’s disenfranchised hoops fans in writing, “the itch to leave Oakland was a factor in the Oracle crowd’s merciless treatment of Lacob two months ago, when a sellout crowd gathered to celebrate the retiring of Chris Mullin’s No. 17 and seized an opportunity to unload on the co-owner.”
Though Lacob didn’t deserve such harsh treatment, he invited it by trading the team’s most popular player, Monta Ellis. By promising the playoffs and failing to deliver. By commanding the stage on a night reserved for someone else. And by making clear his intention to turn his back on thousands of irrationally loyal fans.
These are the fans that five years ago spawned “We Believe,” putting Oakland back on the NBA map, turning Oracle into a place praised by visiting players and coaches.
But Lacob and Guber want their own imprint, a bold and splashy move. Guber referred to the proposed arena as a “world-class entertainment venue.”
Perhaps it can be called the Lacob & Guber Center.
Well, with obscene amounts of money and infinite patience, they can build the dream palace they want, in the place they desire. No doubt a new bayside arena would be a great addition to an iconic skyline.
It wouldn’t do much for the basketball, though, unless the arena came with a superb front office, excellent coaching and all-star talent.