Those familiar with San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb won’t be surprised to find he’ll be cheering for the Sacramento Kings, even as they open their playoff series against a Golden State Warriors team whose home is less than a mile from the Giants’ Oracle Park.
A Rocklin native and lifelong Kings fan, Webb’s loyalty to his basketball team remains unchanged, even through Golden State’s decade of dominance.
That’s not to say Webb necessarily hates the Warriors, though. He attended Golden State’s Jan. 25 game win over the Memphis Grizzlies, and was introduced on the scoreboard to, as NBC Sports Bay Area’s Monte Poole described it, “a polite smattering of applause.”
“The Lakers were always our rival growing up, but if the Kings keep winning and the Warriors keep winning, it can become a rivalry,” he said. “It’s two exciting teams. [Kings head coach] Mike [Brown] is from there. It’s not yet a rivalry, but it could be after a couple of games.”
Despite their geographic proximity, the Warriors and Kings don’t have a rich history as rivals. Not only will Saturday mark the first playoff meeting between the two teams, they’ve never even qualified for the playoffs in the same season before 2023.
The Kings last made the playoffs in 2006, when Webb was finishing up fourth grade at Sierra Elementary. They haven’t won a playoff series since 2003, when Webb was a first grader.
“I didn’t really want to face the Warriors since they’re so experienced, but you’ve gotta face every team to get where you wanna be. I think it’s gonna be an awesome series,” he said. “I think there’s gonna be two very high-scoring games to start, and I think the defense will be better towards the end of the series.”
Webb, who also grew up supporting the Oakland A’s and Raiders, will likely be unable to attend the first two games of the series in Sacramento as the Giants will be on a trip to Detroit and Miami. However, the Giants do have an eight-game homestand from April 20-27 that will coincide with Games 3, 4 and 5.
“My favorite scenario would be a day game here and then a night game in Sacramento,” he said. “If anything, I’ll try to get one here. I know Kings fans will be traveling well. There’ll be home-court advantage, but probably not as much as usual because it’s an easy drive.”
Warriors fans have shown up in droves at Golden 1 Center since the building opened in 2016, and Kings fans have filled opposing arenas with “Light the Beam” chants throughout the season, including at a March game in Phoenix that Webb attended during Spring Training. Also in attendance that night was Oakland A’s infielder Kevin Smith, a childhood and college friend of Kings sharpshooter Kevin Huerter.
Webb won’t be the first Bay Area baseball player to cheer against the Warriors. Former A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt proudly supported the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2016 NBA Finals, and longtime A Jed Lowrie never hid his loyalty to his hometown Portland Trail Blazers, even driving a car with a custom Blazers license plate while the A’s and Warriors players shared a parking lot during Golden State’s days in Oakland.