Ep. 1 - How the Warriors became Golden State
The new series Bounce begins by looking back...
Everybody loves a winner when it comes to professional sports, and with recent success, it seems like there are new Golden State Warriors fans popping up every day. But long before the big names of today’s super team came along or there was ever such thing as “Dub Nation,” there was a franchise that didn’t begin in the Bay Area.
The Warriors moved to the West Coast in 1962, but the organization was founded in Philadelphia back in 1946. The team settled in San Francisco when a local radio & television producer from San Jose named Franklin Mieuli purchased the team. Mieuli was also a partial owner of both the San Francisco Giants and the 49ers when he bought the Warriors.
"There was no interest in pro basketball. It's hard to imagine in today's world the way basketball was treated."
Upon their arrival in 1962, nobody in the Bay Area seemed to care too much about basketball. Despite making the NBA Finals in 1964 and 1967, the Warriors struggled to draw audiences and they couldn’t find a permanent place to play in San Francisco. The Warriors played the majority of their games at the Cow Palace located on the border of San Francisco and Daly City. Eventually, Mieuli found what could be a permanent home for the Warriors across the Bay.
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, or what is known today as Oracle Arena opened its doors in 1966, making it the oldest arena in the NBA. By 1971, the Warriors would officially call it home, but with the team still playing a few of their home games in San Diego, Mieuli adopted a new named, one that suggested that the team represented the entire state. They would be called the Golden State Warriors.
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