The Warriors Owner Joe Lacob Is Definitely Full Of Shit Trying To Deny That The Warriors Will Tank
(ESPN) – Warriors owner Joe Lacob scoffed at the mere suggestion of tanking late Wednesday night, and that’s admirable.
“It is against every single thing I and we stand for,” Lacob said.
“We will fight like hell. Develop our young guys. Learn to win,” he continued. “You don’t get better by trying to lose. Our entire organization is about winning. And we will win. Some bumps in the road, perhaps. But we will never accept losing.”
But the Warriors might no longer have a choice in the matter. They already were in for a tough year with the youth, inexperience and injuries on the roster.
With Curry out for a while and Green already nursing a sore back and elbow, the wheels could fall off quickly — making the top-20 protection they placed on the first-round pick they owe Brooklyn as part of the Durant-Russell sign-and-trade deal very important.
Their flexibility to improve the roster midseason is already limited by the hard cap that applies after the sign-and-trade move that brought Russell to San Francisco this summer. If the Warriors’ hole gets too deep too quickly during Curry’s absence, they could decide to rest the already-ailing Green and lean into playing their inexperienced youngsters more.
Is there honestly a person alive that believes that quote? I get why Lacob had to say it, with how crazy the league is about losing on purpose and tanking you can’t flat out say 4 games into your season as one of the premiere teams in the league that you’re going to start losing on purpose. But everyone with a brain knows that with Steph Curry now out for a while, Klay out for the year and a roster that is left with guys who might not be NBA rotation caliber, the smart thing IS to tank. Granted the Warriors are going to lose a whole lot even if they do “try” but maybe their form of tanking will be holding Steph out even a little longer or something. Maybe Draymond gets some load management more frequently, things like that.
Until things drastically change, it’s hard to deny it’s better to win 20 games and miss the playoffs than win 40 games and miss the playoffs or even worse somehow make the playoffs only to get swept in the first round. I say this as someone who roots for a team that probably should have tanked back in 2015, but instead watched the Celtics trade for Isaiah at the deadline and suddenly the Celtics found themselves with like 40 wins and a low playoff seed only to get swept or some shit. Instead of potentially ending up in the high lottery because they were god awful when that trade first happened, they ultimately landed 16th and took Terry Rozier. Maybe they would have been in the KAT/Russell/Porzingis range had they just stayed the course and lost on purpose. Granted that trade sort of sped up their rebuild, but their situation was drastically different than the Warriors which is why nobody is going to give a shit if GS tanks.
Think of it like the 1996 Spurs. David Robinson went down and they went 20-67. What happened next? Oh right
They immediately got back to winning, won 56 games in 1997 and outside of the lockout year in 1998 basically won 50+ games for the next 20 years. You look at the Warriors situation where they get Curry/Klay/Draymond/maybe Russell all back next season PLUS the ability to add a high lottery pick? If your franchise is all about winning then the best play IS to focus on losing. You could potentially set up your dynasty for another 5+ years if that high lottery pick pans out. So you might lose 50ish games this year, what GS fan would care? They’ve had an unreal run these past 5 years and could add a legit stud to this core next season. In fact the league should DEMAND that GS tanks since they are one of the premiere franchises. Nobody will consider it The Process 2.0 or whatever the league hates because of the injuries they’ve suffered. It wouldn’t shock me if Silver doesn’t give Lacob a little wink wink deal like he did with the Pelicans once we get to the lottery too.
Deep down you know Lacob is down for the tank. He probably just doesn’t want the 600K fine like Mark Cuban got when he openly admitted that tanking was the way to go
“I’m probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night,” Cuban said. “And here we are. We weren’t competing for the playoffs. I was like, ‘Look, losing is our best option.’
“Adam would hate to be hearing that. But at least I sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans are going to be this summer, that we’re not going to tank again. This is like a year and a half of tanking. That was too brutal for me.”
At least I hope that’s all this is, because this may be the one situation where everyone agrees tanking is the best option for this team moving forward and nobody would blame them. Now as someone who is tired of this Warriors run I hope they win as many games as possible so that pick doesn’t land in the top 5 or something, but I think we all know it’s going to and GS will select a guy who is going to be fucking awesome for the next 10+ years and they’ll immediately be back to ruining the entire league.