This past Saturday, the Golden State Warriors debuted their “The Town” logo, a nod to Oakland adorned on their jerseys and plastered at center court.
And though they won the game against the New Orleans Pelicans, they lost my support of the logo as a fashion statement. Between DeMarcus Cousins and Draymond Green battling for boards, a timeout was called. The telecast cut away to a Warriors promotion for a short-sleeved hooded-sweatshirt with the Town logo on it. A short-sleeved hoodie.
That’s when they lost me.
I had been on the fence about the logo since its announcement earlier this year. I mean, on one side, it’s what we had been asking for: for the Warriors to publicly recognize the turf on which they play. For them to tell the world that their gym is on 73rd Avenue in the heart of East Oakland. For them to claim their identity, not as the Golden State Warriors, but as the Oakland Warriors. For them to honor the city where they've recently renovated a handful of courts, complete with the new alternative logo. For them to represent The Town.
But on the other hand, the jerseys just look like recreation league gear. It doesn’t take too much imagination to use the same symbol that the City of Oakland uses for its various governmental departments. Since Nike designed the jersey, you’d think it would have a little more flavor. Go figure.
The other reason I'm torn — and this is a big one — is that the logo is a parting gift. It’s a last-ditch effort on the Warriors' part to retain the East Bay fan base before the organization departs to The City in two years.
Loving the Warriors these last few years has been like being in a relationship with a long-time significant other who finally gets their act together after years of falling short. They get you a couple pieces of nice jewelry to make up for it, and then they tell you they’re leaving you for your neighbor. But before they leave, they give you one last piece of clothing to remember them by: a damned short-sleeved hoodie that has both of ya’ll names on it.
But you know what? Even if the hoodies don’t sell, those jerseys will. People love representing the Warriors and the Town, separately. With those two combined, man, people will line up for those jerseys like they do for Bakesale Betty’s sandwiches.
But if you’re really interested in representing the Town, buy from a local clothing designer.
You might be familiar with BeastMode and Oaklandish in downtown Oakland, cool. After you stop by those stores, go to Town Biz Oakland on 15th street or the DOPE ERA store on 45th and Market, and look at their gear.
Want something that represents the Town’s culture? Check out the Hyphy Taco Truck shirt or AC Transit Bus shirt by The Real Oakland clothing line.
And for those folks who like to make political statements while making fashion statements, I Am The Town has the “Make Oakland The Town Again” line of hats; a jab at gentrification and Mr. 45, all in one piece of headwear.
And for those of you who like hoodies, you can buy a (long-sleeved!) hooded sweatshirt from Oakland’s Own or Beast Oakland. It’s cold out here, and a short-sleeved hoodie isn’t doing anything for anybody; especially at $60 a pop!
This year, the Warriors did something they should’ve done the year they moved to Oakland by incorporating us into the team’s identity. And a lot of people are happy. But if your mission is to represent the Town, do so in gear made by people that are based here, and plan on staying here.
Support the real warriors of the Town.