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Murph: How the Warriors stole the crown as the swaggiest team in Bay Area history



As Oracle Arena adds the once-unthinkable to its wall tonight — another Warriors’ championship banner — it’s time to ponder the Warriors’ stature in our midst.

After all, Kevin Durant said the team’s “swag level is through the roof.”

That prompts the question: Is the Warriors swag level higher than any team in Bay Area sports history?

And how does one measure swag level? Scientifically? Mathematically? Swag-a-lat-ically?

Swag is probably like Louis Armstrong’s definition of jazz. If you have to ask, you’ll never know.

With all due respect to the 1980s 49ers, whose swag was created by the magic of Joe Montana, the spiritual violence of Ronnie Lott and the professorial wizardry of Bill Walsh; and with all due respect to the 2010s Giants, whose swag was forged on the country toughness of Madison Bumgarner, the golden boy efficiency of Buster Posey and the stoney cool of Tim Lincecum— the swag title has to go to the current Golden State Warriors.

No team in Bay Area sports history has loomed larger than the current Warriors do now.

First off, basketball is the most intimate of all the major sports. Clad only in short pants and a tanktop, with no helmets or hats obscuring their visage, and playing on a court far tinier than a baseball diamond or football field, we connect with the Dubs in a different way.

Put it this way: When Steph Curry make his ‘Thizz’ face (I just learned about that today, because I am a suburban nerd), fans are sitting only inches away. And hi-def TV and slo-mo replay is very ‘Thizz’ face-friendly.

Draymond’s screams while he blocks a shot . . . Klay’s skipping and raised arms after a ‘3’ . . . KD’s net-shredding threes . . . they all take on a heightened hue within the confines of an Oracle crowd swaying and singing, “Warrrrrrrrrioooooooooorrrs.” The performance art is at a high level.

But more important, basketball is global. Baseball and football are not. The Warriors’ recent trip to China was staggering in its popularity. Once, in trying to explain the popularity of the Brazilian musician Sergio Mendes while trying to sell one of his records, Kramer from “Seinfeld” gasped: “He can’t got to the bathroom in South America!”

Well, Steph Curry can’t go the bathroom in Asia.

The Warriors’ brand, through technology and globalization, is now on a Manchester United/Real Madrid/Barcelona FC-level.

The 49ers? The 1980s did earn them spots of fans in places like Australia and western Europe, sure. The Giants? They own Disneyland, if you count the black-and-orange hats.

But the Dubs? Save Antarctica, there isn’t a continent they can’t go and not be swarmed.

And then there’s the current state of the Bay. The Giants are entering a rebuild. The A’s, while possessing young talent, are a ways away. The 49ers are winless. The Raiders are on their way to Las Vegas.

The Warriors are the kings. They hang banners. They make crowds swoon. They are must-see TV.

And another would-be championship season is just getting started. Let the swag flow.