What a difference a year makes. At the end of last year’s lockout-shortened season, Golden State ranked as the third worst team in the Western Conference and seventh worst overall. They were decimated by injuries to the point that Mark Jackson had to start three or four rookies for a few games.
Needless to say, Joe Lacob had an incredibly tough first season as owner.
Lacob, as most fans know, made his wealth through investments and even had a share in the Boston Celtics. Though he owned a part of the Celtics, he was a loyal Warrior fan, holding season tickets for a decade, according to the Mercury News.
Fans treated Lacob roughly with little reason as he took over; he never had been given a truly warm reception. It’s as if the fanbase expected the same old garbage that they had been treated to when Chris Cohan was still the owner. When he traded away Monta Ellis for Andrew Bogut, it was an extremely unpopular but necessary move. The Warriors simply needed a defensive anchor, and Bogut was the answer.
In one of the most shameful nights in fanbase history, boos rained down on Lacob for his attempt to improve the roster. When team legend Chris Mullin saved Lacob, he repeated his support for Lacob as a man with a vision for the organization.
Even though that trade hasn’t had as big of an impact this season as Lacob hoped for, the front office has put together a strong core. Jarrett Jack provides veteran leadership and has been a huge asset and a contender for the Sixth Man of the Year award, while Carl Landry has been a valuable big man that the Warriors got for a bargain in free agency. They even drafted well, using last year’s picks on young stud Harrison Barnes, part-time starter Festus Ezeli and the swiss army knife known as Draymond Green.
Bogut has begun to play more games, taking on a higher workload and also becoming a force on defensive end, which was exactly what he was brought in for. Ellis, on the other hand, isn’t faring so well in Milwaukee, shooting 42% from the field and 27% from three. He’s been more of a detriment than an asset in Milwaukee.
Another astounding feat that Lacob has accomplished is sporting a playoff roster while being under the luxury tax threshold. Sure they’re only a few dollars away, they do have contracts expiring at the end of next year which well help sign the core to extensions, keeping them together for multiple seasons and hopefully multiple deep playoff runs.
In just under two seasons, Lacob and Co. have righted the ship for the clubhouse and have set the team up for success now and down the road. If they continue to build, and build properly, a Western Conference Championship berth may not be so far away. It sure doesn’t seem like any fans will be booing Joe Lacob anytime soon.