The Golden State Warriors’ brand has taken a lot of hits in the past 30 years. One playoff appearance since 1994, horrible ownership and not one All-Star since the infamous Latrell Sprewell left the brand on life support.
Bill Simmons' Grantland.com article “How to Annoy a Fan Base in 60 Easy Steps” is a great read that sums up the fans’ frustration since the last Warriors’ championship. Oh yes, the Golden State Warriors have won an NBA championship, but that was back when Rick Barry was on the court (1974-75).
To summarize the article, terrible ownership, bad decisions—decisions made just to show the fan base that an action was taken—and apathetic leadership led the Warriors' brand from the top floor of the NBA to a place where the Clippers once lived.
Joe Lacob and Peter Guber fully understand the bigger picture. Lacob was a partial owner of the Boston Celtics, who have championships as their middle name. Guber’s successful career in the entertainment industry is hyping up projects and delivering a strong, finished product that drives consumers back.
Lacob and Guber have been out in front of it with big moves: trading fan favorite Monta Ellis for legitimate center Andrew Bogut, hiring a GM with agent experience and jumping at the chance to provide a waterfront arena by 2017.
Besides the awkward moments and the chorus of boos at Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement, Lacob has a better understanding of how things work in the NBA. He has built a team able to match up with any other NBA powerhouse. The talent isn’t there yet, but the foundation is in place.
The team will dramatically improve on the “lose now to have a chance to keep the draft pick” strike-shortened season of last year. Those losses were successful in being able to draft Harrison Barnes, who is lighting up the NBA Summer League in his first two appearances.
The team won’t resort to having to play “Nellie ball” as each position has a starter and a very good backup. GM Bob Myers did his due diligence and is very comfortable with each player drafted.
Myers also showed his promise by getting the backup guard the team needed in Jarrett Jack, while dumping Dorell Wright and his salary in the process. Jack is a great insurance policy and could easily run the point in case anything happens to Curry.
The biggest decision now is who the Warriors will sign with the remaining cap room and how the roster will shake out.
All of the recent happenings show the Warriors trending upward, but the bottom line in rebuilding the Warriors’ brand is the win-loss record. Mark Jackson will be heading into his second year and will try to instill his defensive focus on the team.
Lacob and company promised the Dubs would not only make the playoffs, but have an All-Star on the team during last season. Both of those scenarios didn’t happen and as a result, the season ticket prices did not rise.
Dubs management should make the same promise this year and remain confident that it will happen. The huge and extremely loyal fanbase will appreciate the end result with the Warriors eventually challenging for an NBA title.
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