The two close teammates stared at each other's jerseys in awe. Moments later, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala stood up and showed off their customary white and blue uniform for everyone else to admire.
The familiar image featured a new twist: after agreeing to a three-year, $60 million deal with Rakuten, the Warriors will wear a 2.5 by 2.5 inch badge of the Japanese tech company. After Warriors and Rakuten officials spoke glowingly of their new partnership, Iguodala addressed how it impacted him besides his uniform's design.
Iguodala suggested such a deal indirectly ties into the Warriors willingly signing him this summer to a three-year, $48 million deal.
"There's a premium on great brands coming together," Iguodala said as a he stared at Warriors general Bob Myers.
While Green belted in laughter, Myers shook his head out of amusement. "This is what I was dealing with," Myers said. Moments earlier, Myers jokingly teased Iguodala for his free agency becoming "somewhat difficult."
"The better the player, the more they cost to be honest. They deserve it, by the way, and so we want to give it to them," Myers said. "The more revenue for the league, the more revenue for the players, and the thing that's exciting about a partnership like this is the whole NBA benefits. The players benefit, the ownership benefits. So it's exciting."
The Warriors benefitted by securing more financial means of absorbing luxury tax penalties because of business deals, including their latest one with Rakuten. Yet, the Warriors stress their roster-building strategy does not hinge on dollars and cents. Case in point, Warriors chief marketing officer Chip Bowers said the team declined a bigger financial deal so it could sign with Rakuten. The Warriors won two NBA titles in the past three seasons partly because they kept and bolstered their championship roster in hopes to secure more champagne celebrations.
"It's never been about making a profit," Myers said. "It's been about trying to win championships, and for someone like me in my position, that's the greatest gift you can have is go try and win, what do you need to go do that. But certainly partnerships like this do help, and hopefully we can do as many as we can."
After all, other NBA teams have tried to stockpile their rosters in hopes it could somehow expose weaknesses in Golden State's depth. Meanwhile, the Warriors are mindful they have yet to defend their NBA title after squandering a 3-1 lead to Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Hence, Iguodala anticipates the Warriors going through a "very mental year" when training camp begins on Sept. 22 after appearing in three consecutive NBA Finals. So it seemed fitting the Warriors concluded Tuesday's ceremony by unveiling their latest championship banner.
"That's going to be in the back of our minds, how do we be very strategic on how we go about the season, the schedule, although the NBA has done a great job not giving us a crazy schedule this year," Iguodala said. "But (we're) really looking forward to that, bringing everyone back. A lot of teams made a lot of moves to try to disrupt what we're trying to do, so we're very aware of that, and we're very excited to start the season in a week and a half."