Santa Cruz Warriors: 2017-18 exit interview with GM Kent Lacob

Santa Cruz Warriors, (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Santa Cruz Warriors, (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Blue Man Hoop sits down with Santa Cruz Warriors general manager, Kent Lacob, to discuss the 2017-18 NBA G League season.

Much like their NBA affiliate Golden State Warriors, the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors have had quite a tumultuous season.

Having to deal with multiple injuries — not to mention, the consequences of Golden State’s growing list of injuries — as well as having to adapt to the departure of former head coach Casey Hill and three significant call-ups, the Sea Dubs quickly went from one of the top teams in the G League to a struggling team trying desperately to stay above the .500 mark.

The Warriors ended up finishing with a regular season win/loss record of 23-27, marking the second time in Surf City’s six-year history that the Warriors have finished completely out of playoff contention.

Santa Cruz Warriors general manager, Kent Lacob, however, doesn’t exactly consider the year a total disappointment.

“Obviously, there have been ups and downs,” said Lacob. “When you aren’t winning as much as you’d like to, when you’re losing games, there’s of course going to be a certain level of frustration that creeps in — I know our players felt it, I know our staff felt it — so you’d like to win more.

But looking back on the season, I know when we’re able to take a deep breathe and remove ourselves and reflect on the season, this was definitely a successful year.”

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Lacob went further in-depth as to why the year was a success, citing the fact that each of their three call-ups — Antonius Cleveland, Georges Niang and Damion Lee — have proven rather successful in the NBA.

In addition, Quinn Cook has most definitely stepped up for Golden State in the absence of Stephen Curry, and even Damian Jones has seen some level of success with the team in Oakland. Chris Boucher, though injured right now, also looks to have a great deal of NBA potential.

“There was a lot of roster overturn, but a lot of that was a good thing; that’s what we’re in this for,” Lacob said. “We’re trying help guys further their careers, and we’re trying to promote guys having long, successful careers playing professional basketball.

We have multiple players who started the season as G League roster players and are not just up in the NBA, but are starting games and playing and adding value,” Lacob continued. “I think that’s a testament to the work that they put in; it’s a testament to our staff helping them along with their development and continuing to infuse them with confidence and belief in themselves.

So yeah, it was a successful year — not in the traditional sense, but the G League isn’t a traditional league.”

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Lacob ended by saying the team knows they still have much to work on for the coming future, but they’ll continue to build on the things they know worked. While everyone would have liked for the team to finish a bit higher in the standings, there’s no doubt the team had a pretty solid year.

“In kind of the grand view of things, when the dust settles, there was a lot of good that happened this season.”