Mar 02, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob during halftime against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Warriors 105-83. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Many of you know I live in Atlanta, but I had the good fortune of being able to catch a couple of Warriors games during this homestand while I'm in town visiting the fam. I didn't even realize until last week that tonight was going to be Mullin's jersey retirement ceremony. So, bonus, right? As us Jews say...Oy yoy yoy. It didn't turn out quite like I thought it would.
In retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised that there were a few boos as Lacob took the mic. I quickly said to myself, oh, right, the Monta Ellis trade. But then the boos got progressively louder. Within about 10 seconds or so, the situation got really awkward. And it didn't really stop until after Mullin and then Rick Barry interjected, and Lacob finally gave back the mic. I wasn't just surprised at this point, I was sort of disgusted by what I was hearing. I mean, from my perspective, Lacob finally had the cajones to put this team in the right direction. Or, at the very least, in some direction that is going to be significantly different from the one it was headed in for basically the last 20 years or so. What Lacob really deserved were cheers, not jeers.
But I get it. The fans love Monta. Monta has been the team's top scorer for a few seasons, and apparently, that's more important than winning. Or maybe they don't know the difference anymore. Or should I say, ever? Most Warriors fans (including myself) are probably not old enough to remember the one championship team since the team moved to the Bay Area. Aside from that team, and a couple of Run TMC and We Believe years sprinkled over the past few decades, Warriors fans haven't really experienced being fans of a contending team. I think Warriors fans are great (I count myself among them obviously). We are loyal. We are passionate. And until tonight, I thought we were some of the most sophisticated and knowledgeable basketball fans of any NBA team.
But tonight, sitting there hearing the boos raining down on Mr. Lacob, I might have to reconsider all that. Einstein famously said and is famously known for saying the following, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Is that what the fans wanted? Because, to my way of thinking, Joe Lacob did the one thing he could do and needed to do to break this insane (yes) and vicious cycle of mediocrity that the Warriors franchise had been looping on for years. He made a very tough decision. A ballsy decision (no pun intended). Maybe he made the wrong choice by speaking tonight, but my guess is he had no idea that the fans would treat him that way, because he was thinking like a *rational human being*. I'm not sure anyone could have predicted what happened tonight at Oracle. I hope something like that never happens again.
I'm proud to be a Warriors fan. But tonight, I'm a little less proud than I was this morning. Hopefully, for all of us long-suffering fans, we'll see a day when Joe Lacob receives some vindication and a different response at Oracle.
For a full video and further commentary on what transpired during the ceremony, visit SB Nation Bay Area's storystream.