If The New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats Change Their Names, The Golden State Warriors Should Too

By Nick Claussen
Kyle Terada – USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats may both change their names soon, but the one NBA team that needs to change its name the most is the Golden State Warriors.

Now I don’t live in the Greater Golden State area and I have not been a fan of the Warriors for decades, so maybe I am missing something here, but as an NBA fan, I hate the name “Golden State.” Mainly, I hate it because most people around the country don’t know what it means or where the team is.

If you ask 100 casual sports fans, “Hey what do you think about Golden State this year?” I bet that at least half of them will say, “He plays for Seattle right? He was great as a receiver at Notre Dame and I think he had a pretty good year with the Seahawks.”

Most casual sports fans have no idea where Golden State is and some people don’t even know they are a team. Frankly, I’d bet that a lot of NBA fans don’t even know where Golden State is.

Back in the day, I loved watching Run TMC play for the Warriors and I tried to watch as many of their games as I could. As a kid living in Ohio at the time, though, I had no idea where Golden State was actually located. I thought it was somewhere in California, but I wasn’t even sure about that.

Apparently, it is in Oakland.

The team started out as the Philadelphia Warriors in 1946, and then became the San Francisco Warriors in 1962.  When the team moved to Oakland in 1971, it became the Golden State Warriors.

The name is used so that fans in Oakland and San Francisco can both identify with the team and claim it as its own. Doesn’t that seem a little dumb? Haven’t the fans in San Francisco realized by now that the team isn’t actually in San Francisco?

Again, as someone who doesn’t live in the Bay Area, maybe I’m missing something here, but I think that the people in San Francisco and other nearby cities would still follow the team if it was called the Oakland Warriors simply because it was the closest team.

Also, if the NBA is so worried about attracting fans from all across the Bay Area, then why not call the team the Bay Area Warriors or something like that?

As someone who doesn’t live in the Bay Area, I know that fans around the country don’t care if the team is named after San Francisco or Oakland, and I think that part of the reason the team doesn’t have a strong national identity is because people don’t know where Golden State is.

If baseball’s former California Angels can change its name to two different cities (which makes even less sense), and in the NBA the Bobcats can become the Hornets and the Hornets can become the Pelicans, then Golden State can change its name too.

The Warriors are having a great season this year and no one knows it. If more people knew where the team is, it might help more people around the country to care about the Warriors and want to follow the team. It’s time to change the name.

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