City flirts with team across the Bay 

City officials are starting to court the Golden State Warriors, hoping the Oakland-based team will move across the Bay to make San Francisco its home again.

On Wednesday, one of  the Warriors’ newest players, David Lee, was invited to Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office. Lee, who recently signed a six-year, $80 million contract with the Warriors after being acquired in a trade with the New York Knicks, was there to talk about refurbishing a basketball court at El Dorado Elementary School in Visitacion Valley.

“He got a David Lee Day from the mayor because he donated, through his contract, money to revitalize the basketball court, and I wanted to thank him for that,” Newsom said.

Afterward, Lee attended a ceremony at the school. The project marks the 36th Bay Area court the Warriors and the Good Tidings Foundation have helped revitalize in the past 14 years. Recently, the Warriors and Good Tidings unveiled a refurbished court at Visitacion Valley Middle School, according to the team.

It’s the latest gesture between San Francisco and the Warriors.

There’s long been speculation about the possibility that the team would move back to San Francisco. It became a more solid possibility when, on July 15, owner Chris Cohan sold the franchise to Peter Guber and Joe Lacob. It has been reported that the new owners would like to move back to San Francisco, where the team played until 1971. However, the Warriors currently have a lease to play in Oakland for several more years, according to a team spokesman.

But the lease isn’t stopping city leaders from paving the way for a potential future move. On Tuesday, Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier introduced a resolution as a statement to entice the team to move back to San Francisco.

City leaders have been in discussions with the San Francisco Giants to bring an NBA team to The City, which includes the possibility of building an arena on land near AT&T Park.

Tony Winnicker, spokesman for Newsom, said the mayor would certainly jump on any opportunity to bring the team to San Francisco, but he would not comment on discussions the Mayor’s Office may or may not be having with the
new owners.

esherbert@sfexaminer.com

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Erin Sherbert

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