It is well-known that the Warriors are endeavoring to move to San Francisco. But it might look as if they have created a sister franchise in Sacramento.
Vivek Ranadivé, a former Warriors minority owner, is now the head of the Sacramento Kings franchise. And his official adviser is Chris Mullin, the former Warriors great who once was their general manager.
The Kings' basketball operations department is headed by Pete D'Alessandro. He was Mullin's assistant general manager with the Warriors. Sacramento's new coach is Michael Malone, the Warriors' top assistant the past two seasons.
And the Kings lured forward Carl Landry from the Warriors' bench.
"It's a new era," Ranadivé has said repeatedly.
The plethora of connections between the teams should add a layer to the rivalry. But it probably won't be at full tilt when the teams face off in Sacramento on Wednesday, their second matchup of the preseason.
But what the Kings really seem to want that the Warriors have is a speedy transition into relevance.
Only three years ago, the Warriors were scrubs. Now they are being talked about as contenders. TNT analyst Steve Kerr, a five-time NBA champion, called them a legitimate pick to reach the NBA Finals.
The Kings are hungry for a resurgence, and, just as the Warriors possess in owner Joe Lacob, Sacramento has a hungry, energetic leader spearheading the transition.
"My decision was really swayed by the people in the organization -- first and foremost, Vivek Ranadivé and his ownership group," Mullin told The Kings Blog, explaining his decision to join the organization. "It's an incredible, impressive group of owners who really have one goal in mind: to make this the best franchise in the NBA."
The teams still are a ways apart on the court. But that's probably why having people connected to the Warriors makes so much sense for the Kings.
Ranadivé rolled up his sleeves and helped rebuild the Warriors from the ground up. Malone was right next to coach Mark Jackson as he changed the culture in the locker room. Mullin and D'Alessandro carried the Warriors from the Mike Montgomery era into the "We Believe" era.
Certainly, Kings management has quite the reclamation project before it. The franchise hasn't won 30 games in a season since 2007-08. But the vibe in Sacramento seems to be anticipating something big. The franchise has gone from the brink of moving to Seattle to plans for a bright future.
The Kings' new $448 million arena is scheduled to open in Sacramento's Downtown Plaza in 2016. They brought on the popular Shaquille O'Neal as a minority owner. They signed center DeMarcus Cousins to a four-year, $62 million contract extension to anchor the roster.
"I don't think I've seen this many smiles around here in a long time," Cousins said in the news conference announcing his contract extension. "The energy in the building is extremely positive. Guys are willing to work. Guys want to work. They want to change things around. ... It's a good feeling around here."
The NorCal rivalry is usually intense despite the records, and having both teams become contenders in the West surely would take it to a new level. Ranadivé said it will be a two- to three-year process, similar to the Warriors.
On the court, the doormat status of the Kings hasn't stopped the Warriors from having a hard time against them. The Kings have won four of the past five against the Warriors at Sleep Train Arena.
"Regardless of who's in management, who's coaching the team and some of the players," Warriors guard Stephen Curry said, "the fact that we haven't played well up there, in that city and that arena, we've got to change that."
Warriors at Sacramento, 7 p.m. No TV