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Golden State Warriors
Title track: T15
Fan relations: 12
Stadium experience: 56
Bang for the buck: 23
Change from last year: +36
The Warriors leaped from 52nd last year to 16th in the Ultimate Standings. How did Golden State become such a growth industry? It might have something to do with that whole championship thing. That result illustrates a wholly improved process that should serve the Warriors for years to come.
The key is in the coaching category, where Steve Kerr came in the door with the Warriors at 85th a year ago. After he won a championship with a famously copacetic coaching staff, that ranking jumped all the way to a tie for eighth. By his own admission, Kerr had much to learn in his first year. He caught up quickly, thanks in part to sharp assistant coaches such as Alvin Gentry (now head coach of the Pelicans), Ron Adams, Luke Walton and Jarron Collins. Golden State's coaching approach involves keeping the workplace fun and not as taxing as other franchises perhaps do. Music blasts during practice and Kerr boasts of never, ever making his guys run wind sprints.
So what's standing in the way of Golden State making the top 10? There's that pricey Bay Area, which kills the Dubs with a ranking of 97th in affordability. That number should sink even lower when the Warriors move to San Francisco. On the upside, the eventual move should come with a boost in the stadium experience ranking (currently 56th).
The players, like their coach, also received a major boost in ranking after the successful year. While the Warriors were already a promising, likable bunch, Golden State's talent level looked a lot different after breakout seasons for All-Star Klay Thompson, All-Defense Draymond Green and MVP Stephen Curry. In the end, it adds up to the Warriors going from 25th in players to sixth.