Listen Live Now:

Warriors give early reviews of ‘strange’ first time playing in new arena

Steve Kerr didn’t know where his coaching staff was. Lost in his shiny new home, Kerr said he scoured the team facilities, now located onsite, and checked his office to no avail before coaching in his first game (a preseason affair against the Los Angeles Lakers) at Chase Center.

Before the game, I didn’t know where my assistant coaches were,” Kerr said. “I didn’t know where to find them, literally. We’ve got the facility down here and there’s all these different rooms and I went to get something to eat; nobody was there. I went up to my office, couldn’t find anybody, so we haven’t found our rhythm yet and our routine and that’s going to take some time.”

It was a brief bit of bizarre uncomfortability which is sure to define much of the new Warriors season. A roster overhaul, a new arena, and Klay Thompson out for the first half of the year provide a recipe for oddities abound.

Saturday night was the first major step in rubbing some dirt on the edges of the pristine Chase Center, which, at the moment, is like a priceless piece of art. It’s beautiful, but no one really feels comfortable touching it or getting too close, though it’s a wonderful topic for conversation.

It’s far from the homeyness of Oracle Arena, which was steeped in the warmth of East Bay energy and felt like a place, not a palace, for the people. It’s where the Warriors redefined their legacy from that of perpetual disappointments to a dynasty, and it’s where the happiest of memories will forever reside.

While Chase Center is state-of-the art, with the practice facility on site, better food and accommodations, it’s going to take a while for it to acquire anywhere near the same coziness of Oracle.

“I thought it was great. Good energy, packed house, crowd was fantastic,” Kerr said of the Warriors 123-101 preseason loss to the Lakers. “Seemed like everybody, was, including the players, the coaches and officials, everybody was sort of looking around. We’re all so used to Oracle and have so many great memories of Oracle, so the first night here just felt strange. It still feels strange. It feels weird being up here instead of our cozy little room across the hall at Oracle.”

Stephen Curry tried to christen the first game at the start with a 40-plus footer. He missed (an airball, at that), but he at least got his pregame tunnel shot routine into order.

“It’s still weird,” Curry said. “You’re used to certain sights and sounds and routines, even from pulling up to the parking deck and to our locker room. You get out to the floor and you want to feel like it’s normal, but it’s not. We’ve got two more preseason games to get a little bit more familiar before the 24th. It’s beautiful. It’s got a lot of potential to create an amazing environment, an amazing home court advantage. I’m excited about the possibilities and just getting used to it. We need some reps and tonight was a good step.”

For more Warriors videos click here.


Get KNBR in your inbox

Subscribe today to bring The Sports Leader to your email inbox weekly.