Chris Cohan Too Smart to Part with Golden State Warriors' Fanbase

Ray YockeContributor IJuly 16, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 11:  Fans of the Golden State Warriors celebrate against the Utah Jazz in Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2007 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena May 11, 2007 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sick, perverted, all-too-familiar rumor began percolating around the Bay Area recently.

According to “inside sources,” Warriors owner Chris Cohan was considering selling the team. This same rumor has popped up several times before, and each time, it has been summarily dismissed. But this time it was supposed to be different.

Chris Cohan selling the Warriors? Golden State fans have heard it before, and know it’s not likely to happen—but they get a little excited anyway. Like the child who dreams of getting a pony or a race car for their birthday, Warriors fans can’t help themselves, and hope for the best in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

Maybe it’s real this time. Maybe things have changed.

Of course, the rumor was immediately shot down. Cohan has always said that he dreams of holding on to the franchise, passing the team down to his son in the future. And given that he’s demonstrated a clear commitment to making Warriors fans as miserable as possible, there’s no reason to think Cohan won’t fulfill that vision.

Joy, your flight to Mudville has been delayed indefinitely.

More than any player, coach, or GM the Warriors could hire, leadership from a new owner would be the best thing to happen to this franchise in over 30 years.

If you don’t like a president, you can take solace in the fact that he won’t be running the country for more than eight years. If you hated your teacher in school, you were free of them as soon as summer rolled around. Even if you hated your parents, you were free and clear of them after 18 years.

But with the owner of a pro sports team, there is no promise of a brighter future. Warriors fans have now spent 15 years under Chris Cohan’s rule, and there is no end in sight. And unlike ordinary inmates, Warriors fans don’t even get rewarded for good behavior. The toast of the 2007 NBA playoffs, Golden State supporters saw the team they connected with broken up at the first possible opportunity.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, there’s no one around to help Cohan turn this franchise around.

Not the accountant Cohan has put in charge of running the team, a man with no basketball background who’s been contributing to this mess since 1995.

Not the head coach, who has one foot in a post-retirement Hawaiian poker game.

Not the NBA commissioner, who’s shown that his loyalties lie with league owners and their money, not any fan interests.

The only thing left is to hurt Cohan where he’ll feel it: In the wallet.

Ironically, Golden State fans can’t be the ones to boycott the Warriors or strike against ownership, for the very reason Cohan doesn’t want to sell the franchise. Warriors fans are unfailingly loyal to their team, showing up to Oracle year after year like the salmon of Capistrano. If Warriors fans were capable of boycotting the team, they would’ve done it a long time ago.

The real question is, if you’re Chris Cohan, why would you do anything different? A winning team would be nice, but if you shell out additional money and the team misses the playoffs, your margins shrink. On the other hand, if you limit spending and still turn a large profit, why mess with a good thing?

The Warriors are a continuous revenue stream for Cohan, like bridge tolls for the state. Everyone complains about the tolls when they’re driving across the bridges, but it doesn’t stop people from paying.

Given the state of the economy, Cohan may even be able to buy one of the state’s bridges with all his NBA money. Of course, if bridges aren’t his thing, perhaps Cohan can find something that better suits his ownership style. Like Alcatraz.

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