Warriors owner Joe Lacob said he felt resentment from other owners at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting in July.
Those owners apparently weren’t the only source of it.
When NBA commissioner Adam Silver met with his league’s Board of Governors in July, he volunteered to a room that included multiple owners that he was no fan of Kevin Durant‘s move to Golden State, fearing its implications on competitive balance. All around him, there were owners and top team executives thrilled to hear the commissioner speak out.
Golden State owner Joe Lacob felt something under seize , finally speaking up, defending the astute way with which the Warriors constructed their roster, managed their salary cap, and reminded everyone, “Hey, the Warriors didn’t win the championship. Cleveland did.” No apologies out of Lacob and no backing down.
Silver didn’t hide his competitive-balance concerns afterward, but he carefully didn’t link them so directly to Durant signing with Golden State. Instead, Silver talked about the perception of the Warriors and Cavaliers as overwhelming favorites and respecting Durant’s right to pick his team.
Apparently, that wasn’t the only negative feedback Silver received.
But Silver also surely satisfied more of his bosses than the one in Golden State pushing back. It’s a numbers game, and Silver is appeasing the crowd – not the one team with Durant.
Lacob is right. Golden State exploited a fluke jump in the salary cap to have space and an appealing environment at just the right time a superstar was considering changing teams. As any team would’ve if in the same position, it signed him.
Silver can dislike the acquisition. Other owners can complain. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement can make it more difficult to assemble super teams. But the Warriors have Durant, and there’s no reason for them to be anything but defiant when criticized.