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Chelsea Lane wanted more money than the Warriors were willing to spend

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Now we know why Lane left for the Hawks.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the summer, somewhat surprising news surfaced: Chelsea Lane, head performance therapist for the Golden State Warriors, was leaving the team and joining the Atlanta Hawks.

There was fan speculation as to why she would make the move from such a successful organization with prominent players. Did she want a new challenge, or just a change? Does she prefer Atlanta?

Well, now we know the truth: Golden State wasn’t willing to match the amount of money that Atlanta offered Lane. This came out in a recent episode of Nate Duncan’s Dunc’d On Podcast, featuring Ethan Strauss, who covers the team for The Athletic.

While previewing the Warriors, Duncan and Strauss mention that the Warriors’ ability to recover from injuries has helped them in both the 2017 and 2018 playoffs, and that a turn in that fortune could hurt them this year. Strauss then mentions Lane’s departure, stating that, “We have no idea how to calculate her impact, or whether she matters at all. We have no way of knowing, but she’s out of the picture now, and they’ve had just a complete restructuring of their medical training staff.”

Asked by Duncan why Lane left the club, Strauss was blunt: “Well she wanted more money than they were willing to pay her. That’s how that went.”

Strauss elaborated a bit, saying, “The Warriors, they have a very venture capitalist position on these matters, which is, ‘We’re spending on the players. That’s where the talent is.’ And then maybe on some other fronts there isn’t going to be as much spending, because they think that they can get a better deal or a better person.”

On the one hand, that philosophy shouldn’t at all be surprising for the Warriors. On the other hand, it’s arguably a risky game to play, given how much money the team is willing to spend on players, and how reliant those players are on health.

Still, it’s good to know what the reason was for Lane leaving, though I suspect many fans won’t be too pleased.

If you want to hear the interaction, it starts at about the 37-minute mark. That said, I highly recommend listening to the entire podcast (or, rather, the Warriors segment, which is the first hour), as Duncan is one of the brightest minds in basketball media, and Strauss is a must-read, must-listen voice for any Warriors fan.