Tag: Joseph Lacob

Joe Lacob, Peter Guber

Warriors owner explains rationale for dismissing Jackson


OAKLAND – Hours after meeting with Mark Jackson and dismissing the coach he hired 35 months ago, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob sat in his corner office explaining why the franchise would fire its most successful coach over the past two decades.

Proficiency, Lacob conceded, was not the primary factor behind his decision.

“The decision to not bring Mark back is not willy-nilly; there are reasons,” Lacob said Tuesday. “It’s less based on performance, that is win-loss record, and perhaps slightly more based on overall philosophy.”

The Warriors finished the regular season 51-31, their best record since 1991-92. They were coming off consecutive postseason appearances for the first time ’92. Their season ended with a Game 7 playoff to the Clippers on Saturday in Los Angeles.

When I asked Lacob if the team’s record was unsatisfactory, he said that was not the case.

“I would not say it’s unsatisfactory,” Lacob said. “I would say that it did not meet our goals.”

Lacob described the team’s primary goals as being among the top four teams in the Western Conference. The Warriors, for the second year in a row, finished sixth.

RELATED: Seven names to watch in Golden State coaching search

“We did improve the team, on paper, and we thought that was a reasonable expectation,” he said, referring mostly to the addition of forward Andre Iguodala. “We did not achieve that. We had a good year, but just didn’t excel at the level we had hoped to.”

There were contributing factors, including injuries, which Lacob acknowledged. Starting center Andrew Bogut lost 15 games due to injuries and a suspension and was not available in the postseason. Backup center Jermaine O’Neal missed 38 games with injuries. Another backup center, Festus Ezeli, missed all 82 games after undergoing knee surgery. Iguodala missed 19 games with a hamstring injury and knee tendinitis. Power forward David Lee missed 13 games.

Lacob said the reasons behind Jackson’s termination were broader than the record or even the strategy he employed. He said Jackson’s relationship with the organization was less than “ideal.”

Put another way, Lacob indicated Jackson’s coaching career would be better served if he cultivated relationships beyond those involving his players and staff.

Read more on the Warriors from CSN Bay Area by clicking here.

Indeed, Lacob insisted he did not believe Jackson, in his third season as a coach, was tactically inferior to Clippers coach Doc Rivers, a veteran of 15 seasons on the bench.

Yet the Warriors brain trust – with Lacob and general manager Bob Myers at the top – unanimously decided they would be better off with another head coach.

“There is an element of that probably weighs on my thinking, certainly, and maybe on Bob’s, that there is the right coach for the right time and the right situation,” Lacob said. “And it’s our feeling at this point in time, that he’s probably not the right coach for us, going forward, given all of the circumstances.”

New Warriors owners talking openly about San Francisco, Oakland may not like that

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The new owners of the Golden State Warriors have not been subtle about where they left their heart — they have talked openly about loving San Francisco. They’ve started flirting with The City.

As Arena Digest points out, the first big media event that Peter Guber and Joseph Lacob held was in a San Francisco restaurant, and they were not shy about saying they were open to a move across the bay. Nor should they be — that would mean a new stadium (hello revenue!) and a move into one of the wealthiest markets in the nation.

No shock — this all isn’t sitting well in Oakland. One Mercury News columnist went over the top and said they should change the name to the “Oakland Warriors” if they were committed to the team.

But the Warriors have always been the Bay Area’s team. Unlike in the NFL, there were no lines drawn between two teams. The name is Golden State and fans come from all over the Bay Area — even Dublin — to support the Warriors.

That would not change with a move to San Francisco. But don’t expect some in Oakland who think they can use this to their advantage to let that happen quietly.

New Warriors owners not sure how they outbid Larry Ellison either

Joe Lacob, Peter Guber
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There was a given going into the sale of the Warriors — if he wanted the team, Silicon Valley mogul Larry Ellison could win the auction. Easy. You know how rich Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is? Trail Blazer owner Paul Allen (he of the ground floor of Microsoft)? Ellison is worth more than both of them combined.

And it was assumed Larry Ellison wanted the Warriors, he had expressed interest before.

But at the end of the bidding, Joseph Lacob and Peter Guber came out with the team after a $450 million bid. NBA.com’s Scott Howard Cooper asked them how that happened, and, well, they don’t know either.

“We heard all that too, and we even thought that,” Lacob admitted, laughing. “I remember Peter and I talking about this during the process. We said, ‘We can’t really worry about him. We just have to do what we think is right. We have to do our homework, we have to bid at the appropriate time, we have to bid the right amount, we have to do our due diligence properly, and we just stay in the game because you never know what’s going to happen….”

“The truth is, in the end, who’s to say why. Larry could have had the team probably at any time by just writing a bigger check. And he certainly could afford to do that. I really don’t know why he didn’t do that. Maybe it’s one of these things where you just don’t think the other guys are real in a bidding process. We were a little bit under the radar. We just stayed in there and did our thing. I guess the one thing I would say is that when it came down to it and we knew we had it, or were very close to having it, we did do one thing that was rather unusual. We signed a letter of intent. Then it usually takes a couple months to do what’s called a complete purchase-and-sale agreement. We went and did that in a period of about 72 hours. Completely. Nonstop. Without sleeping. With our lawyers. We knew that they, or he, or whoever – we didn’t know who the competitor was – would try to come in over the top at the end. It’s an auction process. We just said, ‘We’re going to be done before they ever get there.’

Ellison did try to come in with a bigger offer after the bidding process ended, but that didn’t work. Selling owner Chris Cohan stuck with his process. And there you go.

We don’t know how good Lacob and Guber will turn out to be as owners. Better than Cohan, one could hope (one playoff appearance in 16 years). Owners who stuck with a plan and beat the big gun out sound like just the perfect guys to take over in the Bay Area.

Warriors sale approved, becomes official

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In practice, the changes were already underway with the Warriors — Don Nelson was out, Keith Smart was in. A lineup of only shooters was being replaced by grittier, more physical players.

But now the change in ownership that precipitated all of that is official — Joseph Lacob and Peter Guber have been unanimously approved as owners of Golden State by the 29 other owners the league announced. Meaning the Chris Cohan era is over. All over the Bay Area, champagne corks just popped.

“We are delighted to welcome Joe Lacob and Peter Guber as majority owners of the Warriors,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a released statement. “Their commitment to the community, strong ownership group and business acumen will benefit the Warriors and their passionate fans both on and off the court.”

Lacob had been a minority owner with the Celtics but sold those shares to get the Warriors.

Lacob and Guber promise to be more hands-on than Cohan, and more committed to winning — the Warriors have been to the playoffs once in the last 16 years. The Clippers have been more (twice, but still). It is a franchise in need of a change of culture, and now that can begin in earnest.

Good news Warriors fans, new owner says he is "not Al Davis"


Thumbnail image for New Warriors Logo.jpgThere are a lot of questions for Joseph A. Lacob, the guy taking the reins as the new owner of the Golden State Warriors. Fortunately for him, he doesn’t have to answer the hard ones — about house cleaning in the front office, for example — until he formally gets control of the team in a couple months.

But he is still talking, like he did to the San Jose Mercury News.

So, what kind of owner will he be? Not like the one owner Warriors fans might fear even more than the outgoing Chris Cohan.

“Definitely not Al Davis. Definitely not Mark Cuban,” Lacob said on Friday, reacting to two possibilities suggested by a reporter…

“Like everyone else, we thought that if Larry really wanted this and it was in his heart, he would have it,” said Lacob, speaking by phone from Europe, where he is on vacation. “I just think we had a gut instinct it wasn’t entirely clear how committed he would be to it. And as it went on, it came to a point where we realized we had a legitimate shot.”

What seems the best news for Warriors fans is Lacob appears committed. Seriously committed.

“This is not an investment for Joe. It’s a dream,” said Wyc Grousbeck, managing director of the Boston Celtics, in which Lacob has a minority stake. Grousbeck is a former venture capitalist who recruited him into the group that acquired the Celtics in 2002. The group was dubbed “Banner 17,” signaling its goal to lead the storied but then-downtrodden franchise to its 17th championship, a goal achieved in 2008.

“He’s a smart, competitive, successful basketball junkie,” Grousbeck said.

The Warriors have an owner who already has a ring in the NBA. That is a damn good place to start. Next up, the hard questions.