At this point, it’s not exactly surprising that Golden State Warriors’ majority owner Joe Lacob is a savvy business man. That’s pretty well documented.
But even by his high standards, Lacob may have just had his best year ever. Among other things, Lacob won his second championship ring when the Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
He then watched the team re-sign superstars Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, all but assuring a dynasty for years to come. And the team made major progress breaking ground on the Chase Center, the San Francisco arena that will soon be home to the Warriors.
For those reasons and many more, Lacob earned the title of “Executive of the Year” from the San Francisco Business Times. Not surprisingly, the publication had some very complimentary and fascinating things to say about Lacob, including this excerpt:
The Warriors have spotted talent in unexpected places, hiring a general manager and head coach who had no experience in those roles. They’ve methodically recruited the right executives for non-basketball jobs as well. The team has created a close-knit culture where a succession of high-value stars has left money on the table so others can stay. And they’ve negotiated the perilous waters of San Francisco development politics, winning approval against dogged opposition to build a $1 billion, privately financed waterfront arena, office and retail complex that’s now under way.
At the center of it all has been Lacob. For these accomplishments, he has been named the Business Times’ 2017 Bay Area Executive of the Year.
“He’s kind of a dreamer,” said Brook Byers, a senior partner of the venture capital firm who hired Lacob in spring 1987 as a junior partner. “He sold programs at Dodgers games as a kid, and ever since then he’s dreamed of having sports teams.”
As much as the Warriors’ ascension from NBA doormats to dominators is a dream come true for Lacob, it is a means to an end: using the new arena to create an entertainment juggernaut that pushes the envelope in basketball and far beyond.
Since Lacob bought the Warriors, the team has won two titles, set the NBA record for regular season wins, and made one of the biggest free agent signings in league history.
Those accomplishments happened because of many people, not just one person. But Lacob played a big part, and this honor is very much deserved.