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What now for the Warriors?

Jul 15, 2010, 2:33 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for New Warriors Logo.jpgIt’s a new day for Golden State.

Nothing was going to change for the struggling franchise until the ownership changed.

Now that’s done — Joseph Lacob and Peter Guber are out in front of a group that has agreed to terms to buy team. They paid a record $450 million and that was enough to edge out what Larry Ellison was willing to pay (and he had $450 million in the glove box of his car).

Warriors fans, this is a good thing — Lacob is a minority owner of the Celtics. (A share he has to sell.) He has seen how good ownership works first hand. Ownership that has won a title. That experience matters. Winning franchises start with ownership

So now what?

First lets get the rumor out of the way — the team isn’t going anywhere. There are those that saw Guber is the chairman of Mandalay Entertainment, and saw the story about a team possibly moving to Las Vegas, and made a leap. Mandalay Entertainment is not the people that own the Vegas hotel. Totally different companies.

Plus, nobody sane is moving the Warriors out of the Bay Area — that is one of the wealthiest areas of the nation. It is a large and basketball-loving market. Las Vegas is smaller and is still being stung deeply by the recession. It’s more likely the new owners will partner with the Giants and others to build a new arena that could generate more revenue.

After that, it’s time to get the on-the-court product improved. That means time to clean house in the front office. The Warriors need a change direction. Out goes Don Nelson and his right hand, GM Larry Riley. Their team building methods have alienated talented rookies.

This cannot happen until the sale is finalized and the papers signed, likely August or later. Which is close to the start of camps and the season, when it may be hard to find the best candidates. But I still think you need to be decisive with a change and start making contacts now so a change can be swift when it happens.

There are some great GMs now available — Kevin Pritchard and Jeff Bower are two. Plus some other guys whose names you may not know but who could do the job, like Rich Cho, the number two man in Oklahoma City.

Get a GM, who gets a coach. It doesn’t matter so much what the exact direction of the team is on the court, just that a direction is chosen and talent built to fit it. Right now the patterns are hard to figure (which is being kind to a team that let Morrow walk).

The passionate Warriors fan base has been waiting. Now is the first day of the rest of their franchise

  1. Samy - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Kurt, your writing style has really picked up in clarity and eloquence. Hell, I’m starting to get excited for the Warriors and I’m a Lakers die-hard.
    Good work.

  2. Josh - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Very well written story there Kurt. I think that everything you said there will prove to be true. As Samy said above, this is exciting news, not only for Warriors fans, but also for the NBA. Being a Mavs fan myself, I still hold a grudge for them winning in the first round playoff series a couple years ago, but the franchise needed a boost, and here it is.

  3. Josh Pico - Jul 15, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    It is a new day, a good day for the Warriors. I’ve been waiting a while for the sale of the team. I was hoping for Ellison, but at this point would take anyone who can do exactly what Kurt has suggested in this article. It’s time for the fans to be rewarded with a team worth going to see. That starts at the top.

  4. tess - Jul 15, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    those with historical context appreciate the Warriors are a storied franchise. Back when the NBA had a draft which allowed local teams to draft local talent the Warriors feasted on the best high school players in the country( Arizen, Gola, Chamberlain, Rodgers, Jones)Now they are poised to rise again. The knowledgable understand how great Curry is. He is the closest talent to West I have seen. Same great shooting range, ability to get his shot whenever he wants, and distribute the ball to teammates.He is the foundation upon which the new owners must build. But additionally to win the new owners must rid the team of the aura of fear by which Nelson rules,the cancer which is Ellis,redundant talent that underachieves and replace it with a positive culture, a creative, but organized, coach,and role players who compliment the dominant players while doing the unnoticed work that defines a championship team.

  5. Moni - Jul 15, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Umm, how is ellis a cancer? I know he is expendable with curry on the roster, but to call him a cancer makes no sense.

  6. TL - Jul 15, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    Ellison released this statement:
    “Although I was the highest bidder, Chris Cohan decided to sell to someone else,” he said. “In my experience this is a bit unusual. Nonetheless, I wish the Warriors and their fans nothing but success under their new ownership.”

  7. tess - Jul 15, 2010 at 5:57 PM

    Ellis is selfish, boorish and chemestry destroying. He is so dumb that he calls a timeout after the coach specifically told the team in a timeout ” if they miss rebound and go down for the shot. Do not call a time out to allow them to set the defense” A cancer is any organism which destroys the host body from within.A definition that fits players as Ellis. He will never be a winner. Capehe?

  8. OWEN - Jul 15, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    HEY MONI
    ARE YOU DUMB ARROGANT OR ASLEEP? WHAT MAKES NO SENSE IS TO KEEP THE BUM. 16 YEARS COHAN HAS JERKED OFF THE BAY FANS WITH PHYSICALLY TALENTED BRAIN DEAD PLAYERS LIKE ELLIS. INTELLIGENCE IS A CRITICAL COMPONENT FOR A CHAMPION. TIME TO MOVE ON. NO ONE WANTS THE JACK OFF. TRIED TO DUMP HIM ON GUARD STARVED KNICKS. BUT WITH THOMAS GONE EVEN DOLAN WAS TOO SMART TO BUY WARRIOR GARBAGE. GAVE UP AN ALL STAR FOR POTENTIAL. BUT WOULD NOT TAKE A ME FIRST LIABILITY. WARRIOR FANS TAKE A SACK OF POTATOES FOR THE DUNG AND ENJOY THE UNIMPEDED GENIUS OF STEPH.

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