Original Post @ Sports History Now (please click)
We all sit here with bated breath, clinging onto every Tweet by the likes of Marcus Thompson, Tim Kawakami, and Matt Steinmetz, looking for that instant confirmation that the hope that’s been the underlying life-support for all fans will finally been realized.
Yet, as of yesterday morning’s BREAKING NEWS that the Golden State Warriors would announce their new owner, we were thereafter left with a huge void of silence. And as it turned out, no announcement was made and our underpaid, overly criticized, and overworked beat writers waddled back home with empty notepads and hundreds of "WTF" Tweets from their loyal followers.
The news may come today. It may not. Either way, this gives me time to respond to comments I’ve been reading on fan forums. The one that once new ownership arrives, they need to clean house. From the head coach to the general manager to the president to the TV announcer…everyone must go!
I don’t think that cleaning house is the first thing the new owner should do. I believe there will be a transition period, whether it’s during the finalization of the sale or after, but there are a few people the new owner should keep. We have to consider that the main product - the players - are real people. They need to feel comfortable and they need to trust the people that manage them.
It’s possible that the new ownership would instill trust right away but we don’t know that. What we do know is that most of the players know the current coaching staff and general manager. They are the ones that work with them on a daily basis and they are the ones that put the group together with a purpose.
That isn’t to dismiss that Larry Riley said he isn’t constructing the team for Don Nelson since this is Don Nelson’s last year of his $12M contract. But from all the comments we hear from the players, they expect to play in an "up-tempo" system. We don’t need to speculate what that means. It means they expect Don Nelson to coach the team. It means that the players like playing high-octane offense with little regard to defense, although they would never admit to the latter.
Besides that, I feel that Larry Riley has done a decent job. I feel the current players genuinely look forward to playing for Don Nelson and that Don Nelson wants to retire from coaching with a bang. I feel that the current team, with a few more tweaks, can make some noise in the upcoming season. Because of all that, I feel that it would be wrong to completely clean-house with new management and new coaches.
I agree that eventually the house does need to be cleaned, but not immediately. I think that new ownership would be smart enough to acknowledge the good (and the bad) that has happened recently. When big banks takeover little banks, they don’t fully clean house right away. They inherit the good and the bad and need current staff to help with the transition and eventually everyone is gone or in new positions. What the Warriors have now is more on the good side. Players are not clashing with Don Nelson; when things are good for Don Nelson, teams seem to win. And Larry Riley is making some bold moves to help the team win now with little regard to his future employment. You have to admire that.
They deserve to stick around for a little while longer, even in a reduced role. I think the players would like that rather than seeing a ruthless ownership tell them everything up to this point has been wrong.