Tag:Peter Gruber
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: 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: 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