Golden State’s start even surprises owner
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
OAKLAND – By the time this most-unexpected of Western Conference showdowns had come to an end on Wednesday night, the idea of a Golden State fan booing the team’s owner, Joe Lacob, seemed about as unlikely as this Warriors season itself.
His team had outclassed the Clippers 115-94, winning for the 15th time in their past 19 games and continuing to push all those memories of that infamous March 20 night even further into the past. Lacob soaked it all in afterward, wearing his “White Out” t-shirt over his more formal wear like all the rest of the Warriors faithful and getting his latest round of congratulatory handshakes on the same floor where he had once been embarrassed.
Lacob, a venture capitalist and former minority owner of the Boston Celtics, who led the group that paid a league-record $450 million for the team in July of 2010, bore the brunt of the Warriors’ painful past and their complicated present during the Chris Mullin jersey retirement ceremony that went wrong. His grand proclamations had been overwhelming, the results were underwhelming, and the Monta Ellis-for-Andrew Bogut trade that sent the team’s most popular player to Milwaukee had convinced the locals that this ownership group wasn’t an upgrade over the reviled Chris Cohan at all.
But Lacob’s approval rating is considerably better these days, as an offseason of continued culture-changing and roster-reshuffling has led to a 22-10 record that would be impressive even if Bogut were contributing rather than continuing to rehabilitate from April foot surgery. In that regard, it’s the season that no one – not even the notoriously-optimistic Lacob – saw coming.
Lacob, who is attempting to turn one the league’s lovable losers into the latest powerhouse franchise, chatted with USA TODAY Sports about his new reality this week. He discussed the special chemistry that this David Lee and Stephen Curry-led team clearly have, their push to make the playoffs for just the second time in 19 seasons, the timeline (or lack thereof) for a Bogut return, the trade deadline and whether the Warriors will be active leading up to it, and … [For more on Golden State's start even surprises owner: NBA A to Z, click here.]