Tag:Joe Lacob
Posted on: August 14, 2011 3:55 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 3:55 pm

Report: Warriors sack top business executives

Posted by Ben Golliverlacob

Mama, there go those men to the unemployment line.

MercuryNews.com reports that the Golden State Warriors are taking another major step in an organizational overhaul under new owner Joe Lacob by replacing a number of top-level executives on the team's business operations side. 
In recent days, Lacob has, in his words, “relieved” most of the team’s existing VP- and senior-VP-level business-side executives. Basically, including team president Robert Rowell, most of the senior business side executives Lacob and Peter Guber inherited in November are now out. 

The only exceptions: The top staffers in the sales department. Lacob said that he is now searching specifically for a team president (until one is hired, Lacob is acting as president) and a VP for marketing.

“In the end, all senior positions are or are being replaced except for our sales area,” Lacob said.
It's been a very active year for the Warriors, who replaced coach Keith Smart with Mark Jackson, sacked Rowell, brought on Jerry West to serve as a basketball operations consultant and hired agent Bob Myers to serve as the team's assistant GM.

As with any internal matter, it's difficult to assess the decision-making and logic behind moves like these. However, the timing makes sense. That Lacob didn't completely clear house as soon as he took over was smart, as that impulse could have sunk the organization's ability to operate on and off the court last season.

Taking care of the basketball operations side first also makes sense. An NBA organization can survive with an average or slightly below average business side; without a strong basketball operations department, though, the organization's revenue-generating potential will never be reached. The sharpest accountant or the best budget-trimmer in the world is only going to be the lipstick on a pig for a perennial lottery team.

Now, with a year to have learned the ropes, a basketball operations department assembled in his mold and a lockout to buy him some time, it makes sense that Lacob and company would choose this summer to undertake a retooling or streamlining of the business side of his organization. 
Posted on: June 28, 2011 2:26 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 2:35 am

Golden State Warriors to buy D-League's Wizards

The Golden State Warriors have reportedly purchased a stake in the Dakota Wizards, a D-League team. Posted by Ben Golliver. joe-lacob

Bismarck, North Dakota, is a long, long way from the Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden State Warriors, under new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber, have just shortened the distance considerably.

RidiculousUpside.com reports that the Warriors have "bought into" the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Developmental League, giving Golden State the opportunity to run the Wizards as their exclusive affiliate.
The Golden State Warriors have bought into the NBA Development League's Dakota Wizards, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, making the two teams one-to-one affiliates for the upcoming season. The D-League team has called an 11 a.m. press conference on Tuesday in Bismarck, ND, to announce the new affiliation.

The Warriors are far from local, but considering the Wizards advertised 2011-12 season tickets in Monday's press release, there's a very good chance that the team will remain in Bismarck for at least the upcoming season.
With each passing month, Warriors ownership continues to put its money where its mouth is. Upon taking over the team last summer, Lacob and Gruber pledged to make the financial commitments necessary to turn the Warriors into a first-rate NBA team.

In the past month alone, the Warriors have shelled out big dollars for big name coach Mark Jackson, brought on NBA legend Jerry West as a consultant, and spent millions of dollars to buy a second round draft pick with which they selected project Jeremy Tyler. Now, they have invested in their own D-League team. That, my friends, is real commitment and smart ownership.

Of course, the Warriors are no stranger to the D-League. They've regularly sent players down for seasoning and have effectively used the D-League to find players who wound up sticking on their roster. Guys like Reggie Williams and Anthony Tolliver. Not to mention: When you draft players like Jeremy Lin, owning your own D-League team can really come in handy.

According to RidiculousUpside.com, the Warriors join the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers as teams that have bought all or part of a D-League affiliate in order to establish a direct affiliation during this offseason. Boom time for the D-League, apparently.
Posted on: June 15, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 4:57 pm

Warriors GM Riley: We're not shopping Monta Ellis

Posted by Royce Young

By all accounts, the Warriors are very much shopping guard Monta Ellis around. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported last week that talks were "heating up" about a deal sending Ellis to Philadelphia. But there was also some push back from owner Joe Lacob and new coach Mark Jackson about that, indicating the Warriors aren't moving Ellis.

And now via an interview with SI.com, Warriors general manager Larry Riley emphatically said the team isn't shopping Ellis.

“We are not shopping Monta Ellis. It is business as usual here. I think you have to look at what just happened in the Finals — it seemed like Dallas played pretty small guards throughout that series with Miami and did a pretty good job of it. Our problem is not the small backcourt. Our problem is defense.”

Our problem is defense. Aren't you basically saying, "Our problem is Monta Ellis" then? (Along with Stephen Curry, of course.) That back court simply can't match up with other big back courts throughout the West. Riley cites the Mavs, but that was a specific matchup situation and Rick Carlisle managed those rotations wonderfully.

As far as Riley saying the team isn't shopping Ellis, you can't call him a liar, but you can't believe it entirely. I believe him. The team probably isn't actively shopping Ellis around. But when someone calls and says, "Hey, do you want Andre Iguodala?" and Riley says, "Who for?" and the other GM says, "How about Monta?" I don't think Riley is responding, "We're not shopping Ellis." There's a difference between actively listening and actively shopping. And I think the Warriors are doing a whole lot of listening with Ellis.

They realize the back court of Ellis and Curry isn't really a favorable one, especially with Jackson wanting to establish more of a defensive mindset. They need a little size, but how do you slash into those players' minutes?

Ellis might be moved and we'll all say, "Hey, Lacob, Riley and everyone else said they weren't shopping him!" But in reality, they probably weren't. Doesn't mean they won't trade him though.
Posted on: June 11, 2011 3:56 pm

Warriors push back on Monta Ellis trade talks

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob and coach Mark Jackson push back against Monta Ellis trade rumors. Posted by Ben Golliver. monta-ellis

The cat is out of the bag.

CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reported that the Golden State Warriors are interested in moving guard Monta Ellis, engaging in trade talks with multiple teams.

While he admits that his team has engaged in trade talks this summer, new Warriors owner Joe Lacob pushed back against the rumors in an interview with the San Jose Mercury-News.
"There’s a tremendous amount of speculation in the press, and I can’t believe where all this is coming from… because the stories are completely fabricated, by you or whoever. I don’t know who’s fabricating them. 

"They’re fabrications, complete and utter. All these teams that supposedly have talked to us. It’s not true. It’s just not true.

"I’m not saying we haven’t had any discussions, we have. But it’s nothing like what’s being reported."
Lacob went on to say: "We all really like Monta Ellis a lot. We think he's a great player." He then acknowledged that whether there was a player that was a better fit is an open question and predicted that Ellis wouldn't be traded.

Meanwhile, GoldenStateofMind.com reports that Mark Jackson, hired to coach the Warriors this week, gave a similar message.
"The trades that have been discussed, I do not want to trade Monta Ellis - I want Monta Ellis to be in a Warriors uniform. Now if you told me we're trading Monta Ellis for Dwight Howard, I would hug Monta Ellis, tell him how much I appreciate him, and then make the deal. And I'm sure Monta Ellis would do the same thing: if you were trading me for Magic Johnson, make the trade."
Let's unpack these quotes. 

The owner is shocked that the media would speculate when he openly admits to trade talks including his near All-Star caliber player. Okay... Welcome to the NBA.

Both the owner and the coach like the player's game and want the player to stay ... unless he could bring back a better player or a better fit in trade. 

The Warriors did what they needed to do here: Show a public support of Ellis in the midst of the rumors. He's on your roster and he's your guy until the trade is approved by the league office. There's always a chance he isn't traded, and you don't want him to feel burned by the process. 

Despite that, they didn't do much to dispel the idea that he will be gone next year. Both Jacob and Jackson made it clear that Ellis is eminently tradeable. Indirectly, they poured even more fuel on the fire by publicly aknowledging that his fit is questionable when pressed about his future. A trade makes too much sense not to happen. This one feels like it just comes down to settling on the right price.
Posted on: May 30, 2011 4:01 pm

Mark Jackson is a finalist for Warriors coach?

Mark Jackson is reportedly a finalist to be head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Posted by Ben Golliver. mark-jackson

The King of Corny Catchphrases could have a new title in the near future: Golden State Warriors caoch.

CSNBayArea.com reports that Mark Jackson, the NBA television commentator notorious for screeching "Hand Down, Man Down" and "Mama, there goes that man" is reportedly a finalist to replace Warriors coach Keith Smart, who was let go in April.
Dwane Casey, Lawrence Frank and Brian Shaw are now said to be on the Warriors' short list. Put Mark Jackson on that list, too. He appears to be a finalist.

Jackson -- the former New York Knick, Indiana Pacer and current analyst for ESPN and ABC -- is very much being considered for the Golden State job. In fact, Jackson has had two conversations with the Warriors, including one with owner Joe Lacob, according two NBA sources.

That is significant because Lacob was not in on the Warriors' first set of discussions with candidates.
New Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber seem intent on putting their own stamp on the franchise, and Jackson would certainly be a big-name and fairly splashy hire. The team is also said to be seeking a more defensive-oriented approach, and Jackson played for two physical, intimidating teams in the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks of the 1990s.

With no head coaching experience, it's difficult to gauge Jackson's style or coaching philosophy. However, he's just 46 years old, seven years removed from his playing days and boasts an All-Star game plus a Finals appearance on his resume. In other words, he should be able to command the respect of -- and connect with -- today's players with ease.

It's been more than a month since Smart was let go and the NBA Draft is less than a month away and the Warriors hold the No. 11 pick. Golden State was reportedly interested in Mike Brown, but he was snatched up by the Los Angeles Lakers. Whether it's Jackson or someone else, the clock is ticking.
Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 12:55 pm

Jerry West takes role with Warriors

Jerry West joins Warriors in advisement capacity.

Posted by Matt Moore

After Jerry West walked away from the Grizzlies after years as an adviser after a successful stint as GM, Jerry West has maintained that he's through with official roles in basketball.  That stance has apparently changed as West has agreed to join the Golden State Warriors in an advisory role. From the Mercury News
Jerry West, one of the most respected executives in NBA history, has agreed to join the Warriors front office in a non-decision-making, advisory role, multiple NBA sources confirmed tonight.

An announcement is expected within a few days.

West’s exact title has not yet been formalized, but he is expected to be reporting to co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber and possibly act as a sounding board in many areas.
via Jerry West set to join Warriors front office, according to multiple NBA sources | Talking Points.

West has helped make two franchises into playoff teams at least, so adding him to the Warriors is an indication that Lacob is serious about doing what it takes to make the team legit. It's an interesting group of individuals being ammassed in the collective at the top of the ladder for Golden State as West joins General Manager Riley and former agent Bob Myers. But with roles clearly defined, it just means more brain power for a team that badly needs some coordination at the top as it works to reconfigure the roster to a more defensive squad. 

Update: From the Warriors' presser on the announcement: 

“I’m really pleased that we were able to add someone the caliber of Jerry West to our organization,” said Warriors’ Co-Owner Peter Guber. “He has earned great respect in all circles, including the entire entertainment field, and his business savvy will serve us well and prove invaluable. Overall, his career has been nothing short of remarkable and his name alone has become synonymous with winning and success. I could sense his love for the game and tremendous passion during our meetings in recent weeks and I think his attitude will be infectious. He will be a tremendous resource for us in this particular role and it is also a position that suits Jerry very well at this stage of his life.”

“I’m excited about this opportunity and, quite frankly, humbled that the new ownership group with the Warriors inquired about my interest in joining the organization in this capacity,” said West. “I’ve had the good fortune to work for two wonderful owners, Dr. Jerry Buss and Michael Heisley, as an executive and I know that you must have a commitment at the top to succeed. I sense that is certainly the case with the Warriors or I would not have made this decision. This role is appealing at this particular time because it will provide me an opportunity to remain close to the game and contribute to an organization in a meaningful, all-encompassing manner. It had to be the right situation with the right group of people and this opportunity certainly meets those criteria. I’ve been extremely impressed with Joe Lacob, Peter Guber and the members of the Basketball Operations staff during our conversations and I’m looking forward to working with them and other members of the Warriors’ organization as we move forward.” 
Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: April 27, 2011 1:47 pm

Report: Warriors let go of coach Keith Smart

The Golden State Warriors reportedly part ways with coach Keith Smart. Posted by Ben Golliver. keith-smart

Update: CSNBayArea.com reports that the Warriors have indeed decided to part ways with coach Keith Smart. Smart signed a two-year contract last fall with a team option for 2011-2012. That option, the site reports, will not be picked up.

The team also issued the following statement.
“It’s never easy to make difficult decisions, especially when it involves someone that we have a great deal of respect for like Keith Smart,” said Warriors Owner Joe Lacob. “After meeting extensively with Larry Riley and Bob Myers, we came to the conclusion that a change was necessary at this particular time. I think Keith did an admirable job this season and he should be commended for many of the positive things that transpired both on and off the floor. The team showed improvement and their effort was never in question. However, we’ve elected to pursue a new path and we wish Keith the very best. He’s a quality person and we thank him for the time he invested with our organization.” 
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger has more on the decision.

Original Post:

The first year of the post-Don Nelson era in Golden State didn't end in abject failure, but it also didn't end with a trip to the playoffs. New Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber have repeatedly made public their intentions of turning the team into a perennial winner.

Now that the season is over, the question is whether head coach Keith Smart will be a part of that building process. It's not looking promising: the Oakland Tribune reports Wednesday that Smart's tenure could end this week.
A team source said a decision is expected within the next two or three days, while another source "wouldn't be surprised if he's let go (Wednesday)."
Larry Riley, recently named executive vice president of basketball operations, said on April 15 that the Warriors would begin evaluating Smart in eight or nine days, which would have been last weekend.
New owners in any sport always want "their guy." In this case, Smart served as a solid bridge last season given the timing involved in the Warriors purchase. He knew the players, had a system and was given the opportunity to prove he was the man for the job long-term. 

Smart's first season on the job produced 36 victories, an improvement over the team's 26 in 2009-2010 and 29 in 2008-2009. But the Warriors invested some serious coin in forward David Lee and expectations were raised with that signing.

The problem, as always for the Warriors, was defense, where the team ranked No. 26 in efficiency. The offense wasn't all that either, ranking No. 12 league-wide. On both sides of the ball there are ongoing questions about whether guards Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry -- who are both undersized and need the ball in their hands to be most effective -- are a good match going forward. 

If there's one real knock on Smart, it's that Curry didn't take more of a leap forward in his second season. While his scoring numbers were slightly up, his assists and turnovers remained virtually identical to his rookie season. More progress on that front likely could have resulted in a new contract.

Should the Warriors do decide to let go of Smart, it will be interesting to see which direction they go. Given that all three of their best players -- Curry, Ellis and Lee -- are better on offense than defense, whoever it is will have his hands full. The temptation might be to go for a defensive-minded coach, but that could turn into a situation like Terry Porter's tenure in Phoenix, where the mentality didn't necessarily mesh with the pieces on hand. 

More than Xs and Os, though, the Warriors seem to be looking for the right personality and culture fit. The team's new ownership have bent over backwards to connect with the team's fanbase. Does that mean they'll go for a splash hire? Not necessarily, but you can bet whoever is the coach next season will possess a marketability factor.
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:24 am

New Warriors owners promise playoffs or prizes

The Golden State Warriors are promising incentives to season ticket holders if the team doesn't reach certain milestones. Posted by Ben Golliver. joe-lacob-fan

When you're a struggling lottery team year after year, you do what you have to to create a buzz. 

New Golden State Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber are pushing the bounds of that axiom, promising incentives to season ticket holders in the event the Warriors fail to reach the playoffs next season. The Warriors have launched a website, SignWithTheWarriors.com, that's designed with a legal feel. The front page document reads "Herinafter contained is the first official contract between a professional sports team and its fans."

That "contract" includes the promise that the Warriors will make the playoffs next season or "ticket prices will not increase" for the following season. It also notes that if a Warrior is not selected for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, season ticket holders will "receive an autographed All-Star-related item' and "will be entered into a drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando." Finally, if the team doesn't go at least 25-17 at home, the Warriors will arrange for season ticket holders to attend "an exclusive two-hour autograph event at Oracle Arena with the entire team."

The San Francisco Business Times notes that the Golden State's new owners see these promises as part of a plan to help meet their own high expectations.
“In order to achieve the objectives outlined ... we are going to need everyone in this organization — from the basketball side to the business side — to meet the expectations that we’ve established,” said Peter Guber, who along with Joe Lacob bought the club last year for a NBA record $450 million. “It’s going to take a committed effort in all facets if we are to reward our great fans with the product they deserve.”
It goes without saying that the NBA needs more innovation and accountability when it comes to its ownership groups, and after years of disarray in the bay this message and approach will likely be received with open arms from Warriors fans, even if the actual incentives aren't much to write home about. 

Here, it's the thought that counts. Being a season ticket holder requires an investment of thousands of dollars and, like any big ticket item, comes with doubts and concerns that it could go bust. With this move, the Warriors are selling their fans a bit of insurance and peace of mind: buy into our vision and we'll take steps not to burn you. What consumer wouldn't appreciate that?
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com