I've been sitting on this for a while, but with a pivotal game coming up, it seemed like a good time to tell this. I believe that we, as Dubs fans, are very blessed to have the ownership group and FO that we have, and this tells why. I'll try and make it short.
Some of you will recall that I was slow to come around on advanced stats and the notion that Monta Ellis was not a great positive asset for this team (thanks to Sleepy, Ronaldinho, Evanz, et al for helping turn me around, and strongly!). Right about the time that I saw the light, we traded Monta. Still, my heart outweighed by head a little, and at first thought I was furious. If I recall correctly, I tested the site decorum censor in the trade thread. By the next morning though, I was sold. I'm a huge fan of defensive centers, and, even if Bogut stayed injured, I felt it was addition by subtraction. Bogut's resurgence this last month simply turned that equation into addition by....well......addition.
Last season I was a senior in college, and I was home for spring break when the trade occurred. I try to go to a game a year, and I had penned the TWolves game (March 17, I believe), as the one I wanted to go to, as I wanted to see Love and Rubio (though I don't think Ricky played). as the game approached, I realized it was a poor financial decision to go, given as I was a broke college student who lived 3 hours from Oracle (Gas + parking = oh no no). So I didn't go. Instead I went out for a drink with some friends, and forgot about the game. I came home, went to watch the highlights, and found the debacle that was the Chris Mullin jersey retiring. It was the first time I'd been ashamed to be a bay area fan (disregarding the Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary eras here). I was sad and angry at my fellow fans.
And I realized, right then, that Joe Lacob was going to be an amazing owner. Because he had signed off on a decision - who cares whether it was right (it was) - knowing full well that the fanbase would hate it. The biggest trap in sports ownership is trying to please the fans with anything other than winning. 90% of owners fail because they think "will this make the fans happy ?" rather than "is this unequivocally a move that will result in more wins?" Joe was a new owner, and that's a new owners mistake. And yet he avoided it. Having not yet won over the fans, he threw them a bone that gave us all a free pass to hate him. Because he felt it was best for the basketball team.
I was impressed. And so I told him that. I wrote him an email (as so many of us did that night), telling him just that: that a great owner has the courage to make the unpopular decision. I also told him I was sorry that I had not gone to the game so that I could be cheering instead of booing.
He emailed me back in a matter of minutes. He thanked me, and told me that next time I'm in the area, he'd like to treat me to a game.
It wasn't until December, nine months later, when I was ready to take him up on his offer. I emailed him, asking if the offer still stood, and replied he shortly saying of course. Moments later I got an email from GSoM friend Raymond Ridder, asking what game, and how many tickets. I called up my two best Warriors friends to find a day when they would be off for winter break, and on December 29, against the Celtics, the three of us watched the Warriors whoop Boston, courtesy of one of the best owners in sports.
I'll always love Joe Lacob because he gave me free tickets to a Warriors game. But, more importantly, I do believe he is a great owner, for the courage he exhibited during that trade. That trade is directly responsible for getting us the best defensive player in these playoffs, for opening the door for us to get the best rookie in these playoffs, and for a cause and effect that led to one of our players being the best offensive player in these playoffs.
But screw all that. Not all trades will be home runs. That's on Myers, and on odds as a whole. But Joe Lacob stood there and signed off on being hated, because he thought it would get us where we are. And it did.