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Thursday, September 6, 2012
No. 101 - Golden State Warriors

By Ian Gordon
ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 89
Title track: 113
Ownership: 114
Coaching: 95
Players: 99
Fan relations: 99
Affordability: 81
Stadium experience: 107
Bang for the buck: 91

Back in March, Bill Simmons put together a column called "How to Annoy a Fan Base in 60 Easy Steps." Essentially a time line of the Warriors' rocky history -- from making terrible draft picks (Purvis Short instead of Larry Bird in 1978, for example) to waiving Jeremy Lin -- the story was pegged to a new Warriors low: the booing of owner Joe Lacob during Chris Mullin Night. Ostensibly, fans were upset over the trading of fave Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut. But against the backdrop of years of frustration, Simmons argued, it was hard to tell if that was the main reason for the anger or merely the last straw. (Given the incident, is it any wonder that Lacob's ranking dropped 33 spots from a year ago?) Regardless, no amount of tweeting from the team's draft war room (an NBA first) can make up for years of bad decisions. For now, it seems the Warriors' hopes ride on the play of Bogut, Stephen Curry and long-range bomber Klay Thompson. Just don't blame their faithful for looking ahead to 2017, when the team plans to move back across the bay to San Francisco and into a new Embarcadero arena. They've rocked the loud but drab Oracle Arena for years (Golden State is one of seven NBA teams to average more than 18,000 fans in each of the past seven seasons) and are likely to follow their team across the Bay Bridge. Begrudgingly.