“Saved from what?”
— Estragon, Waiting for Godot
Well, we’ve certainly had some solid indications that Joe Lacob is finally finished tanking the Warriors, haven’t we?
For the first time in his tenure as Warriors GM, Lacob has decided to enter the season with a veteran back-up point guard, Jarrett Jack.
And for the first time in his tenure, he signed more than one veteran bench player to the roster: adding Carl Landry and re-signing Brandon Rush.
For the first time in his tenure, Lacob has added small-ball spread fours to the roster, rather than shedding them like fleas. (I wonder who in the Warriors’ byzantine front office put that notion in Joe’s head? My guess would be Chief Scout Larry Riley, via his immediate superior, Kirk.)
You might also be tempted to say that for the first time in his tenure Lacob has actually opened up his wallet to try to win– as he has promised to do since the very day he bought the team — because the Warriors went a hair over the cap in signing their free agents. But that would be premature. I am informed by my back-office capologists that so long as the Warriors get back under the cap by the trading deadline, they will avoid the luxury tax.
What else? Oh yes, Spokes-Model Bob Myers (thank you, bloodsweatndonuts, for that apt descriptor) was trotted out to lay down the gauntlet to coach Mark Jackson:
Again, not wanting to coach the team, we’ve got a guy to do that, but we’ve given our coaching staff a group they can really work with…. And there’s really only one mandate here and it’s to win. That’s the job of the coaching staff… and we’re confident they can get it done.
…. I told Mark… I said, ‘You’ve got something to work with.’ Which I truly believe. And I don’t think he’s running from that challenge. I think he’s embracing it. I think he’s saying: ‘Yeah, I do.’
Wow. It’s pretty clear from this that Mark Jackson will have to be a “no-excuses” basketball coach this season, right?
(But I am curious why Bob Myers felt the need to say that Jackson has “only one mandate, and it’s to win.” Does that imply that Jackson had multiple mandates last year? Or perhaps simply the opposite mandate: to lose? Jackson certainly executed last year’s mandate well, to the point of shaving points at the end of the season, and destroying his integrity as a coach in the process. Let’s see how he does with this year’s mandate.)
But I digress, where was I? Oh yes, listing the reasons why it’s obvious that Joe Lacob is no longer tanking the Warriors. Here’s another one: Utah gets the Warriors first round pick next season, no matter what happens. Hmmm… did I even need to mention those other reasons?
But the number one reason that Lacob is finished tanking is Andrew Bogut. The Warriors are no longer cursed by a Nellieball roster
like the last two NBA champions with no prayer of ever competing in the post-season. The Warriors are now possessed of a genuine behemoth of their own in the middle, with whom they can do battle with the 6-9″ Kendrick Perkins and the 6-9″ Joel Anthony. The time for tanking is over. The “sins of the past” have been erased. Mission Accomplished.
Or is it? Readers of my last post know that I have some serious doubts about whether the 2007-8 Andrew Bogut even exists any more. (That was the last season he finished in one piece.)
Until we know more about Bogut’s health, about whether he will even be ready to start the season, let alone finish it, it seems like an exercise in futility to analyze the Warriors’ roster, or make a guess about what style of play they might employ, how good they might be, or how many games they might win. I will save my analysis for a time when I can do more than just speculate, say, towards the end of training camp.
Like every other Warriors fan, I’m waiting for Bogot.