First Take on the Sale

My initial reaction is delight that the purchaser is Lacob and not Ellison.   In my mind, the franchise has a far better chance of success and stability under a team player who is part of a group than under a megalomaniacal sole owner.  Then there is the fact that Lacob is a long-time basketball man who has first-hand experience in putting together a championship NBA franchise.

But my ultimate reaction, of course, will be dependent upon Don Nelson being retained to coach the playoff team that he has assembled.  I’m keeping the Lagavulin corked until then.

34 Responses to First Take on the Sale

  1. The fact that Lacob has been a Warriors season-ticket holder for 10 years gives him a big advantage over Ellison, who was completely absent but wanted to buy himself a new toy. I can also verify from business experience that Ellison is an egomaniac. Not a good combination.

  2. Comcast says that Erik Spoelstra might be in line as the next coach, this based on the assumption that Riley takes over as coach for newly ramped up Miami. Joe Spoelstra, btw, his father, is a high-up with the Mandalay Group.

    This sounds like speculation, though, and man I’ve heard too much speculation that was off the last few weeks.

    Riley vs. Jackson is going to be the story next year. Let’s hope someone spoils it.

    Who knows what Ellison would have done — I had the same reservations myself. One thing is clear: the new owners really wanted to buy this team.

  3. The more I hear about Lacob, the more excited I am about him taking over. He’s a true fan of the Warriors and I feel optimistic that the pain that he’s felt first hand will strengthen his resolve to turn this franchise into a perennial winner. I also agree with you that Nelson should stick around one more year to see what player that fit his system can do. I just hope they stay healthy.

  4. Cheers to Joe Lacob! Just win baby! And for Guber..what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas… please stay in Vegas Goober..

  5. I heard a brief two-line report on the radio while driving home. ” The GS Warriors were sold today for a record 450 million to a group headed by ( ) Guber.” and then something like: “His group announced they had a team that they will bring to Vegas.” Then they went back to ad nauseum talk about the Blazers.

    That shitty reporting left me with the impression that the Warriors will be moved to Las Vegas which takes ALL the excitement away. Any truth to the report?

  6. FourSeasons

    I feel the same way as you do. Lacob needs to retain Nellie to coach the playoff team that he assembled. Noone knows the players as well as he does. Give him a chance to turn around this team.

  7. Nellie on the sale, and what it means for him:

    His reference to the locker room getting cleaned up obviously has something to do with Stephen Jackson. But I wonder if it also has something to do with Anthony Randolph.

  8. OregonGuy, the new owners won’t be moving the team. If you read this brief interview of Lacob by MT you’ll see what I mean.

    BTW, you asked about Tolliver and my comments on very possibly being re-signed by the Warriors. I heard Riley interviewed the other day and he said he was in negotiations with both Watson and Tolliver, although both preliminary. With Biedrins coming off a significant injury, Wright a big question mark for more reasons than one, and Udoh out till early next year, the Warriors need more bodies. Besides, I like Tolliver and think he should be back regardless after his showing last season.

  9. MWLX,

    You echoed my thoughts completely about LE needing a new toy. Don’t know if that’s close to the truth but hey, we’re talking about a bazillionaire possibly just wanting a new thrill…and wanting it now!

  10. Felt, I’m getting mixed vibes on whether or not Nelli will be retained. In fact, after reading that Q & A, I’d say maybe more vibes that he won’t be back. You?

    I would think Nelson would want to coach this team, which should be much improved from the decimated squads of the last two seasons, and his talk with ESPN pretty much confirmed exactly that. My feeling is that it’s late, VERY late, to be changing coaching staffs and team philosophies relative to next season. This team was built to run, and Nelson does it better than anyone. Not only that, but both Lee and Wright talked of being excited to come here and play in this system. To change course now, especially at such a late date, would be counter productive.

    The new owners seem to be pretty sharp, but you never know until push comes to shove. Lacob comes across as someone who thinks he’s sharp as a tack when it comes to the NBA and related decisions. His talk of being in the Celtics draft war room speaks volumes of his opinion of himself. Great, if he indeed is very good at evaluating talent and making wide-sweeping basketball decisions.

    On the other hand, if he’s another version of Minnesota’s David Kahn, a smooth talker who’s utterly clueless when it comes to being an NBA GM the Warriors once again will be up sh#t creek.

  11. Larry Riley interviewed during final summer league game, which, by the way, featured another Dubs injury. Reggie Williams pulled his hammy, but at least he made it out alive. Gawd!

  12. With the game tied, and the clock running down…

    Larry Ellison was afraid to take the shot.

  13. Guber:

    Wanting to be “hands on” kind of concerns me. I just want them to hire good people and shell out the bucks and look pretty. Also, don’t visit the Mandalay site. It will scare you.


    We’ll never know and all this is idle, but I suspect he just didn’t want to pay more for the club than he thought it was worth — ego.

    Winning a sailing competition and running a basketball team are different enterprises. In the first, you buy the best materials and equipment, hire the best engineers, crew members etc. It’s a science. The NBA, as best I can tell, is part crap shoot (draft, potential players in fact developing), part bluster (being able to throw your weight around), part tact of a sort I’ll never know (being able to get good players to play, contain their egos and play together), and part knowledge (scouting players, coming up with coaching plans) of a sort that is so arcane I’m not convinced anyone really knows that much for certain.

    This won’t happen, of course, but I could see some starry eyed owner deciding the best course would be to hire Phil Jackson. What could Jackson do without the hall of famers he’s had?

    And even if you start throwing money around, the only method that seems certain to work, who can you get now or in the next 2-3 years (franchise players especially, also coaches) who isn’t tied down elsewhere?


    Given the two or more month scenario we’ve been hearing, before the new owners can hire/fire, who would even be around at that time, except for some promising assistants?

    For so many reasons — personalities and conflicts — Nelson wasn’t able to coach last year, not the way he wanted. He really seemed to enjoy himself at the end of the season and his interest in remaining seems genuine — he wants to have one last good coaching year to end his career, and sees possibilities with this squad. I want to see this.

  14. nivrag: “I want to see this.”

    So do I. With these players, I have a feeling Nellie could catch lightning in a bottle again.

  15. Nice piece by Steinmetz on Cohan:

    I doubt it will happen, but I’d like to see book on the Warriors. I’m curious exactly what went on.

    End of that era. . . .

  16. From that MT interview:

    What is your vision for the Warriors?
    The idea is, I think, that it’s about audience. It’s about story. It’s about winning. It’s about fan relationship. It’s about a lot of things. You have to be competitive. You have to be innovative. You have to be inspiring, not just perspiring.

    I thought it was about offense and defense and drafting good players and getting them to play together. . . .

    We’re in for a new era.

    Complete makeover for DN if he stays?
    Andy Garcia our backup PG?
    Jennifer Lopez the head Warrior girl?

  17. A connection you will never hear about from the miserable bay area media: Magic Johnson recently praised Don Nelson as one of the greatest coaches in history, citing his many innovations. Magic Johnson is a business partner of Gruber, and presumably a close advisor in basketball matters.

    Forget that, of course. Instead we get this completely ludicrous Spoelstra connection.

  18. Steinmetz wrote the piece about Spoelstra —

    I was going to suggest you keep a list in your columns of writers never to read again (starting with you know who).

  19. Some of these writers will dislocate a shoulder reaching for a controversy that doesn’t exist. Steinmetz is on the list, along with Rusty what’s-his name of the Chronicle, and of course the unmentionable cur in the south bay. MT of the Trib has more integrity than all three put together.

  20. Then again, the first thing Spoelstra would do is deny this rumor. I think MT, in his online chat the other day (I’m too lazy to check) suggested that the new owners are planning changes — they’ve said as much — that they can’t reveal until the sale is finalized. I think MT also suggested it was Ellison who was being used to pump up the price for Guber and Lacob.

    My only point here is that this is a crazy business. I’m going crazy. I’m tempted to turn off the tv and computer until opening day and be prepared for surprises.

  21. This blog is the only only one I’ve come across that doesn’t seem to have Larry Ellison posting barbs under an alias. And when is the hysteria elsewhere about firing Nelson ever going to stop?

    Thanks for providing an oasis of sanity, Felty. Oh, I’d welcome back Devean George with open arms. Devean, CJ and Tolliver and Riley can rest on the 7th day.

  22. Audio interview of Guber by Steinmetz. This guy (Guber), I no like.

  23. Steve,

    I’m typing this as I’m listening. Peter Guber needs to stop doing interviews forever.

    Yes, one of his strengths might be that he’s optimistic and enthusiastic. But do we need to hear five minutes of him citing his film and TV resume?

    Like your new high school football coach saying he’s qualified for the job cuz he ran the drama department for the last ten years. Not making me feel better.

    Joe Lacob needs to be the face of this ownership team. When HE speaks, I feel better.

  24. Brytex, my feelings exactly. When that interview started I was seated comfortably in my recliner. Halfway through, I was squirming like a 5 yr old kid. And by the end I was on the floor looking for something soft (slippers?) to throw at my ‘puter screen. IMO, right now it’s Lacob or bust, even though I’d bet there will eventually be other investors that will come aboard.

    Talk about an interview subject who’s a 180 from that Guber mess, listen to Gary Radnich’s conversation with Larry Riley (scroll down to the 7/16 link) from last Friday.

    Riley has gained my respect as time has passed and I’m hoping against hope that the new owners give this guy a shot to, shall we say, finish what he started. I like what he’s been doing, and regardless of the outcome, his desire to improve this team RIGHT NOW wins my stamp of approval. PLUS, by the end of the interview I was still sitting in my chair. LOL

  25. Steve, thanks for posting the summer league article. Anyone else notice how many 2nd round picks got good comments? With holes on their bench, I’m still steamed the Warriors sold/traded their way out of their high second rounder.

  26. CJ traded to Bulls. Where’s the link, Steve?

  27. A worth-reading NY Times piece on why David Lee is such a good guy. Just published Monday:

    Nellie’s last year of coaching…c’mon We Believe 2010/11!