Joe Lacob’s 'light years' comment suddenly seems particularly prescient

Joe Lacob’s 'light years' comment suddenly seems particularly prescient

Players trust management, management trusts players and the franchise thrives. That’s how the Warriors operate, and it is proof that building any so-called “super team” proof is about so much more than money and luck.

Achieving sustained success is, ultimately, about culture and fun.

That’s how the Warriors won over forward-thinking superstar Kevin Durant. That’s how they, on the cheap, pulled in savvy veteran David West.

That’s why they could bring in JaVale McGee and Matt Barnes.

And it’s why they’re bringing in Nick Young.

[SHILLER: Agent provides rationale for Nick Young choosing Warriors: 'He met with...']

That Young will officially become a Warrior in the next few days, first reported Wednesday morning by ESPN and confirmed by NBCSportsBayArea.com, seems like a risk. It is, given his history. But it’s a relatively small risk, with a potentially high reward.

Young’s reputation as a clown is not unlike the rep McGee had when he arrived in Oakland. At 6-foot-7 with a remarkable shooting touch, Young gives the Warriors yet another shooter off the bench, alongside Omri Casspi.

The Warriors looked beyond the image, placed trust in their culture, and will get in Young a poor man’s Klay Thompson. Young will accept the team’s midlevel exception of $5.2 million and give them a longer, more explosive version of Ian Clark.

As for Young, his one-year trail grants the opportunity to rebrand himself, just as McGee did.

Each one of these recent veteran acquisitions has been as a direct result of player-to-player recruitment, and that would not be possible without the incumbent players having full faith in the likes of coach Steve Kerr, president/general manager Bob Myers and CEO Joe Lacob.

That’s how the Warriors think. When Draymond Green and his teammates lead cheers for the organization, others, like Durant, listen. When Durant spends a season with the Warriors and says they are “where you go when you graduate” from the typical NBA experience, that speaks to players outside the organization.

Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson and Green closed the deal that added Durant. Durant reached out to West. Iguodala brokered mutual trust between the Warriors and McGee. Green, Durant and Curry opened the door for Young to move from the Lakers to the Warriors.

The Warriors have created something of a basketball factory, a living and breathing thing that sustains itself on tradition. It’s Patriots football, except with open joy and a warmer heart. It’s Duke basketball without Coach K barking and snarling. It’s Apple with only a portion of the ruthlessness.

When Lacob said in a New York Times Magazine article 16 months ago that the Warriors were “light years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things,” many around the NBA responded by chuckling and rolling their eyes.

Guy’s team wins one championship and he thinks he reinvented winning.

They doubled over with laughter when the Warriors became the first team to blow a 3-1 lead in The Finals, by which time the “light years” phrase had become a source of constant ridicule.

How’s this big bowl of humility taste, Mr. Light Years?

Nobody is laughing now. Everybody is either chasing the Warriors or surrendering before them. Lacob’s “light years” comment suddenly seems particularly prescient, as does the second part of the quote:

“We’re going to be a handful for the rest of the NBA to deal with for a long time.”

Does Harrison Barnes miss the Bay Area? 'I like living in Dallas, but...'


Does Harrison Barnes miss the Bay Area? 'I like living in Dallas, but...'

After four years in Oakland, Harrison Barnes was forced to leave town when the Warriors signed Kevin Durant last summer.

Barnes just finished the first year of a four-year, $94 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

So, does the former first-round pick miss his old home?

"I like living in Dallas but will always have love for Oakland!!" Barnes said in response to a question on Twitter on Sunday.

Barnes also picked his favorite restaurants in Oakland and San Francisco.

"Belly in Oakland or Amber in SF," Barnes wrote.

Steve Kerr keeping offseason routine in line: 'I'm not Jon Gruden'


Steve Kerr keeping offseason routine in line: 'I'm not Jon Gruden'

For the third straight summer, Steve Kerr has had a shortened offseason to work with.

While he is working on things for the 2017-18 season, he's not trying to cram as much work into a short period of time. He's taking time to relax and enjoy the summer.

In an interview with The Chronicle's Scott Ostler on Saturday, Kerr pulled back the curtain on how's spending the time before training camp starts.

“I’m on the phone, talking to Bob Myers, talking to our coaches and to different people. Writing down thoughts, putting together plans for our coaching retreat. It might be just something that pops into my head, where I just stop and write something down. But I’m not Jon Gruden, I’m not waking up at five in the morning and going to the film room,” Kerr said.

What could Kerr and Myers possibly talk about every single day?

“We talk about players, talk about roles. We talked a lot about Nick Young and [Omri] Casspi before we signed those guys. Talked a lot about our center position. Bob and I talk every day, kind of the first thing in the morning we check in with each other, usually talk for a half hour. We’re really close. He just got back from a great vacation, in Italy,” Kerr said.

Kerr and the defending champion Warriors get back on the court Sept. 30 in a preseason tilt against the Nuggets in Oakland. Then they head to China to play the Timberwolves twice before returning to face the Kings at home on Oct. 13. Four days later, they raise a banner, get their rings and tip-off the regular season against the Rockets.