Warriors

Warriors valued at $2.6 billion, Lacob & Guber laughing hard at Chris Cohan

Warriors valued at $2.6 billion, Lacob & Guber laughing hard at Chris Cohan

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We all remember that day that Joe Lacob and Peter Guber (and Vivek Ranadive, though we’ll keep that quiet for reasons of peace and quiet) and a bunch of smaller investors decided to scandalously and ignorantly overpay ($450 million) for the Golden State Warriors. Man, did Chris Cohan ever get over on those rubes.

And today? Hah! Not even worth six times what they paid for it. Hell, they only made $74 million last year, meaning that they’ve barely scraped together $284 million in post-expenses income since Joey, Petey and The Gang bought in.

In other words, Stephen Curry, who has been here since the start of it all, is surely the most underpaid player in all sport. And his salary and endorsement money ranged around $44 million last year alone, so between him and his wife Ayesha’s cooking empire, he is in little danger of entering Top Ramen World.

[RELATED: Forbes: Massive spike vaults Warriors to third most valuable NBA franchise]

So we’ll just say this as an aside: If Joe Lacob really wants to be the best owner in the world, he could promote himself to Santa Claus, Junior Grade, double every non-player’s salary and not feel a fly’s bone-mass worth of bother. After all, sharing is caring, and not sharing can make you the New York Knicks in no time.

Although since the Knicks are inexplicably still the highest-rated investment in the NBA despite the continued existence of Jimmy The Thumb Dolan, that may not be the best fiscal example.

Now these are Forbes valuations of which we speak, which of course all sports teams vehemently dispute because they are rough guesstimates made by outsiders based on not having the real set of books before them for all 122 North American pro franchises. Still, you may rest easily tonight knowing that (a) no team has sold for less than its peak Forbes valuation in quite some time and (b) the profits and revenue and ancillary hoohah are probably much higher anyway because of side deals that don’t get put in the accessible paperwork.

So when the Warriors are worth $2.6 billion, the fellas can probably sell it easily to the right crazed billionaire for $4B, meaning that they will have nearly tenfolded their money since Cohan hosed them so viciously back in the day.

Now they’re clearly not selling, for the obvious reason that money raining from the sky is still the best investment out there, and as long as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry and Draymond Green and Klay Thompson and Steve Kerr and Tim Roye stay together and productive, the gravy train can roll forever.

Forever, of course, being three years, which in these volatile (read: crackpots and morons are in charge now, so strap in for hard times ahead) times is about as far as anyone in his or her right mind wants to guess.

Still, playing with free money is what allows the Warriors not to worry about any loyalty issues connected with the 2019 move from Oakland to San Francisco. Even if their total attendance in the first year is zero (which would mean that not only their 19,596 nightly attendance but their vaunted 37,000-strong season ticket waiting list has evaporated), they’ll almost surely have made back their original investment in those nine years, and everything after that is pure unadulterated theirs. Even if they sell the franchise for zero dollars, they will have made money on the original investment.

And to think, without Curry figuring out how to make his ankles stronger, most of this would not have been possible.

But he did it, making all other things not only possible but massively lucrative for all involved. He doesn’t need a separate statue outside the new building (he’ll get that anyway), but credit where it is due.

Plus, there is one other benefit to all this Scrooge McDuck money-bin cash. Somewhere, Chris Cohan may be thinking that the guys upon whom he got over seven years ago are actually the guys who got over on him. Payback is very bitchy that way.

Swaggy 3s: Warriors send 'shoot it, shoot it, shoot it' message to Nick Young

Swaggy 3s: Warriors send 'shoot it, shoot it, shoot it' message to Nick Young

OAKLAND -- Meanwhile, the Warriors are preparing to defend their NBA championship.

With most inquiries and discussion over the past three days related to the growing conflict between President Donald Trump and professional athletes, with the Warriors being central to the topic, their first preseason game looms on Saturday.

If one thing rang clear after practice Sunday, it’s that coaches and players want Nick Young to be the shooter they wanted when they signed him in July.

Through the first two practices, Young has been such a reluctant shooter that Andre Iguodala and some of the incumbent Warriors have been urging him to shoot.

“I’ve been saying the same thing to Nick -- shoot it, shoot it, shoot it,” coach Steve Kerr said Sunday after practice. “The whole thing for any of our new guys to understand is we want the first good shot we can find. If we don’t have a good shot, try to get a great shot.

“Let’s keep the ball moving, but be aggressive and find that balance. I don’t want Nick out there thinking. He’s one of the best shooters in the league and he should let it fly every time he’s open.”

Through the first two practices, it seems Young is more concerned with adapting to a new culture.

“I found myself passing a little bit more than normal today,” he said, chuckling. “It felt good, as long as I was getting some assists.”

That’s not why the Warriors hired the reserve guard after four seasons with the Lakers. Bench scoring was a visible weakness last season, and Young has averaged double figures in scoring in six of the last seven seasons.

He is particularly fond of the 3-point shot, having taken more triples than 2-point shots in each of the past two seasons. Young shot 40.4 percent from deep last season in Los Angeles.

Given the talent around Young now, and the fact that the 10-year veteran will be facing fellow reserves, he can expect to have even greater scoring opportunities.

“I’ve been getting a lot of open 3s,” Young said. “I’ve got to get used to not having somebody guarding me that much, get used to being in that corner for a while.”

In all likelihood, the Warriors won’t have to cajole Young much longer. He has developed during his 10-year career a reputation for chucking ‘em up. So, in all likelihood, the Warriors won’t have to do much more cajoling.

“Everybody’s going full speed,” Young said. “The more I get used to the plays, the more the shots will be open. I’m just in everybody’s way right now.”

Crucial to the cause, Warriors have a week to decide on anthem protest

Crucial to the cause, Warriors have a week to decide on anthem protest

OAKLAND -- The Warriors took note of the protests sweeping through the NFL on Sunday. They saw players dropping to their knees and raising fists during the national anthem as a way to spotlight the fight for equality.

“The NFL players are doing a great job of sending a great message,” forward Kevin Durant said Sunday after practice. “We stand behind them as athletes and we support them as well.”

As of Sunday afternoon, though, no decision had been made regarding any action they might take when the anthem is played before their preseason opener next Saturday at Oracle Arena.

“It’s not something we’re talking about right now,” coach Steve Kerr said.

“I don’t think we have to have stance on the anthem,” forward Andre Iguodala said.

Kerr, Durant and Iguodala are well aware that the Warriors were crucial to the cause that gained momentum this weekend. After President Donald Trump crudely urged NFL owners to fire any players that demonstrated during the anthem on Friday, he followed up on Saturday by scolding Warriors superstar Stephen Curry and announcing that the NBA champions would not be invited to the White House for the traditional celebration with the president.

Those two actions by Trump spurred players from the NFL and NBA, as well as owners and commissioners from both leagues, to respond to the president for his divisive rhetoric.

“I just don’t agree with our president that’s in office right now,” Durant said. “I don’t believe in what he believes in, and I’m all about equality. I’m not a real big politics guy, but I know right from wrong and I feel like I know how people are supposed to be treated. We don’t agree on those things.”

Though the demonstrations would like to send a message to Trump, they are more specifically directed toward two issues to which he has aligned: racism and police brutality. Those are the original causes for which former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee before every national anthem last season.

The Warriors have a week to decide what, if anything, they do the next time they take the court for the anthem.

“I don’t know . . . we know what’s going on, but we definitely want to stay locked in on our work,” Durant said. “But, also, we want to talk these things out. Our coaching staff and our organization (do) a great job of making sure we come together and (collaborate) on these topics and talk about these topics as a group.”