Report: Warriors' Joe Lacob Fined $500K After Calling Luxury-Tax System 'Very Unfair'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 21, 2022

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob speaks during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Chase Center Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in San Francisco. The arena is the new home of the Golden State Warriors NBA basketball team. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

The NBA fined Golden State Warriors governor Joe Lacob $500,000 on Wednesday after he commented on collective bargaining talks and the league's luxury tax, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Lacob had said the luxury tax was a "very unfair system" during an interview on the Point Forward podcast (via Ali Thanawalla of NBC Sports):

"The truth is, we're only $40 million more than the luxury tax. Now, that's not small but it's not a massive number. We're $200 million over in total because most of that is this incredible penal luxury tax. And what I consider to be unfair and I'm going to say it on this podcast and I hope it gets back to whoever is listening ... and obviously it's self-serving for me to say this, but I think it's a very unfair system because our team is built by—all top eight players are all drafted by this team."

The latest fine was a result of "unauthorized communications regarding collective bargaining," per Wojnarowski.

The Warriors finished last season with the highest payroll in the NBA at $184 million, per Spotrac, well over the $136.6 million luxury-tax threshold. It created a luxury-tax bill of about $170.3 million for the season.

According to Mark Deeks of Forbes, the Warriors have spent more on the luxury tax than anyone else in the NBA since its implementation in 2001, totaling over $337 million.

Golden State was able to fit the salaries because teams can go over the cap to sign their own players. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were all drafted by the Warriors, while Andrew Wiggins was acquired by trade after already signing his extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The luxury-tax rule still de-incentivizes teams from stocking up on talent, forcing owners to pay extra in order to keep the large salaries.

The cost was certainly worth it for the Warriors this season, as they took home their fourth NBA title in eight years.

Meanwhile, Lacob has a net worth of $1.5 billion and can easily afford the tax and his recent fine.