It was supposed to be a special night for Golden State Warriors legend Chris Mullin, as the team honored him with an elaborate jersey retirement ceremony for his No. 17 during Monday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Unfortunately, Warriors fans aren't too hot on owner Joe Lacob right now. In fact, the Oracle Arena crowd booed Lacob mercilessly when he took the microphone to say a few words during the halftime presentation. What did Lacob do to draw their ire? Well, he recently traded star guard Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks for injured center Andrew Bogut. And, prior to the season, coach Mark Jackson guaranteed a playoff berth, but the Warriors once again are destined for the lottery.
"Tonight is about two things, embracing history and respect," Lacob began, stumbling and looking down at his note card as he was met with immediate boos. "The Warriors ownership, the current owners, our owners, think it's very important to embrace history.
The booing was so loud and long that Lacob was visibly shaking and struggling to make it through his prepared remarks.
"When you speak of Warriors history there is no one," he continued, before trailing off as the boos simply did not cease.
At that point, Mullin and fellow Warriors legend Rick Barry had to step in and save him as he exited stage left.
"With your support and patience, use that passion in the right direction," Mullin said, appealing to the fans. "This thing is going the right way, I have great confidence in Joe and Mark Jackson."
"Hey, one second here," Barry said, interjecting to lecture the fans. "Come on people. You fans are the greatest fans in the world. Everyone has said that. Show a little bit of class. This is a man I have spent some time talking to. He is going to change this franchise. This is crazy."
The boos continued.
"Seriously, come on," Barry pleaded. "You're doing yourself a disservice. All of the wonderful accolades being said to you. For you to treat this man, who is spending his money to do the best that he can to turn this franchise around, I know he's going to do it. Give him the respect he deserves."
"The fans are upset I guess that we traded one of our favorites," Lacob said after the game, according to Yahoo Sports. "That's all I can attribute that to. What I feel bad about isthey kind of ruined a night that was very special. The organization really tried to do the right thing with Chris."