After the Golden State Warriors turned back into the pumpkin they were for so many decades and were blown out by the Thunder for a second straight game, it felt natural to try and seek a rational explanation, to assign credit and blame. You could credit Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant for being too goddamn much, blame Stephen Curry and Draymond Green for playing like shit, or wonder why Steve Kerr hadn’t made some key adjustment. Me? I place all the blame on Warriors owner Joe Lacob.
Two months ago, back on March 29, the Warriors were rolling. They comfortably beat the Wizards to move to 67-7, were easily going to surpass the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls’ regular season record, and their most crucial players were healthy and ready for the playoffs. The next day, disaster struck: the New York Times Magazine published online that weekend’s cover story, entitled “What Happened When Venture Capitalists Took Over the Golden State Warriors.” In the widely-mocked piece, Lacob takes a hilariously outsized amount of credit for the Warriors’ success, with quotes like these:
But Lacob won’t accept that what the Warriors have achieved is a product of anything but a master plan. “The great, great venture capitalists who built company after company, that’s not an accident,” he said. “And none of this is an accident, either.”
“We’ve crushed [other teams] on the basketball court, and we’re going to for years because of the way we’ve built this team. We’re light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things.”
“It’s not just Steph Curry. It’s architecting a team, a style of play, the way they all play together. It’s all extremely thought through.”
Lacob contacted Curry—you know, the person actually the most responsible for the Warriors’ success—to try and explain himself, but it was too late. That night, the Warriors barely beat the Jazz in overtime, before losing two of their next three games. They’re just 15-7 since the story came out, briefly lost Steph Curry to a knee injury, had to summon all of their ability just to knock down the Trail Blazers, and are getting hellaciously whomped on by the Thunder.
Joe Lacob is a gross trophy-fucker, and this is all his fault.