It's safe to say that most casual NBA fans never think twice about the D-League.
But in Santa Cruz, it's almost a way of life. In many ways, such a concept is easy to understand. The (D-League) Warriors provide residents (who make up a hungry and passionate fan base) with the only game in town as the area's only professional franchise.
For many (if not all) of the Warriors' employees, the task at hand is providing such fans with that big league-like experience. As we previously alluded to on RidiculousUpside.com, they all do a terrific job of accomplishing such. It unifies the locals and provides family-fun entertainment.
The team is really passionate about engaging the community, and the people there just eat it right up. Spend just five minutes in Santa Cruz, and it's noticeable as soon as you walk down the street. There's Warriors gear all over, and the people are very excited to run into players and/or team personnel around town.
While the organization has continued to cement themselves as a model citizen across the D-League as a whole, for fan-building and community outreach, there's obviously a basketball side to things as well. The Santa Cruz provides an ongoing assist to their parent affiliate in Golden State, but much of that also comes down to just how willing the big league club is to embrace things on a minor league level. They understand how the two teams' success go hand in hand.
And from top to bottom, such a concept appears to be instilled in every employee's head. Everyone at Oracle Arena is positive surrounding the work going on in Santa Cruz. On the flip side, everyone in Santa Cruz takes an immense amount of pride in being part of the Golden State family.
Everyone involved in Santa Cruz has their own opinion about the D-League --- what's so good about having an affiliate, why it's important, how it can help everyone involved along. There are different benefits for different people, but the concept itself is always positively reflected upon with rave reviews.
Given the team's early success (they made The Finals last season, and are getting poised to make another run at it this year as well) and ongoing positive vibes, RidiculousUpside.com had the opportunity to get a closer look at what makes the Santa Cruz Warriors one of the D-League's truly flourishing squads.
Over the next couple of days, keep it locked right here as we highlight everything from A to Z --- the atmosphere, the passion, the growth, the progress, as well as the opinions of those involved who have different prospectives --- front office members, coaches, players, arena employees, and more. We'll be providing readers with interviews, inside access, and interesting tid-bits about the life of a D-League player/employee in the form of a day by day journal. At the end of it all, our coverage will come to a head as NBADL All-Star Seth Curry joins the RU Podcast.
RidiculousUpside.com Presents: the Santa Cruz Warriors Basketball Experience. Having experienced it all first hand, we consider this to be a unique window into the team's world.