Lacob's missteps along way helped fuel boos


Lacob's missteps along way helped fuel boos

Warriors owner Joe Lacob took the microphone at the end of the Chris Mullin retirement ceremony on Monday and was greeted by a cascade of boos.Those boos reined down heavy and they reined down hard and they lasted for a while. It was unexpected and surprising and probably wasnt the best time for the fans to show their displeasure.But it happened and there have to be reasons why.In the immediate aftermath of the booing, conventional wisdom was that many fans were angry that the Warriors traded Monta Ellis, a fan favorite, to the Milwaukee Bucks the week before.But the reality is that no one move could have sparked that kind of anger from the Warriors fan base.The reality is that while Lacob continues to express confidence and optimism about the future of the Warriors, fans have yet to see any tangible results.Its apparent, theyre already tired of Lacobs promises, and to a lesser degree, coach Mark Jacksons playoff prediction and positive talk.Essentially, Lacob has been running the Warriors for 20 months, and you could make the case thats hes made some mistakes and missteps along the way.It looks like the fans have taken note of many of them. Heres a quick look back at some of the things Lacob has done or said to perhaps alienate some of his fan base.--On the day of Lacobs first official press conference as owner, he criticized former Warriors general manager Chris Mullin, saying he thought Mullin had made a mistake as GM by signing too many players to long-term contracts.Many saw that comment as a cheap shot at Mullin that didnt need to be taken.--Also on that day, it became apparent that Lacobs desire was to move the Warriors from Oakland to San Francisco, an idea that has been reinforced many times since that day in November 2010.The Warriors have drawn consistently well at Oracle Arena, and the idea of moving the team across the Bay perhaps should have been handled with more nuance.--On that first day, Lacob also confirmed that his son, Kirk, just 22 at the time, would be given the title of director of basketball operations. Its safe to say that some Warriors fans didnt think it was the time or place to make such a hire and it may have shown where Lacobs priorities were.--When asked that day if he believed he could turn the Warriors around in a hurry, Lacob responded: There is no doubt.Lacob then went onto to chide those who suggested it might take longer than he thought. Said Lacob: This is what people dont understand. In the NBA, theres only 12 players on a roster. If youre smart, probably a little lucky, too, but if youre smart, you should be able to, given the right opportunity, recognizing the right opportunity, then executing on it. You should be able to turn a team around faster than people would otherwise think.--After taking over the team, Lacob was asked about previous ownership, and more specifically, what happened with the Stephen Jackson extension.Lacob said that former team president Robert Rowell was not the impetus behind that deal, despite evidence to the contrary. General manager at the time Chris Mullin was not involved in Jacksons extension.By exonerating Rowell, it sent a message that Lacob might not be completely different than previous ownership.--On media day this season, Lacob predicted that Klay Thompson would win the Rookie of the Year award. For much of the season, Thompson wasnt anywhere near the top of the rookie class in minutes played or scoring.--Lacob and the teams front office used the amnesty provision on Charlie Bell, who was in the last year of his contract and was set to earn just 4.1 million.The Warriors could have considered amnesty-ing ineffectual center Andris Biedrins or even saving the amnesty for another year. But they used it on Bell, and then they didnt come through with the signing of center DeAndre Jordan.The bottom line is Bell had an expiring contract, which many consider an asset in the NBA and Lacob and the Warriors continue to maintain they dont regret the use of the amnesty.--In the days, weeks and months leading up to the 2011 NBA trade deadline, Lacob talked about making a bold move and taking a risk. But the deadline came and went with only one very minor move being made acquiring Troy Murphy.Making matters worse, there was a trade frenzy on deadline day in 2011, and the Warriors inactivity made them seem a little bit lost.--After the trade deadline, Lacob said that the Warriors had an opportunity to acquire Gerald Wallace from the Bobcats (at that time), but that he didnt believe Wallace would have helped.Whether Wallace would have helped or not will never be known. But it didnt reflect well on Lacob that he said the Warriors couldnt use a player who once was an NBA All-Star.--While looking for a head coach to replace Keith Smart, Lacob said matter-of-factly he was looking for a coach with some experience. Lacob ended up hiring Mark Jackson, who had never coached on any level.Whats more, Lacob continues to maintain that Jackson and this years staff is an improvement over Keith Smart and last years staff despite there being no such tangible proof to that effect.And before trading Monta Ellis, the Warriors were winning at roughly the exact same clip as a year ago.--At an analytics conference in Boston more than a year ago, Lacob was reported to have said something like season-ticket holders arent real fans. There is some dispute as to what exactly Lacob said at that conference, but the comment got out there and got out there in a hurry. Needless to say, Warriors fans werent pleased.--During last seasons home opener, Lacob took the microphone, pointed to the Warriors championship banner and said: We need another one.The line drew cheers, but as time went on that move came to signify Lacobs tendency to overpromise and under-deliver.--Lacobs also been inconsistent when he talks about how long hes been in control of the team. On the one hand, Lacob often says that his ownership group hasnt been in charge that long and that the ball really didnt get rolling for them until after the regular season started in 2010.But at the same time, Lacob has said he had a hand in the David Lee and Jeremy Lin signings and both of them occurred in July 2010. Lacob also was the person responsible for firing Don Nelson and hiring Keith Smart, and that all happened before training camp began.

Draymond: Hate 'comes with the territory'

Draymond: Hate 'comes with the territory'

OAKLAND – As the hours and minutes toward opening night tick down for the Warriors, forward Draymond Green has an idea of what’s coming this season.

Constant surveillance, plenty of opinions and a lot of debate are in store.

And in the wake of signing megastar free agent Kevin Durant, Green and the Warriors can expect plenty of resentment.

“Usually, when you’re doing something the right way, people hate,” Green said after practice Sunday. “And, usually, when you’re doing something someone wants to do, they hate. Usually when there is success, with success comes hate. So that kind of just comes with the territory. It really doesn’t matter.

“KD being here definitely adds to that. But with the success we’ve had, people are going to hate us anyway. That comes with the territory.”

Though Durant is certain to be targeted for boos, Green also will hear his share. NBA fans generally cast a few players as villains, and Green moved snugly into that role last season with his kick to the groin of Oklahoma City center Steven Adams, followed by throwing a jab to the groin area of Cleveland star LeBron James.

The mini-skirmish with James, in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, landed Green on the suspended list at a critical time: Game 5.

The incident also affixed Green’s photo to the wall featuring NBA road rascals, right up there with the likes of Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, DeMarcus Cousins, Metta World Peace and, at various times, Kobe Bryant.

Because Green is in that role and Durant, at least for now, is the subject of so much unfavorable scrutiny, there is a sharper edge to the identity of the Warriors.

“Some people say we’re villains,” Green said. “I don’t think we’re really going into this saying, ‘Hey, we’re villains. We need to do this.’ ‘Who . . . cares?’ It really doesn’t matter what role people try to make you play. It’s about getting on the court, getting between these lines and performing.

“What everybody else draws up and tries to make you out to be . . . they can make you out to be whatever they want. If you’re winning games, or not winning games, that’s what matters. I don’t think this team is looking and saying, ‘Hey, we’re villains. Let’s do it.’ Nobody cares.”

Green was the subject of a much-publicized magazine article that depicted him as a source of unrest among this teammates and coaches. He’s acutely aware of the characterization and realizes he must walk a fine line or risk puncturing team chemistry.

He’ll accept being the villain, and perhaps even embrace the booing. Only Steph Curry among the Warriors shares Green’s profound delight in silencing arenas on the road.

“This is about getting between these lines and performing,” Green said. “Everything else outside of that, it really doesn’t matter. Things are going to be said. Some things are not going to be said. But when it’s all said and done, the only thing people are going to talk about at the end is whether you won or lost.

In 'no-brainer' move, Warriors exercise Looney's option for 2017-18

In 'no-brainer' move, Warriors exercise Looney's option for 2017-18

OAKLAND – Fingers crossed and knocking on wood, the Warriors opened training camp four weeks ago hoping Kevon Looney would survive the preseason.

The 6-foot-9 forward did more than that, easily clearing the ultra-low bar set for someone striving to keep alive his NBA dreams after surgery on both hips.

Looney was rewarded on Sunday, when the Warriors announced they were exercising the third-year option on the UCLA product, extending his contract with the team through the 2017-18 season.

“It was a no-brainer,” coach Steve Kerr said after practice. “He’s the 30th pick (in the 2015 NBA draft). He missed all of last year. We pick up the option and have him locked up for next year after, I think, a really good training camp.”

Warriors general manager Bob Myers saw enough to give the team another year to develop Looney and assess his potential. As a rookie last season, Looney appeared in only five games, a total of 21 minutes, between hip surgeries.

He played in six of seven preseason games, making one start and totaling 73 minutes. He shot 50 percent from the field and ranked fifth on the team in rebounding, exceeding his own expectations.

“I was actually real nervous,” he said, “because last time it was a little different. I came back in the middle of the season, so my rehab was different. I didn’t have a chance to really practice with the guys. They were already in the full swing of things.

“So this is really my first time playing with the guys. I was a little nervous. I was nervous about my hips last time, and I went down again. I feel much more confident. I feel ready.”

Looney, still smoothing out his gait, conceded that he’s still seeking rhythm on offense, saying he’s not yet comfortable with his shot but acknowledging that it’s not a major issue on a team with so many talented shooters.

Kerr considers Looney capable of providing help at power forward and center. The coach does not seem worried about Looney’s offense.

“Now he’s healthy, knock on wood,” Kerr said. “So it was an easy decision for Bob. We briefly talked about (picking up the option), but it wasn’t even really a decision. It was just automatic.”