Golden State Warriors & SF City Hall vs Good Neighbors Coalition for Home Court Respect

Photo: Paul Chinn, The SF Chronicle

Golden State Warriors fans get to claim bragging rights as, “Best team” for another year, after the team’s take down of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2017 NBA title. But San Franciscans who support the team’s move to The City should consider what the move will do to their neighbor, Oakland, CA and San Francisco’s image before breaking out into full brag mode.

When the owners of the Warriors purchased the team in 2010, they had big plans. As I recall, NBA titles and a new arena were mentioned over and over. Seven years into the ownership, the Warriors have two NBA titles and are six months into construction of a new 18000-seat arena in San Francisco’s newest neighborhood, Mission Bay.

To see these visionary owners accomplish so much in such a short period of time is amazing. However, it appears, they have developed cataracts, which have clouded their vision and good judgement. Partnering up with the covetous eyes of elected officials at San Francisco City Hall to steal one of the jewels of Oakland, CA is a reprehensible act that no self-respecting San Franciscan would co-sign. And the result of this theft is, San Francisco, a world class city, now looks like a world classless thief.

Correct me if I am wrong, but a world class city anywhere helps its neighbors. It does not help itself to its neighbor’s jewels.

San Francisco City Hall, along with the owners of the Warriors, would have San Franciscans believe, the move from Oakland to San Francisco is supported by most San Franciscans. But as a resident of San Francisco since 1960 and a Golden State Warriors fan since 1975, I have serious doubts. In fact, I, along with many others are ashamed of theft by association with self-serving billionaires, which has caused a group to rise up and set the record straight, we do not treat our neighbors this way. In addition, the wisdom of building an 18000-seat arena across the street from a Children's Hospital at UCSF Medical Center is beyond short sighted, it is a tragedy waiting to happen due to game day traffic.

Then there was the weak justification, which was not only an insult to all longtime residence but a lie: “The team was here first and we are bringing them back home." Telling that lie, one must assumes no one alive at the time is here to counter that false claim. The team was never here. Oh my bad, two years.

“San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee waves to fans during the Golden State Warriors and the City of Oakland, Calif. Thursday, June 15, 2017.” (Jessica Christian/S.F.Examiner)

The Golden State Warriors originated in Philadelphia. When the team came west, they did become the San Francisco Warriors, but their home games were actually played at the Cow Palace, which is located in Daly City, CA. There was a time from 1964 to 1966 when they played at the 7000 seat SF Civic Auditorium (Now Bill Graham). But it was ne ver intended to be called “home” when you compare it to the Cow Palace seating of 12000.

But for my favorite city, San Francisco, to treat my second favorite city, Oakland in a covetous manner, by stealing the best team in the National Basketball Association for its own, and trying to lie to cover up the theft, this reminds me of when I was 13-years-old.

Walter, a classmate, came to school with a new watch that he received as a gift. He showed me the watch and I coveted it to the point of intentionally grabbing for and slipping it off his wrist while we were playing. I took the watch home and told my father a friend at school gave it to me.

Of course, my father saw my lying lips move up and down with much skepticism but he did not know what to do. When I returned to school the very next day wearing the watch as if I got away with this theft, Walter told the teacher. The teacher also saw my lying lips move up and down as I claimed, "My father gave me the watch." She then called my father.

It was reported, on April 16, 2012, Mayor Ed Lee, speaking of the opportunity to get the Warriors to move to San Francisco told an audience at the SF Commonwealth Club, “…I’m not going to ever apologize for grabbing somebody else’s team…”

Do thieves ever apologize? Sometimes. When others point out the theft and the thief, realizes he was caught red-handed. But this caught red-handed act, which is also un-San Franciscan like, reflects negatively on all San Franciscans, who would not even think of stealing the newspaper off the neighbor’s lawn.

You may follow both our ballot measures, the Declaration of Policy and the Charter Amendment on the San Francisco Department of Elections website: Campaign services

1983 to 1993 Bible Study teacher at SF juvenile hall. Currently prison reform activist and author of Case Game - Activating the Activist; an autobiography.

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