Could the Warriors really be worth over $400 million?

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The Warriors continued their tired march as one of the most poorly run organizations in the NBA this season, with their 26-56 record nothing more than a reflection of the team’s misfortune from top to bottom. There is undeniable talent on the Golden State roster — had Steph Curry started rolling in November rather than January, he very well may have been the Rookie of the Year — but there are all kinds of ill-fitting parts and a coach that doesn’t seem to care to figure it all out.

They’re poised to get better, as Curry, Anthony Randolph, and Monta Ellis will continue to improve. Golden State will add the No. 6 pick in this summer’s draft, and while that may not be John Wall or Evan Turner, the Warriors could still add an impact player. Golden State could actually become moderately successful, should they manage to shed some of the ridiculous salary that’s gumming up the works.

Apparently those petty details — lack of winning, large, oppressive contracts, etc. —  aren’t sandbagging the valuations of the Warriors franchise, though. From Rex Crum and David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal:

The Warriors, who are up for sale, are likely to fetch more than
$400 million, according to several people familiar with the team’s
finances. That would be a record for an NBA squad, surpassing the $401
million paid by businessman Robert Sarver for the Phoenix Suns in 2004
and the approximately $240 million paid by NBA Hall of Famer Michael
Jordan for the Charlotte Bobcats in February.

Spurring the
Warriors’ value is a number of factors–almost none of which are related
to how the team has played over the past 15 years. Instead, the value
has everything to do with the team’s Bay Area market, ticket sales and
a below-market television deal that is set to expire in 2015.

Larry Ellison set the bar with a $315 million offer, but according to the Journal’s sources, that seems like a low-ball. Maybe the value of the Warriors really is that high due to the attractiveness of the market, but the very notion that one of the worst franchises in the sport could set league records with its sale is a bit odd. Obviously there are things far more valuable than basketball success, and that’s what a potential owner would really be paying for.

Still, the Warriors? The Warriors? The market is great and the fan base is fantastic, but this is a case where even though the team has done so many things so poorly for so long from ownership to management to the on-court product, the team could bring in more money than any other NBA team ever sold. That’s just…great.

Evan Fournier pokes fun at his ‘NBA 2K’ likeness

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 07:  Evan Fournier #10 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 7, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.

Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.

At least they’re having fun with it.

Report: Sixers expected to waive Tibor Pleiss after trade with Jazz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Tibor Pleiss #21 of the Utah Jazz controls the ball in the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.

Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.

Jordan releases new Russell Westbrook ad, may include a shot at Kevin Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (L) and Russell Westbrook #0 look on during a press conference after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-101 in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”

Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.

Kobe Bryant on how teams should see Warriors: “‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 03:  Retired NBA Champion, CEO, Kobe Inc., Kobe Bryant speaks onstage during 2016 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 03, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
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For two decades, Kobe Bryant saw everyone and everything as an obstacle to overcome: The Pacers, Sixers, Nets, Magic, Celtics, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Smush Parker, a torn Achilles. It didn’t matter. Kobe’s work ethic and drive had him rising above it all.

His focus hasn’t changed now. Kobe was on the Jim Rome show, and the topic of the new-look Warriors with Kevin Durant came up, along with the “woe is me” attitude of some players (and plenty of owners and GMs).

“I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair,'” he said. “If you’re a real competitor, you look at that and say, ‘OK, lace ’em up. Let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there; we’re still going to take you down.'”

Easier said than done to make that happen, but that attitude is the only one to have if you think you have a chance. You can be sure LeBron James is thinking that way and telling his Cavaliers teammates the same.

We’re going to miss Kobe.