The Warriors have had the Midas touch for the last decade, and they'll once again be the center of the basketball universe in 2025.
On Monday afternoon, owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber were on hand with Commissioner Adam Silver, Bay Area mayors, and other dignitaries in attendance to announce that Golden State was officially selected to host the 2025 NBA All-Star Game for the third time in franchise history.
In 1967, the Dubs were known as the San Francisco Warriors, but their home arena was the Cow Palace in Daly City. Back in 2000, during what was arguably the nadir for the organization, the Arena in Oakland was the host site. And now, 25 years later, the Chase Center, which opened in 2019, will host the exhibition.
Not widely reported, but the 2024 All-Star Game held in Indianapolis will have a return to the classic format of the Eastern Conference vs. the Western Conference. No more players picking each other like they would at a playground. I asked Silver if going back to the old format was a better way to showcase the game globally to an international audience instead of turning it into a popularity contest, which it had become with the players choosing one another in a so-called draft.
"To be honest, as much as we love the entertainment side of this, we've heard loud and clear from the fans that they want to see a basketball game," Silver said. "While there will be all these parties and celebrations, I think it ultimately is important that we turn this back into more of a traditional game. It's almost symbolic to return to East vs. West. I think it made sense; again, we're going to be in Indiana this season for the All-Star game, also a fantastic basketball market.
"And there to return to that traditional All-Star Game and, frankly, change some of our approach to the game itself so it feels for the players more like a typical game. We recognize that nobody wants to get hurt out there; it's not necessarily a playoff game, but the fans expect more than something they've seen in the past couple of years. At its heart, at its core, this is about the sport of basketball, and our fans want to see a real basketball played... even in an All-Star game."
It'll be fun seeing Steph Curry with 7 ft. 4 in. phenom Victor Wembanyama as his teammate on the court, and perhaps Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will be there for what would likely be their final All-Star appearances.
While the highlight of the weekend is the Sunday night game, there will be some events held at the Oakland Arena, namely the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, the NBA HBCU Classic, and the NBA All-Star Practice. Every sport has a "Fan Fest," and the NBA's version is called Crossover, which will be held at Moscone Center.
San Jose mayor Matt Mahan provided support, as did Oakland mayor Sheng Thao. San Francisco mayor London Breed was on the dais, and she summed up what it means for the City by the Bay to host its first-ever All-Star Game.
"What does it mean? It means a lot of money and a lot of visitors," Breed said. "We anticipate 135,000 people will be coming here in the Bay Area to participate in some capacity over the three-day period. And we anticipate over $350 million dollars poured into our economy in the local businesses, in the job opportunities, and all the other activities surrounding All-Star weekend, and I, for one, can't wait because there will be parties, events, activities... fun and everything else."
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Oklahoma City Thunder Point Guard Chris Paul after their 100-97 win over the Warriors at the Chase Center on November 25, 2019.
Portland Trail Blazers Point Guard Damian Lillard after their 127-118 loss to the Warriors at the Chase Center on November 4, 2019.
Los Angeles Clippers Forward Kawhi Leonard after their 141-122 win over the Warriors in the first-ever regular season game at the Chase Center on October 24, 2019.