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Joe Lacob Responds To More Fan Questions - 3/8/11


Fans are encouraged to send questions to OwnersBox@gs-warriors.com. All questions will be read and we will answer as many as we can, so check back for updates throughout the season.



Tuesday, March 8 (6:12 p.m.)

Joe Lacob Responds To More Fan Questions

I wanted to thank EVERYONE who has e-mailed us via the Owners Box. Peter and I have been overwhelmed with the response that we have received. While we cannot respond directly to every e-mail, we certainly are reading them all. We appreciate your kind words, we understand your concerns and we are taking note of your constructive criticism and suggestions.

Many of you have written us offering your trade proposals and your thoughtful analysis of the players on our current roster. While it would be inappropriate to respond publicly on many of these e-mails, I want to assure you that NO ONE spends more time analyzing our players and thinking about ways to make our team better than we do. We will continue to do everything in our power to put the best possible team on the floor.

And with that said, a special thank you goes out to the following e-mailers: Carl Bernhard, Bill Smith, David Barnes, Navin Buxani, Gary OBrien, Howard Siegel, Allan Chasnoff, Dennis Downing, Wes Nelson, Ryan Beckerley, Tor Unsworth, Robin Neal, Lisa M.

Now on to your questions...




Mr. Lacob,

I recently read your comments at MIT saying that only season ticket holders are real fans, or so the reports go. I would like to insist that I am a true, diehard, fan. I love the Warriors have and have for most of my 45 years. I am not a season ticket holder because of: Commitment to Family, The Cost, The Distance. I would like you to please elaborate, correct and or expand on your definition of a real fan.

Sincerely,

Mike Bryan
Rohnert Park

ANSWER:
Thanks, Mike, for the e-mail. I appreciate you reaching out and presenting this question. If this last weekend has confirmed anything, it is that we continue to have one of the most passionate fan bases in the league.

As I have noted in a few interviews that I have conducted recently, we value all of our fans and realize there is an incredible amount of people who are terrific fans who, for one reason or another, do not attend games. The point I tried to articulate and not very well based on some reactions is that I do not find it to be a constructive conversation when someone communicates with an expletive-ridden e-mail or correspondence. I am fine with constructive, negative, civil correspondence from fans. Obviously, it is not good either way, but especially bad for us if one of our season ticket holders has this much pent-up anger. I can see how this could be misinterpreted, or me, quite simply, not making it clear what my exact point was when I was speaking at the conference.

I will tell you that I, unequivocally, think the vast majority of fans who dont have a chance to attend games or purchase season tickets are certainly real fans. That is why I put such an emphasis on embracing the on-line community, where as we know many fans who do not attend games regularly have the opportunity to converse and talk NBA basketball. I think I have demonstrated that by setting up this Owners Box on warriors.com and responding to many fan email questions that have been sent directly to me. Additionally, I have fielded calls on local sport-talk radio shows and, as an organization, we embrace coverage from fan bloggers more than almost any team in the NBA. Several local fan bloggers, in fact, are regularly credentialed to cover our games, practices and shootarounds. I view this as a great way to communicate with all of our fans, many of whom do not attend a lot of games. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago I did a sit-down interview at Oracle Arena with of our local bloggers from a fan website. The story may not have been all positive and without criticism, but it was civil.

As I noted to one of our beat writers yesterday, everyone makes mistakes, whether we are trying to convey a message or any of the other decisions that we make on a daily basis. Im not immune to that either. I would rather be an open, accessible and transparent owner who communicates directly to our fans than implement the opposite strategy. I will probably make mistakes on occasion when I speak, but they will be the result of doing business the way I think our fan base deserve: open and transparent.

Thanks for being a fan,

Joe







Joe,

I've been a Courtside Club STH since the team returned from San Jose. If I'm not at the game, I'm watching it somewhere, home and away.

I peek at five local blogs daily for perspective. Marcus Thompson, Tim Kawakami, Bruce Jenkins (just in case), Adam Lauridsen and Matt Steinmetz. I also check in with Mark Stein and ProSports Daily Rumors for out of town views.

The thing I find amazing about the readers comments on the blogs is the expectation that answers to all questions are both clear cut and immediately available - and those that don't act accordingly must be the enemy.

You might need to treat me well as a customer. You might want to treat me well as a fan. But you are absolutely right that the digital complainers are nothing more than that.

Jim Nealon

ANSWER:
I appreciate the e-mail, Jim, but most importantly, I appreciate your support over the years. Thanks.

I hear your point and think the fact that you read local blogs for perspective is a good thing. That means that you care about the Warriors and the NBA. We can never have too many people interested in our team or our league. Our world revolves around opinions and the fact that everyone has a different stance and the ability to share them quickly certainly makes things very interesting.

Thanks, again, for your support.

Joe







To Mr. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber

First, I would like to congratulate and thank you for becoming the new owners of the Warriors. I feel confident, as a Warriors fan, that the team is in good hands. My only question is, will you or do you see a possibility that you will move the team to the City of San Francisco? I would love to see the team in a new venue and new location. Seeing that the City of San Francisco may have the 49ers move to Santa Clara, it would be an opportune time to see the Warriors in San Francisco. I know you may not be able to answer my question, but I just wanted to share my voice and opinion.

Thank you,

Robert S. from San Mateo

ANSWER:
Thanks, Robert, for the e-mail and kind words. Peter and I appreciate your support.

In regards to a potential move to San Francisco, I have noted on a few occasions that our current lease at Oracle Arena has several years remaining and we plan to honor that commitment. We view ourselves as the Bay Areas basketball team --- Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and all of the other communities that make this such a special place to live.

At this point, a move to San Francisco is not something that we have discussed and is not something that is currently on our radar. We have many other projects that we need to complete in the near future, including trying to make our team better. Thats our first priority.

Joe







Its really sad to say this, but with Denver and Utah opening up the playoff mix, we couldnt make any move to try and get into the playoffs!?!? Gotta get that center, like OKC didwe have the worst starting center in the NBA, he looked as bad as Erden the other night.

In my mind and the mind of all my friends, you guys are quickly becoming Cohan, not making any good player moves and just standing pat on a loser

We got crushed by the Celtics, and I saw across the way your frustration mount on the court opposed to being more relaxed at halftimeso at least you guys care, but we stink, again

-One of the hopeful fans that just got let down again

ANSWER:
Thanks for the e-mail. I can assure you that we were very aggressive at the trade deadline and, truth be told, were extremely close to making a deal or two that would have helped us now and in the future. Unfortunately, they did not transpire for reasons we wont divulge. As Ive said before, we will not make a deal just to make a deal and simply shuffle the cards around. We wont confuse activity with progress, either. We will aggressively pursue trades (or other transactions) that will improve our team while also keeping the future in mind.

As we move into the off-season, we will continue to be aggressive on all fronts --- free agency, trades and the draft. We will never be a passive team as long as I am the owner of the Warriors. This does not mean that we will make a trade at every trade deadline or sign every free agent that we target each summer; it means that we will actively look to improve our team at every opportunity and that the current ownership group is willing to make financial concessions in order to make it happen (see Murphy deal and second round draft pick). That is our obligation. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make every deal that wed like to, but I can promise you it wont be for lack of trying, just as it was not on February 24.

As you noted, we do care and when we lose, it hurts. Thats exactly the way it should be. Ill get out of this business the day that I stop caring because that wont be fair to you or any of our fans. That day is not coming anytime soon.

Thanks,

Joe







Hello Mr. Lacob,

Just wanted to thank you for great job not trading away any of our young players. It's the first time in a long time the franchise didnt trade players after just a couple of years playing together. It would be great to see this team grow and become a great team in years to come. In the Nelson era, he would tear down this team that already made the playoffs the year before. Never understood why he did it, maybe because he wanted to have all the credit and glory.

The media is saying Different owner, same result. Well I believe you make this team better. And if we dont make the playoffs this year, we certainly will next year and for years to come.

Congrats,
Warriors Fan

ANSWER:
Thanks for the comments and your e-mail. Its interesting to see the various schools of thought from our fans. Some would like for us to trade half the team; others, like you, would like for us to continue to build and add pieces. Im leaning toward the latter at this point. I do believe that continuity is an important ingredient for a team to be successful in the long run. Its difficult to achieve greatness without any stability and, as you noted, the Warriors have not always been the most stable organization in regards to players and player movement. Wed like to eventually achieve the stability that many of the great teams in this league have, but also realize that a certain degree of change is part of the process as well.

In regards to part 2 of your e-mail, Im confident that you and others will eventually see different results, both on the floor and in other aspects of our business. I can tell you that there have already been many changes for the better in our workplace. The changes may not be evident to the outside world, but we have already started to put our stamp on this organization. With that said, the most important stamp has a three letter word affixed to it ---- WIN. We realize that well be open to criticism from fans and media alike until that word becomes synonymous with the Warriors. Its up to us to make that happen.

Regards,

Joe







Dear Mr. Lacob & Mr. Guber,

I am a huge Warriors fan and I'm very excited about your investment into our team.

One question I have is about our strength and conditioning program and personnel. We all know how much intense weight training can do to add size and quickness. However, if you look at our players, it doesn't look like they are doing what needs to be done in that area. I'm also a huge fan of Jeremy Lin, being co-founder of his fan site. I believe he could benefit greatly from an expert strength and conditioning trainer. Is this an area you think needs to be upgraded?

Thanks for your passion and efforts to improve our team.

Kenn Kuwahara

ANSWER:
Thanks for the e-mail, Kenn. In regards to our Strength & Conditioning program, I know that we employ two very talented and well-respected individuals in this area, Mark Grabow (Director of Athletic Development) and John Murray (Strength & Conditioning Coach). Mark has been in the business for many years and has worked with several world class athletes in various sports. John is also well-versed in the business and has a great working relationship with our players. Both of these gentleman are very good at their respective jobs.

Jeremy Lin is one of our hardest working players, both on and off the floor. I can assure you that he is working religiously on his body with our staff. It may not always show in terms of his physical presence, but he continues to make progress in every area. As with all of our players, Mark and John have outlined a comprehensive program for Jeremy to follow, including once the season ends and he has a chance to spend the summer working on his body.

Thanks,

Joe







I'm a 14-year-old boy from San Jose, and my dream job is to be the general manager for the Warriors. How do you get involved in that type of business? Also, if I was the GM of the Warriors, I would trade for a force in the middle and get a double-double center like Brook Lopez or Emeka Okafor. Then I would find someone who could put up 10 points or more off the bench. Someone that comes to mind is Marcus Thornton. I would make a big move like Biedrins, Udoh, and cash, for Okafor and Thornton. That provides us with a solid man in the middle and someone who can come in for Monta and Steph and actually do something. Biedrins is declining and Udoh shows no signs of being able to help us on the offensive end. Okafor can help with defense and score. Thank you.



ANSWER:
Thanks for the e-mail. My recommendation for becoming involved in Basketball Operations (General Manager) for an NBA team would be, first and foremost, to get your college degree with an emphasis in Sports Management. At some point during your college years, I would also highly recommend that you do an internship with a professional sports organization, if possible. Internships are a fantastic way to get your foot into the door and gain valuable, hands-on experience during college.

I appreciate your input on potential trades and ways to make our team better. We know that we need to improve as a basketball team and our Basketball Operations staff spends countless hours examining ways to achieve our objective --- to not only improve, but to be a marquee team in this league. I can assure you that we leave no stone unturned and that we are aware of the areas that need improvement.

Thanks,

Joe







Mr. Lacob & Mr. Guber:

At age 55, I guess it is time to write my first fan letter. I've lived my whole life in Northern California (Red Bluff - Chico) and I've loved the Warriors every since the early 70s. (I remember when Rick Barry went to the ABA - I was crushed!) As a kid, economics kept me from attending any games except for the only Warriors game I have ever attended - at the Cow Palace in 1974 or 75. I have faithfully followed this team on the radio (when the airwaves allowed the signal strength to reach my home) with Bill King poetically describing the action. Now, I get to watch every game in HD from the comfort of my recliner thanks to satellite TV.

I can't tell you how excited I am with the new ownership group. Although you haven't had the team long, the excitement of believing that we finally have the right ownership in place is unbelievable. Owners who have a plan, who want to win and who are impatient fans at heart....I just feel the sky is the limit right now. For the first time in a very long time, our franchise is gonna be a legitimate, and a heavyweight contender. No more playoff droughts - now the reality is gonna be playoffs each year with the expectation of winning the NBA title! That will be a complete 180 degrees from where we've been for the past several decades!

Joe: I really believe that if the right opportunity presents itself prior to the trading deadline, you're gonna OK a trade that will bring us a couple of good rotation players, with one of them possibly being a starter. Then I see us signing a significant free agent in the off-season. I just feel that next year's team is gonna be so much stronger than this year's. You think Oracle rocks now....just wait until you start adding the right pieces and the fans see that their team is being built the right way, with a plan, and that the emphasis is on being bold and smart and fixing the problems correctly, as soon as possible. When the fans see that our team is good enough to contend for a victory every night - no matter who the opponent or if the game is at home or on the road - Oracle is going to be one loud, fun, crazy place each and every night!! I am very excited because our future is now. Good things are going to happen real soon! You can just feel it. And I absolutely LOVE our chances of signing a significant free agent in the off-season. The reason is you & Mr. Guber. I just know that if you two get a chance to sit and talk to a player about what we're doing here at Golden State, your vision for the team, your goal of winning championships, and your compassion will be evident - well, I just like our chances a whole lot. And they will be living & working in the Bay Area - how much better does it get than that if you are an athlete?? Plus, I have heard you state how important the draft is so it will be nice to know that a real emphasis will be put in this area to improve our team.

In closing, no complaints here - just excitement! The amount of money you have invested in our team, your interviews with the media, your stated objective to get back to a championship ASAP, your passion to get this right and fan-like impatience with losing....we are really excited. For all these reasons, I plan on attending a game in March with my wife and having a good time in the Bay Area. I want to show my support, thanks and enthusiasm to you by attending a few games each season. I appreciate the excitement you are creating and I can't wait for our team to improve. I know it's coming real soon....and I can't wait. Thank you both. See ya at the game. Go Warriors!

Sincerely,

QC
Chico, CA
(Home of Super Bowl MVP and Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers!)

ANSWER:
Thanks, QC, for the e-mail. We truly appreciate your support and the fact that you are happy with the direction of the franchise since Peter and I have assumed control. I can feel your passion in the e-mail and I can assure you that we bring that same intensity to the office each day in our effort to make this team and this organization better. I agree with your assessment of Oracle Arena and how we probably do not, at least at this point, comprehend what a great place it will be when - not if - we become a very, very good basketball team. Our fans, including someone like you who has been around since the mid-70s, are the best in the NBA. We realize that as fact.

Please dont ever lose your enthusiasm, QC. I hope you enjoy your trip to Oracle in March and we hope to see you more in the future. Thanks, again, for the support.

Joe







Hi,

I'm a long time fan and current Season Ticket Holder and have a couple of questions. First off, I was wondering how you plan to become more competitive in the NBA's Western Conference as it seems like most other teams are stacked with talent. We currently sport a pretty low payroll compared to the upper level teams and I was wondering how you plan to get into the luxury tax in order to compete with the rest of the elite teams in the NBA? The only way to get into the luxury tax is through signing your own players, the problem with getting into the tax is you will only have the mid-level exception to sign free agents, which is a very important aspect of running a franchise. If you let the $17.4 million of expiring contracts go instead of trading for players with longer contracts, you lower your payroll but you need to build it up in order to get better players and compete with those teams spending at the $100 million level in salaries.

Can you explain how or what you will do to solve these issues? Why did we pay so much for David Lee, who is a horrible defender? If you're going to sign a player to nearly a max contract, wouldn't you want him to play both sides of the ball well? I've posed some questions, hopefully I'll get some answers. I'm looking forward to what you decide to do in the coming weeks, and hopefully you don't just let all those expire, which would be similar to what the previous ownership group did in the past, and it wouldn't be a glowing statement to make.

Thanks,

Craig

ANSWER:
Thanks, Craig, for the e-mail. Thanks for your support as a Season Ticket Holder.

In regards to how we plan to get better in the Western Conference, a few things to note. First, I do believe that the Western Conference has lost a few of its marquee players in recent weeks (and the last year) due to trades and free agency. Also, some teams in the Western Conference are getting a little older.

However, we are focused on ourselves more than our opponents. Our current payroll is about in the middle in comparison to other teams in the NBA and, as I have noted on several occasions, we are willing to spend money to make this team better (look at the recent trade deadline as an example: we traded for a higher salaried player in order to get a future draft pick. This was done with no hesitation). If we need to go into the luxury tax to make our team better, we will do so in order to win. At this stage, however, nobody knows what the rules will be this summer in regards to the CBA and, quite honestly, I cant comment on any ideas that I may have in this regard (league rule, per Mr. Stern). Questions about the salary cap, luxury tax level and mid-level exception simply cannot be addressed at this time. We dont know. I wish I could answer your questions more directly at this time, but thats not possible.

I will tell you that we will be extremely aggressive just as we were at the trade deadline (more than you will probably ever know) in an effort to make this team better. We need to improve and are well aware of that, whether it be via free agency, trades or the draft. We will explore all options. Let me caution you, however, that we wont make a deal (free agency, trade, etc.) just to make a deal. We will be active in looking for ways to improve this team now and in the future with good, solid transactions.

Regards,

Joe











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