Currently: 12-10 (.545) for the season; 9th place in the Western Conference
at Rockets (lost)
at Grizzlies (WON)
Mon: at Charlotte against the Bobcats (lost)
Wed: home against the Mavericks
Fri: home against the Rockets
On March 19, 2012, it rained. There was a high of 56 degrees, a low of 43, and zero precipitation actually hit the ground, but wow, was there ever a downpour! On that night, the Golden State Warriors retired the number of all-time Warrior great Chris Mullin. The fans at Oracle Arena gave long and loud standing ovations to Mullin and all the other Warrior representatives and dignitaries. It was a fitting tribute to one of the Bay Area’s most beloved heroes by one of the Bay Area’s most rabid fan bases.
And then Joe Lacob took the mic.
And when he did, the clouds opened and the boos came raining down. From the courtside seats up into the rafters, Warrior fans poured it on and on and on and drowned poor Joe.
About two years earlier, Joe Lacob’s investment group purchased the Warriors from Chris Cohan for $450 million. Fans had briefly fantasized about Oracle CEO Larry Ellison purchasing the team and writing blank checks for players the way Russian billionaires do with their English Premier League pet-projects. This, of course, was never in the cards because, well, salary cap. But when Lacob took over, fans were ambivalent about the whole thing because, really, who cares which billionaire is in the owner's box—we only care about the millionaires on the court. And for too long, they weren't getting it done.
It wasn't Joe Lacob's fault, really. He was, up to that point, the day-to-day owner of the Warriors for two years and the Warriors were garbage for far, far longer than that. No, the blame for the Warriors— futility rested on the shoulders of Cohan. But, with Cohan nowhere to be found, and with that night having been one of the exceedingly rare chances for fans to address an owner, whoever that owner might be, the fans grabbed that opportunity by the throat and squeezed.
Oh, and there was also this: six days before the boos, Joe Lacob traded away Warriors star Monta Ellis. That did it. That trade was the proverbial straw.
Monta returns to the Oracle tonight. He’s already been back twice before in a Milwaukee Bucks uniform, but now he comes as the emerging face of the Dallas Mavericks. In retrospect, it has become abundantly clear to everyone that trading Monta was the right move for all involved. The Warriors received Andrew Bogut in that trade and, with Monta gone, were able to create the Steph Curry/Klay Thompson duo that is so feared and loathed throughout the association. Monta ended up in Dallas, a perennial playoff team, where he has flourished.
Now, two years after the trade, two years after the boos, after last year's Warriors playoff run, when Monta takes the court across from Steph and Klay, Warrior fans will cheer their former star while good old Joe Lacob will sit courtside, undoubtedly with a sheepish yet smug smile on his face.
And rightfully so.