Most professional sports teams have high standards, but the Golden State Warriors aren't just looking to win—they're looking to win it all. That tone is being set at the very top. Co-owner Joe Lacob established as much in no uncertain terms, per Inside the Warriors' Diamond Leung:
I’m 58 years old now, and I’ve been successful. I’ve made a lot of money. I’ve done a lot of things I’ve wanted to do in life, but now we have this new venture, which is the Warriors. A second career, if you will, and all I can think about it is, we have to win a championship. I will be a failure. We will be a failure if we do not win the championship.
That may sound a little harsh, but it's also a refreshing statement of intent from an organization that's proven potential to be very successful in the postseason. Golden State made it to the second round last season as a sixth seed, eventually pushing the San Antonio Spurs to six games in a nail-biter of a series.
Lacob's comments come on the heels of what's been a somewhat tumultuous month for the team internally.
Earlier in April, assistant coach Darren Erman was fired for violating company policy. Prior to that, head coach Mark Jackson had assistant Brian Scalabrine reassigned to the franchise's Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz.
Perhaps we should expect the no-nonsense approach from a team with a clear title-or-bust attitude.
The real question going forward is how that approach will impact Jackson. According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the team's emotive leader "has come under increased scrutiny within the organization for how he has run the team and worked on the job."
Subsequently, Lacob attempted to quash some of the speculation surrounding Jackson. Per San Jose Mercury News' Diamond Leung, Lacob said, "We believe that Mark is fully capable, and we're confident in his ability to keep going in the right direction, keep propelling us like he has all year, and we believe that he's going to continue to be successful. We believe in his ability the rest of the way."
That vote confidence may only go so far as the Warriors' playoff run takes them. Golden State acquired veteran swingman Andre Iguodala last summer in an effort to bolster its title chances, but the team remains the sixth seed in a stacked Western Conference.
Winning a championship—and escaping "failure"—won't be easy.