So the Warriors lost to the Suns last night and after the game Klay Thompson called out the fans for not being into it. He is 100% right about this. I mentioned earlier this season that the Warriors crowd has changed. Over the years the Oracle Arena crowd had developed a reputation for being one of the best in the NBA, despite the Warriors struggles. The team’s success has raised ticket prices and the crowd is now a lot more corporate. What was once a haven for Oakland’s most diehard basketball fans is now the popular hangout for Silicon Valley’s rich nerds. The kind of fans who don’t remember when the Warriors fans were booing owner Joe Lacob for trading MONTA ELLIS for an injured Andrew Bogut.
This trade would eventually help turn the Warriors into a championship contender but at the time was looked at as a move to continue tanking. This all happened during Chris Mullen’s number retirement no less. You know who remembers that day? Klay Thompson. He was starting as a rookie for what was then a very depleted Warriors team. Still the fans always showed up. Every game was always sold out and the fans were always into it. Long before Steph and Klay were known as the Splash Brothers, Oracle was known for having rowdy crowds. If anyone would remember these crowds it is Klay Thompson. He was starting as a rookie for a team that had no shot at making the playoffs and finished in the bottom 10 in league standings. Still every game was sold out and the fans were always into it.
Klay Thompson has seen the change in fandom happen right before his eyes. Calling out the fans is the best thing he can do to change things. I do not see it helping though. The problem lies more into the new fans at the game. You could say the success of the team has gentrified the fans. The price of standing room tickets to a Warriors game is now $60. It is tough to have a reasonably priced night out at a Warriors game now. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Every team has the right to make as much money as they can and I do not blame the Warriors for doing so. But if they want to have the same crowds they were once famous for, they will have no choice but to lower ticket prices. I see this issue getting worse too. The Warriors are moving to a new arena on the San Francisco and have already talked about price increases. This just means even more Silicon Valley nerds and less real basketball fans. With Klay going into free agency you have to think this will be on his mind. It is a shame to see what was once a great crowd become a bunch of bandwagon nerds who don’t even know who or Andris Biedrins is.
The crowds at Oracle had a good run but Klay calling them out officially proves they are dead. RIP to the once great Warriors crowds. The last great home court advantage is now in Boston.