May 20, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors co-owners Joe Lacob (left) and Peter Guber (right) watch as Steve Kerr (not pictured) addresses the media in a press conference after being introduced as the new head coach for the Warriors at the Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Why The Warriors’ Management Might Be The Best In The Biz


In the summer of 2010, the Golden State Warriors were sold to a group led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, ushering in a new era with a new logo.

Before the sale, the Warriors had made the playoffs just once in the past 16 seasons.  For a little perspective, the Los Angeles Lakers have missed the playoffs just five times in the history of the NBA.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Management that consistently builds playoff teams that gather recognition and respect around the league, and for quite some time, Dr. Jerry Buss of the Lakers was thought to be the best owner in the league.

After his unfortunate passing, Joe Lacob & Co. look to be making a running at being the league’s best owners.

Here’s why:

1. They have changed the culture of Golden State
The Warriors, in the 90′s and into the millennium, were a run-and-gun, shoot-em-up, off-your-seat team with great action and was even marketed as “A Good Time Out!”  – but they lost most of their games.

Their exciting action was entertaining but their wins were scarce.  The new Warriors management came in and they turned the laughingstock of the NBA into a yearly playoff threat that everyone fears.

2. They are ambitious and passionate
When Lacob and his group came in, he promised the playoffs.  I mean, he wrote a frickin’ contract with the fanbase guaranteeing playoffs!  This man wants to win, and you can always see him at the Warriors’ home games jumping up and down at courtside rooting for his players.  Other teams’ front offices are often apathetic about wins and losses as long as the money comes in, and then we have Mark Cuban and Joe Lacob who come to games looking for blood, or at least a victory.

3. They have made the Warriors a target free agent landing spot
The Warriors had to overpay for David Lee, because why else would anyone want to come to Golden State?  No longer is that the case.  Not to mention Andre Iguodala taking less money to come to the Warriors, it reflects highly on management when Golden State seems to be in the middle of discussions for top free agents like Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, and LeBron James.  Lacob could be satisfied with making the playoffs — which I’m confident they will make — but time and time again he has tested the waters to see if there is more that can be done.

4. They are smart
Not only is this management always trying to get better, but they also see the game in smart ways.  In recent years, the Warriors have been one of the pioneers in sports statistical analytics.  Lacob’s son, Kirk, manages the D-League affiliate Santa Cruz Warriors and has been at the forefront of basketball analytics for the past few years.  They also brought in the legendary Jerry West as a consultant and free agent specialist Bob Myers as General Manager to make a very formidable team.

Lacob has said quite often that he is willing to pay a luxury tax if the situation deems necessary and worthwhile.  So far, the Warriors have straddled the luxury tax line and has avoided any extra fees, but times are coming where Lacob may be tested on his word.  Klay Thompson is due for a pay raise, and there is still much to be said regarding the rest of the roster.  But if Lacob can manage this right and make these Warriors into perennial championship contenders, we might just have the best management in the business.

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  • benbrung

    They cannot be crowned the best as long as the Spurs continue to operate on another plane. I think they are definitely better than most but there are some areas for concern (or at least improvement).

    1) Lacob’s need to be front and center is concerning. Although the story he likes to push about being booed has to do with trading Ellis, his taking the microphone to pat himself on the back for the no-brainer of honoring Mullin was certainly boo-worthy. As long as basketball takes priority over his ego, this won’t be an issue but I think the jury is still out.

    2) The team totally mishandled Jackson. I’m fine with them firing him but they shouldn’t have criticized him in the media along the way. While he’s your coach, support him publicly. To whatever extent Jackson had an input-averse, us-against-the-world coaching tenure, the F.O. needs to take some responsibility for feeding that beast. They also didn’t have a clear plan when they fired him – especially considering the support he had from vocal players. Part of the reason they ended up paying so much to Kerr had to do with being desperate after backing themselves into a corner.

    3) Being in the middle of talks for Lebron, Howard & Love is not the same as adding a single one of them to the roster. I, for one, am not convinced Howard makes them a better team although adding him certainly would have provided a boost for Lacob’s ego.

    4) The Warrior’s bench was atrocious last year. Jackson’s rotations are surely partly to blame but Douglas, Speights & Crawford are who they are regardless of how they are rotated in.

    I’m not trying to deny the F.O. credit they have earned for the turn-around, but there are clearly legitimate questions that need answering before they are considered 2nd best to the Spurs let alone the best in the business.