‘Sal and Steiny’: Jed York vs. the Bay Area media; A dissolving relationship between the Warriors and their fans, and now the delicate move from Oakland to downtown SF Arena

On the latest Sal and Steiny, two main topics emerge: The acrimonious relationship between 49ers CEO Jed York and the Bay Area media; and Warriors’ fans possibly being at a crossroads with their organization.

Link to Sal and Steiny podcast No. 86.

The 49ers went 2-14 and will be looking for a general manager and coach this offseason. Of course, that’s the big story. But an interesting sidebar is the open disdain York has for the Bay Area media and clearly vice versa, and it was on display during his press conference on Monday.

Sal Castaneda and I discuss this relationship — or lack of one — and try to explain how it got to this point and whether it’s impacting coverage. Of course it is.

–Topic No. 2: The relationship between Warriors’ fans and the Warriors’ franchise has always been a unique and special kind of one. Whether the Warriors have had success or failure, a subplot of it all is always the loyalty and support the fan base has shown the organization and team. This goes back a long, long way.

If you live in the Bay, you know what I mean.

But are the Warriors at a crossroads with their fan base? Maybe. Warriors’ fans have always been passionate and interested — even during some pretty lousy years back in the day. But with the Warriors now pursuing their third straight NBA Finals appearance and second title, it seems apparent that the relationship is changing.

An appreciative fan base looks like it’s turning into a complacent one. Is that too strong? You tell me.

Seemed like fans used to appreciate the Warriors; now fans seem to be taking them for granted. Oracle Arena is a little more quiet this year, and despite another incredible start (30-5), we’re finding out that maybe nothing will really satisfy those that are already accustomed to this team winning so much.

Some of what is going on is probably a “wake me in June” feeling, with fans prepared to pay attention when the playoffs and beyond come around. But even if that’s the case, it never used to be the case. Living and dying with the Warriors was a season-long endeavor. Question is this: If fans are losing interest with a 30-5 team, what’s going to happen down the line when they aren’t this historical team — or even more dramatic, aren’t in Oakland anymore.

Interestingly, just after we dropped this podcast, the Warriors announced they would be breaking ground on their San Francisco Arena on Jan. 17 — set for a 2019-20 season opening. Sal and I didn’t even get into how moving from Oakland to San Francisco will impact the fan base, and even divide it in ways. All of it adds up to a transformation, of sorts, in the relationship between the Warriors and their fans.

The move to San Francisco isn’t a crazy one for the Warriors. They’ll be able to make more money, and Joe Lacob and Peter Guber will be able to imprint their legacy into the city. This isn’t about the decision to move — that’s been decided.

This is about what happens to the fan base down the road, how passionate it will be, how loyal it will be and how one-of-a-kind its relationship will be with the team. I’ll tell you right now Oakland and the East Bay are in the early stages of processing the Warriors’ move — even if it is just across the bridge. It’s not going to be easy for a lot of people, and some are likely going to sit out. Others will be priced out.

The entire dynamic will be interesting to watch.



About Steinmetz

Matt Steinmetz is a veteran San Francisco Bay Area sports journalist. He covered the Golden State Warriors for the Bay Area News Group for more than a decade before becoming a television analyst with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Steinmetz can be heard on "Steiny & Guru" on 95.7-FM The Game in San Francisco, from 12-3.
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