Posted by Royce Young
Both Darren Rovell of CNBC.com and Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com are reporting that the Golden State Warriors have been sold to Joe Lacob, managing partner at private equity firm Kleiner Perkins, and Peter Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who was thought to be the front-runner, obviously didn't win the bid. As to why, Rovell tweets : "When u r worth $28 BIL, what's another couple MIL? Think he miscalculated." Yeah, evidently.
The new owners aren't entirely new to the team ownership game. Lacob bought a share of the Celtics in 2006 and Guber's Mandalay Entertainment owns and operates multiple minor league baseball teams, including two affiliates of the New York Yankees
The team was reportedly sold for $450 million, topping the previous NBA high of $401 million, which is what Robert Sarver paid for the Phoenix Suns in 2004.
Chris Cohan bought the franchise in 1995 for $119 million and as of December of last year was valued at $315 million by Forbes.
As San Jose Mercury columnist Tim Kawakami puts it , if Lacob and Guber keep the current front office, they're an immediate failure. Hard to disagree there. The Warriors are one of the most intriguing franchises because of the unwavering passion of the fanbase and consistent revenue the team generates. But for whatever reason, through hapless ownership and front office management, the team has been a massive failure over the last 15 years, save for one shining moment in the 2007 playoffs against the Mavericks.
Since now former owner Cohan bought the team 16 years ago, the Warriors have yielded the second worst record in that span, second to only the Clippers. So clearly the price wasn't about the on-court performance of the team. It's about the product and the overall franchise is in good shape with the city, the arena and the fanbase. There's really no reason the Warriors shouldn't be better. And now with Cohan out and new owners in, maybe things will turn around.