The Golden State Warriors could be on the brink of extinction. The franchise itself isn't in jeopardy, but the organization could undergo a name change, according to a report by ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne.
Shelburne states the team "will be seeking input from fans on whether they should change their name" when they make their move across the bay to San Francisco in the coming years. Though their initial stadium plans fell through, the Dubs recently announced an agreement to set up shop in the city's Mission Bay neighborhood, per Warriors.com.
Which team name do you prefer?
The Warriors team name will survive the transition, for now, but the organization is considering going back to being the San Francisco Warriors—the name it played under from 1962-71.
"We're very curious what our fans think of that," Warriors president and CEO Rick Welts told Shelburne. "I couldn't imagine making that decision in the very near future, but we definitely want to see what our fans prefer."
While fans are sure to have differing opinions, there's reason to believe the front office could already be sold on the change, according to Examiner.com's Ryan Leong:
It's a 100 percent certainty, the #Warriors will change their name back to San Francisco. From a business standpoint, why wouldn't you— Ryan Leong (@RyanLeong) April 22, 2014
Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob told Comcast SportsNet's Monte Poole the plan is to have the new arena ready for the 2018-19 season.
Golden State's current digs, Oakland's Oracle Arena, is known for being one of the more raucous environments in the NBA. Now that the patient fanbase has been rewarded with back-to-back playoff trips for the first time since 1992, it's grown even more frenzied.
Welts said he hopes the new arena will capture that same magic, telling Shelburne:
"We're spending a lot of time with the facility itself to do everything possible to replicate what we think is a really special atmosphere for our games at Oracle. The first assignment we gave the architects was to make sure that every seat in the new building is as close or closer than the comparable seat at Oracle. We're doing that by actually making the building smaller."
Beyond the improved views, Welts added that moving across the bay could provide the organization with a platform to become a major force in the world of professional sports.
"There comes a point in time where if we're going to be the franchise that we aspire to be, we're going to need a new playing facility," he said, per Shelburne. "And in our view, San Francisco is the right place to be if you have the same aspirations we have, to be truly one of the great franchises in sports."
Market size certainly helps the branding aspect, but nothing would provide a bigger boost than consistent success. This is just the team's third postseason venture since 1994, and it's in danger of being a brief one after Thursday's crushing 98-96 Game 3 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Engineering a comeback after going down 2-1 would certainly be worthy of an entry into the Golden State Warriors history book. And as this report suggests, that book could be closing soon.