Thursday, April 5, 2012

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob open letter

Open Letter to Joe Lacob

Dear Mr. Lacob,

I think you are well aware that these are trying times for Warrior fans.  It’s not that we’re losing; the vast majority of us want that right now.  The problem has been the statements! All the talk.  No excuses, defense and playoffs?  I know you had good intentions and fully planned on making good but even the fair weather fans knew it was a pipe dream with this roster.  So it really just made us hardcore fans want to rip our eyes out.  Then we wanted to blow our ears out because we could still hear Fitz and Barnett telling us how close we are.  We could all see that the team would have to over achieve in a major way to do it and a brutal beating in the first round of the postseason wouldn’t have validated much anyways.  I know you can’t come out and say we’re tanking and I know you want to win but the fans are definitely right on this one.  We do appreciate that there is more to your strategy then a good marketing slogan but there is a middle ground between sugar coating and making delusional statements, it’s called reality.  As some of the most passionate fans in the league that’s all we want.  We’d rather hear silence than bullshit.

The biggest issue for a long time now has been our middle of the pack status that doesn’t allow for the acquisition of top free agents or quality draft picks.  I’ve been begging for this team to bottom out since we missed the playoffs in 2008 because it was obvious we had maxed out the potential of the pieces in place.  Your team in Boston was only able to swing the Kevin Garnett deal because they had hit rock bottom and had the type of young cheap assets and draft picks necessary to complete a deal like that.  You’ve done a GREAT job buying picks and acquiring some nice talent but those are moves made to fill out a roster, not getting the guy who makes us a contender.  

Outside of the talk you got off to a good start. We may have been rooting hard Larry Ellison to take control of the team because we wanted the deepest pockets in the league but I’m not complaining that a guy who proclaimed to be a true Dub fan won the bidding war.  I respect the fact that it seems as though we’ve got someone that understands the plight of the fans and is a savvy businessman who realizes the way to truly grow this brand is to put a winner on the floor.  By getting rid of Don Nelson and Robert Rowell while bringing in a new front office a lot of the top down toxicity was eliminated.  I like Mark Jackson’s signing but I think Keith Smart was doing more with less (pre trade of course).  After a full training camp and a more balanced roster he should be on a short leash next season, especially with the predications.  Acquiring the D league team and preparing to move them to the Bay is also a nice touch.  It seems the only question in the front office that remains is Larry Riley and when Bob Myers can take the assistant tag off of his title.

Can't say I haven't seen my share of bad basketball this season.

There is no question that a lot of work remains to be done before next season so I’ve outlined our needs from this fan's perspective.

Dump Biedrins and Wright: If you can package Dorrell Wright’s expiring contract this offseason to get rid of Andris Biedrins, even if it’s for a sack of rocks, you will have unilateral support around the bay.  I’m not sure you could even get a sack of rocks for that package at this point.  The flexibility is more important than anything those two have contributed this year.  Just getting rid of the indecisive play on the court and indifferent attitude off of it will be addition by subtraction. 

Retain Rush and McGuire: We ALL like Brandon Rush and Dominic McGuire more than those two at this point anyways and it’s not even close. These are the type of low-key hard-nosed guys that achieve cult status in the Bay Area.  Guys have value up to a certain price but we better not see them sign reasonable deals anywhere else this offseason. It would be a bitter pill to swallow to lose these two while Wright and Biedrins appear on our opening day roster.

Acquire a playmaking Point Guard and/or Small Forward: Since the roster is pretty much set I’d hope that your short list is focused on getting a solid starting caliber 3.  Someone that can make plays for himself and others along with a true back up point.  I’m not sure who is coming up on free agency or if we’ll get a pick high enough for a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Terrance Jones but I’ve got a name that can do wonders for this team in a minimal role.  Jason Kidd.  Convince this guy to spend a year back in Oakland where everyone loves him so he can be a mentor to Steph and Jenkins while putting them through a one year (or two) clinic on how to run a team and play better defense. You need to find playmakers whether they are on the roster or elsewhere and that is the true test this off-season.

Even though I’m probably the biggest Monta Ellis fan you know I do agree with the trade and have talked many fans off the ledge already.  Stephen Jackson’s involvement almost gave me a heart attack but you did a good job of mitigating that problem. I couldn’t stand to watch him put on the uniform he completely disrespected just a couple years ago. Richard Jefferson will tie up more cap space for longer but you did acquire an extra asset out of it. If nothing else he’s better than Dorrell Wright.  If we miss out on our lottery pick and you are able to buy it back I promise you will win over a lot of disgruntled fans in the process.  For now the best policy is still to win by losing. If we have to give up anything other than your money to continue prolonging the inevitable then the price is too steep.

Now that some time has passed I'm interested to know what you took away from that Chris Mullin night experience?  I don’t fault anyone who chose that moment to be heard because you never know when you would get another chance.  Ralph Barbieri said it pretty well the next day when he called Murph & Mac and compared it to a political Oscar speech.  You do it when everyone is watching or you never get an audience.  Your appearance on KNBR the next morning was also a classy and ballsy move. Lord knows we’re going to need plenty more of that to turn this thing around for more than one or two seasons this time.  I thought you owned up to the moment beautifully and it was the best hour of radio I’ve heard in a while.  I especially liked your take on the situation saying, “I probably would have booed me a little.” Classic.

We all wish Chris Cohan’s kid wasn’t out there with him in 2000 and we all wish Chris Mullin wasn’t out there this time around.  I wasn’t booing but I did get a huge laugh out of it.  I was actually one of many in section 115 who stood and clapped for you as you returned to your seat sans fiancée.  The people who were most critical were people outside of the area who don’t follow Golden State basketball and I guess you could add Rick Barry to that list too.  Damn the national media for judging the fan base when they have no idea of our plight unless of course they are from Cleveland. 

Keep working hard, keep away from the bold statements and keep using that credit card the way you have.  If you can manage that we’ll continue going to games and maybe even maintain some sort of sanity when it comes to the subject of Warriors basketball.  Like many fans I’m cursed to watch either way but I hope for everyone’s sake we are truly trending up.  Otherwise it is going to get ugly around here and Mullin night will be an example of the good times.  Your Dodger loving business partner is dead to me but I wish the rest of your team from top to bottom nothing but the best of luck until our extended honeymoon is over in November.


Justin Taylor
Trapped in Golden State

PS: I encourage all fans who are Trapped in Golden State to take a moment to add to the list I've started.  I know a lot of you have a lot to say and I'd love to hear it even if Mr. Lacob doesn't.


  1. Needs:

    1) keep rush/mcguire: if you do find that veteran playmaker, rush may not be as valuable

    2) dump beans/jefferson: expiring contract in wright/draft picks for 2012 may sweeten this pile of doo-doo.

    3) what the heck happened to chris wright?: all the rooks are getting some love except the other wright. i know he came back from d-league, so where is he? tyler in the beginning was just as much a project as wright was, so why not play wright too? us fans would appreciate some face-melting jams during games, it might make it worthwhile to watch them when we all want them to lose anyway.

    4) dont hype yourself out and do something stupid: like trading a king's ransom for that draft pick. in hindsight of previous drafts, the 9--14 pick range isn't gonna yield much talent. so if we miss out and lose our pick-so what? if we luck out and get a top 7 pick, great! another trade asset, since in all the mocks not much potential or current talent is escaping the first six picks anyway.

    5) find a small forward who can create: someone who can crash boards and be a stopper on the defensive end. not much production needs to come on the other end, just the ability to slash and dish. the dubs were at their best when monta cut and dished to the open shooter.

    6) give dom the nod next year: you brought in mark and i'll assume its because he shares your ideas. if thats so, its time to back up your preachings of defense and sacrifice offensive production for defensive prowess. klay plays the same game as dorrel, and i cant be the only one who would say he plays it better. the kid's j is sweet enough to make angel's cry. between him and curry, we've got TOO MANY shooters! unfortunately, capable defenders aren't in the same surplus. i dont expect 15+ rebounds a game like dom had the first time he started, but with him at the starting 3 we've got a height advantage in 3 places out of 5.

    7) prepare for the worst: make sure contingency plans are in place. currently, our starting point guard is fighting through injuries (jenkins) while his backup is recovering from another (robinson), with our star benched indefinitely. yeah, thats three point guards we had at the start of the year, utterly ravaged. man, and i was thinking to myself as i watched curry splash a 3, how frustrated jenkins must have been behind two older players! now, he's playing upwards to 35 minutes. point is, the third string players need to be prepared. things happen. especially with a fragile star and our starting center is like that friend of yours who always seems to get hurt.

    8) brag about it: if all goes well and we get a playoff seed, make sure to retire another player's number once we clinch a spot. heck, if we clinch a high enough seed and bogut plays all 82 games, retire monta's #8!

    1. retire Monta's #8? now that's a joke!!!!!

    2. I get the reference...If we go to the playoffs next year due to Bogut staying healthy and having a great year it will be Monta's last and biggest impact on the team. He was the only thing worth cheering for since the 2009 season after all. In the end it wasn't his play but his value that brought us back to relevance...if we do something next year of course.

    3. Dan: yea it was. people were shouting 'we want monta' at the retirement night, so imagine how red their faces would be when the teams doing well.
      and yea that pretty much sums it up Justin. he played his heart out and left it all on the court, getting hammered by defenders night in and night out, as well as being the figurehead for an ailing franchise. but in the end, it was his absence, his departure, that had the best positive impact. wait, why am i writing this all past-tense?? nothings happened yet, but it would definitely piss off more than a couple people if a newcomer took up the ol' number 8 anytime soon.

    4. I do like that, I hereby pronounce the number 8 unofficially

  2. Apologies to anybody who read the column with missing was an HTML issue or something...thank you to the readers for the heads always thanks for reading and for all the great feedback.

  3. We still need to add another reliable back-up center. I wouldn't consider Andris "the Ghost" Biedrins a suitable third string let along the first center off the bench. Even though we got Bogut, we still need someone who can play reliably off the bench and possibly be an effective starter should Bogut get injured. The less Biedrins plays, the better the Warriors would be.

    1. actually ive been impressed by Andris' play of late. he's getting blocks and not letting the other centers really back him down. better still, he's actually looked to make a move a few times. unless you're a newcomer, watching the warriors in the past few years, you should recognize this as the baby steps he first took to averaging a double double. it must be because he's playing with jenkins, who plays a distinctly different style than curry. he really worked well with baron davis, and ellis and curry just arent compatible. from the way they move the ball to what they look for on pick and roles it was never a match. if andris could start playing like he used to, i see him being a very serviceable backup. maybe coming off the bench benefits him. he could get into the action a little slower, and usually play the backup center instead of the first stringers.

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      Lamar Odom? prospects by MT2

    4. as far as that goes.. the only thing we have to offer is that we play the lakers 4 times a season. and the clips offer that, and i bet they can offer more than the mid-level exception. we're also unproven, so he'd likely go to a playoff team or a 'contending' team, someone proven. that is, if dallas uses the team option to opt out of the contract.

      if dallas wants to trade him on draft night, we could trade dorell and package him with a 2nd rounder or SA's pick. then not only would we have odom, but he's an expiring contract himself so we get an upgrade over dorell for at least a year but we still have 8 mil off the books in two seasons, almost as if we never traded dorell at all.

      the article was right. we need a secondary creator. odom isnt the optimal target, i maintain that MKG is, but he's definitely a potentially nice pickup we could go after.

  4. I just don't see anyone being able to pay $10 mil for 12 minutes a night...If Bogut goes down we're screwed anyways so you're better off finding a way to get him off the roster even for nothing just to have a little financial flexibility...I guess that is not realistic though...We're probably stuck with him...I'm very interested to know who will offer what for odom...who offers a small forward with a more reasonable contract than Dorrell Wright?

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