Tag: Peter Guber

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Warriors to make plans for San Francisco move formal


Everyone has known for a year that the Golden State Warriors new ownership wanted to move the team out of Oakland to a new arena in San Francisco. It was no surprise when word leaked over the weekend that a plan was well along in the works.

At a press conference Tuesday the Warriors will make formal their plans to build a new arena at Pier 30/32 in San Francisco. NBA Commissioner David Stern and the San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will be on hand to back the idea.

Golden State’s goal would be to move there in the fall of 2017 (when their lease is up in Oakland) but that may not be a realistic timeframe.

The site is right on the water not far from AT&T Park where baseball’s Giant’s play, next to the Bay Bridge. It is a stunning location. While officials in Oakland are fighting to keep the team on their side of the bridge, it seems a lost cause.

But don’t expect things to go quickly for this building. Even though it is reportedly going to be all privately financed.

As someone who in a previous life wrote about plenty of urban infill development efforts, know that this project has a lot of hurdles. First, any coastal development in California comes with an added layer of state bureaucracy (the Coastal Commission). There are tough environmental laws. Plus, there are residents in that area and those who would lose their views of the Bay Bridge will fight the plan (business in the area may as well).

There are also rumors this project is severely under-parked, always a major development hurdle. (The developer will say “people will take mass transit” but reality is always different.)

But the Warriors new ownership seems committed to the plan and if they have the money that goes a long way to making it a reality. Just don’t expect it to move quickly.

Why did Warrior fans boo?

Joe Lacob

The timing was uncomfortable for everyone — it was supposed to be a night about Chris Mullin. One of the legends of the Golden State Warriors, the Hall of Fame player and former team GM, getting his number retired.

But instead, it will be known as the night Warriors fans unloaded on team co-owner Joe Lacob, booing him mercilessly.

Why? It’s complex. The trade of Monta Ellis — the popular scoring two-guard — for the oft-injured Andrew Bogut was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That move was not generally popular in the Bay Area.

But it’s more than just that. Ray Ratto put it this way at CSNBayArea.com.

Now (Lacob) gets the picture. Nobody escapes while the team is not winning. Nobody gets a pass for good intentions. Six playoff appearances in 36 years, and one in 18, shout far louder than a public relations gesture triggered by a generous spirit.

It really but it comes back to this:

Golden State fans have been some of the most passionate in the league for decades and have suffered through decades of Chris Cohen ownership that would have been the worst in the league had Donald Sterling not lapped the field. They have made the playoffs once in the last 18 seasons and thrown the towel in on this one.

The sins of the father have come to the son. Lacob may have worked to change the Warriors culture since he and Peter Guber bought the team — that includes reconnecting with Mullin, being more accessible to fans, trying to make the team more defense oriented, bringing in Marc Jackson — but until the Warriors actually start winning and showing the changes are working it will not matter.

There is a sense Lacob talks a good game but cannot walk the walk.

Eric Freeman, a Bay Area resident who has followed the Warriors for years, summed the feelings up well at Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie.

The Ellis trade was certainly a factor in the uproar, but it exists in a context that explains the boos much better. For one thing, Lacob’s reaction to the trade has been questionable at best, with him already referring to it as a “transcendent deal that is going to change everything” and comparing it to the Celtics’ trade for Kevin Garnett in 2007. Every other reaction to the trade has been considerably more measured, with those in favor looking at it as one step in a long process and the detractors, like me, viewing it as exchanging one form of mediocrity for another. Either way, Lacob’s rationale for the deal is ludicrous, a response that either proves he has little knowledge of the sport or suggests he thinks very little of his fan base.

Simply put, there’s a growing feeling among the fan base that Lacob is more about talk than results. In little more than a year, he has promised the playoffs, only to steer the team towards tanking for draft position; suggested that real fans buy season tickets; hired a head coach with no experience at any level of the sport beyond an impressive playing career; talked up Klay Thompson as a Rookie of the Year candidate before he’d played a preseason game; and told anyone who’ll listen that everything is going fine. On top of that, he supported the lockout (which, whether with merit or not, robbed fans of games and led to a bizarre season). So, when Lacob took the stage at a ceremony honoring a player he had no involvement with whatsoever, the whole moment seemed a little off. If he had a better sense of Warriors’ fans outlook on the team, he might have stayed away entirely and cheered Mullin along with everyone else.

Does that excuse the Warriors fans ruining Chris Mullin’s moment? No. The timing for expressing their displeasure was poor.

But Lacob took the microphone AFTER Mullin spoke. That’s bad form. And if he didn’t know before he knows now that he has a passionate fan base, but one that expects a lot more than just platitudes. They want change. They want to see real change.

Warriors set date to retire Chris Mullin’s jersey. Finally.

Chris Mullin HOF
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Wednesday night in the Bay Area the owners of the Golden State Warriors threw a party for season ticket holders to get them excited about the team and its direction.

What would really get fans excited is to know there will be a season, but the owners couldn’t talk about that. What would get the ticket holders excited would be to talk about players and moves the franchise will make to get better, but because of the lockout the owners couldn’t talk about that, either.

So the team’s ownership brain trust — Joe Lacob, Peter Guber and Jerry West — all said this team was going to be a winner, Matt Steinmetz tells us at CSNBayArea.com. They all said it in confident but vague terms.

The one bit of news is that the Warriors plan to retire Hall of Famer Chris Mullin’s jersey, it will be sent to the rafters on Jan. 20 (a game against the Indiana Pacers, Mullin’s other team). It’s an overdue gesture that the former ownership ignored as they poisoned the franchise’s relationship with Mullin. A relationship the new ownership group has repaired.

Let’s just hope there is a game Jan. 20 where the ceremony can happen. But the Warriors owners can’t talk about that.