The first championship banner in 40 years of Warriors basketball will be raised to the Oracle Arena rafters on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
That’s when the Warriors begin defense of their NBA title on opening night against New Orleans, the team they defeated in the first round of the playoffs in April. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry, who last season served as an assistant to Warriors coach to Steve Kerr, will be on hand for the ceremony.
The Warriors will be tested immediately, as they open the season with five games against teams coming off Western Conference playoff appearances: New Orleans, at Houston, at New Orleans, Memphis and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Other highlights of the 2015-16 schedule released Wednesday afternoon:
The Warriors are scheduled to make a franchise-record 25 appearances on national TV. The return to Oracle of ex-Warrior David Lee comes when Boston visits on April 1, though the Warriors visit the Celtics on Dec. 11.
The Warriors don’t see the retooled Spurs until January 25, but will get San Antonio three times over the final four weeks – including twice in the final week.
The Warriors face the rival Clippers on Nov. 4 at Oracle, Nov. 19 at Staples Center, Feb. 20 at Staples Center and March 23 at Oracle.
The Warriors tangle with another Western Conference contender, Oklahoma City, three times, all in the second half of the season: Feb. 6, Feb. 27 and March 3.
There are no stretches in which the Warriors play five games in four nights – something the league vowed to eliminate – but an NBA-high 20 occasions on which they play dreaded back-to-back sets.
The Lakers visit Oracle on Nov. 24 and Jan. 14 in what likely will be Kobe Bryant’s final appearances in Oakland.
Eastern Conference champion Cleveland, as previously reported, comes to Oracle for a Christmas Day game, while the Warriors visit the Cavs on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 18 in Cleveland.