The Golden State Warriors have been Oakland’s team for decades. In everything but name.
Even though the team has played almost all of its games in the East Bay since the 1970s, they’re known as the Golden State Warriors. This doesn’t sit right with Oakland resident and lifelong Warriors fan Alan Chazaro.
"I’ve always kind of taken it as an insult that they were never known as the Oakland Warriors," Alan said.
The name is unique. The Warriors are the only team in the NBA — and one of the few in all of U.S. professional sports — not to be named after a city or state.
"That would be like if there was the Sunshine State Marlins," Alan said, referring to one of Florida's professional baseball teams.
Alan said he's done some of his own research but could never find a satisfying answer as to why the Warriors have such a different moniker.
Originally the Philadelphia Warriors, the team moved to the Bay Area in 1962 and played as the San Francisco Warriors for almost a decade.
During this period, the team played home games all over the region: San Francisco's Civic Auditorium, the University of San Francisco's War Memorial Gym, Daly City's Cow Palace, the Oakland Coliseum and San Jose Civic Auditorium (now City National Civic).
"The Warriors in those days did not draw real well," said Art Spander, who has covered sports in California for more than 50 years for the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner.
Spander said that before the 1971 season, Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli decided he was going to split the team's home games between the Bay Area and San Diego, which had just lost its own NBA franchise. Mieuli was trying to keep the franchise afloat, and some at the time saw the San Diego move as a ploy to get a better deal on a Bay Area arena for the team.
There was just one problem.