For the last several years, the Golden State Warriors have defined the NBA with their dominant play and consistent core of key players. Not only have they managed to retain superstars like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, but they also have one of the most successful and well-respected coaches in the league in Steve Kerr.
Yet the Warriors’ loss in this year’s finals to a far deeper Toronto Raptors team showed that it takes more than roster continuity to guarantee a championship. Now the Warriors find themselves in unfamiliar territory, entering the off-season with a number of looming uncertainties and there are three key changes facing Golden State in 2019-2020.
The Warriors have long had one of the most recognizable logos in the NBA. Fighting their way to five straight NBA finals appearances certainly helped make their iconic yellow and blue jerseys even more well-known. Nonetheless, the Warriors have decided to alter their primary logo design for the 2019-2020 season.
Insiders first got wind of these changes when new trademarks were filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. Within a couple of days, however, the Warriors made an official announcement making the alterations known. Warriors fans can take comfort in the fact that most of the planned changes are relatively minor.
The image of the Bay Bridge featured in the logo is there to stay. It will only be altered slightly to more accurately portray the actual bridge. The infamous Copperplate font — a staple of the logo since 2010 — will be replaced with a slightly fatter custom font. Even the color is changing slightly, with the Warriors opting to introduce a shade of blue slightly darker than that of the old logo. Fans should also look for updated versions of the Warrior’s “The Bay,” “The Town,” and “The City” alternate jersey logos.
Brand new stadium
A finals loss is always heartbreaking, especially for a team with as loyal a fan base as the Golden State Warriors. Yet this year’s game 6 loss was especially tough. Not only did the Warriors lose the finals, but they lost the finals at home. And not only did they lose at home, but they lost their final game at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have spent 47 seasons.
While fans are sad to bid farewell to Oracle Arena, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the Warrior’s new home in San Francisco — the Chase Center. This $1.4 billion dollar complex, which was self-financed by the team, ranks among the most feature-rich sports arenas ever created. Not only is there a fancy new stadium, but there is also an outdoor plaza with 29 retail locations, a giant video board over the front entrance, and a 5.5-acre park facing San Francisco Bay.
Roster shake up
Even before losing the finals, the Warriors were facing an off-season fraught with uncertainty, most of which revolved around Kevin Durant’s impending free agency. Countless rumors swirled about potential destinations for Durant. The most frequently speculated landing spots for him were with the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.
Durant’s Achilles injury in Game 5 of the finals introduced a new wrinkle to his free agency. Many commentators saw the injury as increasing the odds that Durant would remain with Golden state, opting in to the final year of his contract. Yet there is still plenty of reason for a team like the New York Knicks to take on the injured Durant.
The reeling Warriors took another huge blow in the decisive Game 6 of the finals when Klay Thompson tore his ACL. Thompson, of course, will also be a free agent next year. That injury will likely keep Thompson out of a good portion of next season, meaning that even if the Warriors re-sign him, they will be playing without two of their most important pieces.
It’s safe to say that the Warriors haven’t had to deal with this much change for many years. How they negotiate the challenges ahead should be one of the most exciting story lines of the offseason.