Warriors President Rick Welts calls Chase Center 'second beginning'

Warriors President Rick Welts calls Chase Center 'second beginning'

It’s been over 900 days since the Warriors broke ground on Chase Center, the organization’s new privately funded arena in San Francisco.

Team president Rick Welts recently brought the first group of media members inside Chase Center, and sat down inside the nearly completed facility for a podcast with ABC7’s Casey Pratt. 

Welts spoke about a variety of new features coming with the opening of Chase Center, and he was asked whether this will be the start of a new era for the Warriors.

“We’re in the middle of a run, we’re not at the end of anything and this is a second beginning,” Welts told the “With Authority” podcast.

The Warriors roster is certainly going to look like a brand-new team in 2019-20, as the team will have D’Angelo Russell starting alongside Steph Curry after Kevin Durant’s departure and Klay Thompson’s ACL tear will keep him out for much of the season. Many NBA experts were putting an end to the Warriors dynasty after the loss in the 2019 NBA Finals this past June to the Toronto Raptors.

Welts also spoke about plans to build a hotel on the property with a feature designed for opposing teams traveling to the Bay Area. 

[RELATED: Warriors' preseason schedule for 2019-20 includes four games vs. Lakers]

“Imagine a floor that’s just for NBA players, everything is oversized, the shower, the bed, everything else. You’d never have to leave your hotel to walk to the locker room.”

Although the inside of the arena is still on a “media blackout,” fans can look forward to getting their first glimpse at a game atmosphere inside Chase Center when the Warriors welcome the Los Angeles Lakers for the team’s first preseason game on Oct. 5.

Steve Kerr believes Warriors' 73-win NBA record never will be broken

Steve Kerr believes Warriors' 73-win NBA record never will be broken

Steve Kerr knows winning. Not only has he won eight NBA titles -- five as a player and three as a coach -- he also had his hand in the two winningest regular seasons of all time. 

Kerr averaged 8.4 points off the bench and played in all 82 regular season games in the 1995-96 season when the Chicago Bulls set a new record by winning 72 regular-season games. Fast forward 20 years and Kerr coached the Warriors to a 73-win regular season, to break his and the Bulls' record. 

So, does Kerr believe any team can top 73 wins?

"It was just a stunning season, and it's such an amazing accomplishment," Kerr said Friday on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" show. "I just don't think it's possible to break that record. Of course, I didn't think 72 would be broken."

There of course is one big difference, though.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Bulls went on to beat the Seattle Supersonics in six games to be crowned champs. And the Warriors blew a three-games-to-one lead in the Finals, losing to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5.

"I know are guys were proud of it, but we didn't validate it with a title," Kerr said. "As a result, we just have a small banner in our practice facility commemorating it. That's kind of how it should be I think. We can look back at it and remember a great season, but we didn't quite get it done.

"So it definitely loses a bit of its luster."

[RELATED: Kerr details impact of 'Last Dance' behind-the-scenes access]

Bulls players wore shirts that read "Don't mean a thing without the ring" in the '96 playoffs, and then went out and got it done. Golden State overcame its own 3-1 deficit to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals before being on the wrong side of history the next series.

The banner will remain hanging just as 3-1 jokes and memes are here to stay. Both seasons were historic, but only one completed the job.

Steve Kerr discusses 'Last Dance' crew's impact on Michael Jordan, Bulls

Steve Kerr discusses 'Last Dance' crew's impact on Michael Jordan, Bulls

ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary gave basketball fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Chicago Bulls’ dynastic run through the 1990s. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who was an integral part of those Bulls teams as a player, has said he didn’t want the same type of access to his Golden State team during the recent five-year run of consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.

Kerr joined former two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long on his podcast this week, and talked about how he and his teammates in Chicago handled the constant presence of cameras chronicling Michael Jordan’s final season with the Bulls.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

“The first couple months, it was really weird,” Kerr explained. “Especially because Phil Jackson had always been a coach who felt like the locker room was sacred, that you couldn’t just have anybody walk in.

"So our locker room was really private, and then all of a sudden we go into that season in ‘98 and Phil says ‘there’s gonna be a camera crew following us around’ we’re all like ‘what? What the hell?’ ”

He did emphasize that players eventually got used to the attention.

[RELATED: Where Warriors' Steph Curry ranks among top NBA MVPs of 2010s]

“After a while, they just kind of blended in so it wasn’t too intrusive,” Kerr said.

The distraction didn’t seem to faze those Bulls, as they completed MJ’s second three-peat and won the 1998 NBA Finals.

The 2018-19 Warriors dealt with similar media scrutiny as the world wondered whether the organization could complete a three-peat of its own, and whether two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant would remain in the Bay Area long-term.

Unfortunately for Golden State, the ending of that 2019 NBA Finals didn’t mirror the Bulls’ victory, as injuries took the Larry O’Brien trophy out of the hands of the Warriors.