Bay Area sports fans know how basketball-crazed the region is, especially if they remember the dark days of the Golden State Warriors franchise. The crowd at Oracle Areana, or the Arena in Oakland, as it was previously called, was still loud and engaged despite some terribly outmatched Warriors squads.
It was called The Arena in Oakland because no company wanted to endorse the professional basketball being played within. But Bay Area fans still watched with fervent interest.
So it’s hardly a surprise that the Bay Area ranks behind only Milwaukee and Phoenix in NBA Finals TV ratings after Game 1. The Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns are fighting for the Larry O’Brian Trophy, so it’s nearly a given they rate first and second on the list.
Warriors team-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber made a sound investment in buying the Warriors in the 2000s. The franchise was a sleeping giant, with throngs of local fans more than ready to go nuts watching NBA-level basketball, let alone blowout victories, of which the Bay Area has seen plenty of in the last decade or so, with the team led on the court by superstar guard Stephen Curry.
Next season, Curry intends to play in the NBA Finals for the sixth time, giving the fans in the Bay Area a real treat. But until then, it’s all good. We love hoops in the Bay. The only problem will arise when the season is over and we have to wait for the 2021-22 NBA campaign to get our fix.
(Photo courtesy of Michael Tipton)