San Francisco – Joe Lacob Brilliant new owner talking big. I thought you’d excuse him for joining the NBA’s most stubbornly pathetic franchise.
And of course Lacob was right. The Warriors have taken over the sports universe, or expanded their fan base from Earth to planets beyond a few loyal fans warmed by memories of “Run-TMC” and “We Believe.”
Six trips to the NBA Finals and four championships — the result of a 0-million investment into a franchise worth billions — have created an ever-increasing loyalty.
Which brings us to Lacob’s latest vow, which he said Tuesday about the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement that could negatively impact the Warriors.
“No matter what, we’re going to win,” Lacob said with absolute confidence. “I don’t care what the rules are. We choose the way we work. That’s what good organizations do. They have invented a way to win the game. Our game is about winning games and winning championships.
After a short stint, Lacob left the note bank.
“When we came here, this ownership group 13 years ago made a ridiculous proclamation about winning in five years,” he said. “And of course, we somehow managed to do it. All of us, players and all involved. We keep winning.
“Look, the rules change in the game, but we’re going to keep doing that. We work very hard to do this, and I think we have really smart people. We will do it.
Lacob spoke from the Bill King interview room at the Chase Center, where he was on stage with team president and general manager Bob Myers when he announced his decision to leave the Warriors minutes earlier.
There were dozens of witnesses in the room, as well as thousands in the audience who watched by video on NBC Sports Bay Area. We’ve all heard it.
And it seems Lacob, whose eardrum-shattering thirst for victory rivals Dracula’s thirst for blood, is issuing a warning to the rest of the NBA. Even with rules that aren’t friendly to the Warriors’ trade route — which, to his credit, depends largely on the draft construction — doesn’t slow down their gains.
Should Jacob believe? This is where things get tricky.
Stephen Curry is 35, the sun the Warriors have circled throughout their dynasty. Draymond Green, 33, can opt out of the remaining year of his contract and would welcome a multi-year deal. Klay Thompson, 33 and shockingly short of the Western Conference semifinals, has one more season on his contract — according to coach Steve Kerr, his closeness to Meyers has fostered an impressive combination.
Curry, Green, Thompson and Kerr, along with Myers, represent the five pillars of the most productive court production. Mayer is on his way. Curry is the only one under contract beyond next season, and it’s not a stretch to say the others will be with the franchise when the 2024-25 season ends.
It’s evidence that the closing postseason window has changed the perception of the Warriors and is a primary source of investment in Lacob, executive chairman Peter Guber and their partners.
There are questions about Lacob’s attack on the player-in-person process, which doesn’t have much to do with his desire to prove what has been commonly believed for years.
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“There are a lot of misconceptions,” Lacob said. I am involved in the ownership and so is Peter. But if you want to be successful, you have to be involved. The idea that you should somehow get this out of the way is ludicrous.
“No good business works that way,” he added. “The governing body is involved. And they know what’s going on. Now, you hire great guys like (Myers), and they’re allowed to make the calls. You will not get in their way. They let them do their job. It is the basic principle of what we do. But as long as I am involved in ownership, I will be in the organization.
Lacob’s conviction about continued success, as measured by championships, suggests he has a post-Carry plan. Finding another selfless generational talent with impeccable vision is easier said than done.
Although Lacob’s latest promise cannot be considered “empty”, it is worth examining. He’s about to find out that it might be harder than what he did 13 years ago.
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