Best Warriors Fans - 2003
Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett
Never mind the thousands of Warriors faithful who are returning to the Arena in Oakland now that our local roundballers are approaching respectability -- the two best, most loyal fans never left. They couldn't! Fitzgerald does play-by-play and ex-Warrior Barnett provides analysis for Fox Sports Net telecasts of Warriors games, and their enthusiasm can't be matched. Fitzgerald can turn any first-quarter Jason Richardson layup into an occasion for scorched vocal chords, and Barnett rarely bothers to hide his disdain for referees' calls that don't go Golden State's way. We expect a bit of "homer" in our local announcers, sure, but Fitzgerald and Barnett get downright teary-eyed when the team struggles and ecstatic when it surges to a six-point half-time lead. C'mon, guys: Not every Warriors foul is a "touch foul"; tiny backup point guard Earl Boykins is not the second coming of Christ; and you don't have to make excuses or parrot the company line for a team that's playing close to .500 ball. The longer these guys wear their emotions on their sleeves, the longer it will make the Warriors seem like amateurs.