We're Gonna Make It: The Warriors Get Sold

Can't miss mentioning the imminent sale of the Golden State Warriors to a local venture capitalist whose $$ and savvy helped lead the Boston Celtics from the bottom of the East to 2008 champs. Call it Hoops & Change: Warriors Sold for $450 Million

The name "Larry Ellison" was the subject of every rumor throughout the four-month sales process. But the new owner isn't the Oracle CEO. It's Joe Lacob, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist whose name was rarely mentioned.

Lacob's investment group, which also features entertainment executive Peter Guber, signed a purchase agreement to buy the Oakland NBA team from Chris Cohan for a league record $450 million.


"We've got to address the on-court situation and try to improve it," said Lacob, a Warriors season-ticket holder who owns a partial stake in the Boston Celtics, which he will have to sell. "Our job is to turn this team into winners. We've talked about a lot of other things, but that is the bottom line."

Lacob hopes to see the Warriors make the same rebound that the Celtics did after he bought into them in 2006. The Celtics were 57-107 in the two seasons before winning the 2008 championship.

"I feel like I understand basketball. It's a tremendous passion of mine," Lacob said. "I tried to bring that to the Celtics. I was in the draft war room each year, and I'd like to think I had something to do with some of the big, bold moves that we made at the right time to get that thing turned around."

Lacob said he wouldn't talk about potential roster or front office moves with the Warriors until the sale is approved by the league - a process that sources believe will move swiftly. Until then, Lacob said, he expects that Cohan will listen to his suggestions.

Lacob "has incredible financial acumen, he lives there and he's a lifelong Warriors fan," said Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment. "He has great familiarity with basketball, he's extremely clever and he understands partnerships."

There's a lot of talk about making wholesale changes in the organization, from coaching staff to the GM's office, to the food vendors. You know what would make a real difference right away? Get rid of the current medical staff (assuming there is one. for all we know they just get by with smelling salts and Ben-Gay). Every year, the Warriors' slim hopes are dashed by seemingly endless injuries that leave their roster hopelessly depleted for months on end. The team has a depressing tendency to endure season-ending injuries, even to guys in their early twenties. Then, the ones who survive get run ragged as they play dozens of "seven-man roster" games...which they lose. I tell you, it's depressing to think of how Stephen Curry might be getting mistreated as we speak.

The Warriors' new owners are already talking about building a championship contender, which means they must be planning to assassinate Kobe (or planning to send one of the Bay Area's many flaky blonds up to his hotel room for a "visit"). Let's work on keeping the team healthy for once. Do that and you can at least win your home games and make the playoffs every couple years, which is all I really would ask for now.

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