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Owners' Box: Joe Lacob Answers Fan Questions - 9/7/11


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.



Wednesday, September 7 (9:58 a.m.)

Joe Lacob Answers Fan Questions

Joe Lacob strives to provide fans with the ultimate game-night experience at Oracle Arena. (photo: Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)
Hi Joe,

I have been meaning to send you an e-mail but a recent article in the Chronicle reminded me. I really hope you can have weeknight games start earlier. It isn’t just 9 and 11 year olds who are affected. The Giants start their games at 7:15 p.m. (and that means first pitch, not intros) so it is possible. Mr. Guber is right but it is also for us working stiffs who need to get some sleep. By the time the game is over it is usually almost 10 and I get home around 11 on game nights. So next season, changing weeknight games to 7 p.m. (tip-off by 7:10-15) would be great.

I really like all the other new ideas Mr. Guber mentioned. We might even eat at the games if there were some better variety and healthier alternatives. After all, this is the Bay Area.

Thanks for everything you are doing to make the Warriors relevant as a team and as a fan experience.

Don

ANSWER:
Thanks for the e-mail, Don.

As Peter alluded to in the San Francisco Chronicle story, we want to make sure that our entire game night experience – including food, music, performances, usher service, etc. – is top-notch and enjoyable for our fans. That is a priority for us. In regards to the starting time of games, it’s a little bit of a catch 22 situation for all teams; some fans prefer a later start (to enable them to have dinner, travel from work) while others prefer an earlier start (for the reasons you noted). The dialog that we’ve had with our fans has suggested, for the most part, that they prefer a 7:30 start time due to the distance that many of them drive (following work) from all locations around the Bay Area (The Peninsula, San Francisco, San Jose, etc). However, this is a subject that we are certainly open to evaluating as we move forward. Ideally, we’d like to make it feasible for as many people to attend our games – including kids on weeknights – as possible.

Regards,

Joe





Hello,

First off, good job on all that has been done with the organization; I know that it does not stop here. I feel as though the hiring of Mark Jackson will be a good one and that he will catch a lot of attention nationwide. Hopefully the season can start on time, but seriously, the millions you guys and the players make aren’t enough??? It is ridiculous!

Well my question is, the atmosphere at the games should be exciting and a great time out. It might be the first time you guys hear this question but, do you guys look into having a new PA announcer for the games? The crowd needs someone that can bring excitement to them. I get bored listening to someone who is announcing without any enthusiasm.

Thanks,

Luis

ANSWER:
Thanks for your input, Luis. We think Mark Jackson was the right choice for this team and we are glad that you agree.

One thing that I’ve learned very quickly in this business is that, much like the previous question, everyone has their own distinct opinion on a certain subject, whether that is in regards to the starting time of games or the public address announcer. And, I embrace those varying opinions and welcome them at any time. The more feedback and opinions we receive, the better educated we’ll be when it comes to making decisions as we move forward.

As you probably know, there are a wide variety of PA announcers in the NBA, ranging from the over-the-top “cheerleaders” – which, personally, I am not a fan of – to those who provide the basic information in a more non-descript manner. I think our PA Announcer, Matt Hurwitz, falls in the middle between those two extremes. That approach has seemed to work well and has been well-accepted overall, but I would agree with you that more enthusiasm and excitement at games – provided by whatever means – is a good thing. We want Oracle Arena to be a fun, raucous venue that opposing teams do not like to visit.

Regards,

Joe





Dear Joe and Peter,

As a lifelong GSW fan, I am happy for the new ownership! I am looking forward to the new season and hope there will be some good and exciting times for the fans.

My question is: Will the D-League team that you just purchased be playing during the lockout? How soon will they be moving? Where will they be moving to?

Although I would love to see the lockout resolved, I see very little movement to resolution and am looking for my basketball fix.

Regards,

Glen Montevago

ANSWER:
Thanks for the e-mail, Glen. We appreciate your kind words.

Regardless of the NBA's labor situation, the Dakota Wizards will open their season at home on November 25 against the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Yes, our new D-League team, the Dakota Wizards, will begin their regular season schedule in late November (the schedule was just announced recently). In fact, Jerry West, Larry Riley and I are scheduled to attend a special event with some of the Wizards’ season ticket holders and Bismarck dignitaries in Bismarck in early October. We’re looking forward to that trip. We think it is important to visit the home of our D-League team and be a part of their community.

In regards to the location of our D-League team, North Dakota is the home of the Wizards and has been for the last several years. They are one of the more successful franchises in the D-League. As we noted earlier this summer, we will keep our options open in regards to a potential move to Northern California, but nothing is imminent. At this point, the team is set to play in Bismarck during the 2011-12 season and we expect them to have an exciting and competitive team.

Our purpose in acquiring the team in Bismarck was simple and straightforward: to provide us an opportunity to develop talent and, ultimately, make our overall product better. If our D-League team provides us the smallest of advantages over another NBA team that does not have a single-affiliation arrangement, it will be worth the investment.

Regards,

Joe





Hi Mr. Lacob and Mr. Guber,

First off, great job with the organization thus far. Hopefully the lockout doesn't affect team operations too much.

I was wondering what role, if any, can the Warriors organization play in the revitalization of the area surrounding the Oakland Coliseum/Oracle Arena? Oakland is a vibrant community that's gradually shedding the seedy reputation it had – it’s very different from the Oakland of the 70s-90s. I know some members in the Oakland city government (e.g. Rebecca Kaplan) have started or are contemplating different revitalization plans for the area surrounding the Coliseum. Is this something the Warriors organization can get involved in?

Best regards,

Seaton Tsai

ANSWER:
Thanks, Seaton, for the e-mail.

The entire Warriors organization takes an active role in lending a helping hand in the community. (warriors.com photo)
As you probably know, we are extremely active in our community on several fronts and in many different locations around the Bay Area, including Oakland and the immediate surrounding communities. We often work on revitalization projects and, in fact, many of our employees recently participated in a special Habitat for Humanity project in Oakland. We have also put an emphasis on our “Makin’ Hoops” program, which enables us to completely refurbish outdoor basketball courts in the Bay Area and provide children a safe place to play the game of basketball. From what I’m told, we’ve unveiled more than 40 of these projects over the last decade and many of them have been in Oakland, including one that I attended a few months ago.

As an organization, I will tell you that we are certainly interested in continuing our participation in revitalization projects that may make our community a nicer and more attractive place. Obviously, some revitalization projects are bigger than others – including those that may have an economic impact from a business standpoint – and go well beyond the typical community outreach (such as the example you used above around Oracle Arena). With that said, we are open to discuss any well-intended and feasible ideas, although projects such as those, as you noted, are more city-official related and initiated at that level.

Thanks,

Joe





I just want to ask if you guys are going to make any moves when the lockout is over? I've been a fan since 2005, and I really hope to see the Warriors be a contender again. I especially want to see the fun and exciting Warriors again like how it was back in the 2006-07 season when we made the NBA Playoffs and beat the Mavericks in the opening round.

Thanks,

Kane Lu

ANSWER:
Thanks, Kane, for the e-mail. We’re eager as well to get this team back to the playoffs and create more excitement for the Bay Area.

As I have noted on several occasions since assuming ownership, we plan to be active and aggressive when it comes to improving our team. I can assure you that we will not sit by idly and wait for the phone to ring. However, it would not be wise to guarantee that we will make a “move” at a particular time – either the trade deadline, the offseason, prior to the start of the season, draft time, etc. – because that is simply unrealistic and there are too many factors involved. We do hope to make additions to our roster before the start of the 2011-12 season, but there are many questions that need to be answered before we get to that point.

As we’ve also noted before, we are not interested in making moves that will simply “shuffle the deck” or create an illusion of progress. We are interested in making good, solid basketball decisions that will help our team both now and in the future. That will always be our primary goal. We can’t promise activity at any certain time, but I can assure you of two things – we’ll be prepared to strike when a viable opportunity presents itself and we’ll be aggressive in trying to create those viable opportunities.

Thanks,

Joe





Here I am at the game last December making the Trail Blazers miss a free throw in the fourth quarter.
Mr. Guber / Mr. Lacob,

My name is Shie Benaderet, and I'm a die-hard Warriors fan. I was a season ticket holder years ago but now live in Seattle, so I have passed them over to my step-father. I still try to get to Portland for our road games and purchased an NBA TV package so I can follow along.

I just wanted to write you to express my gratitude for the work you have done so far, and to make a suggestion which I think would help make Warriors games even more exciting for fans. You see, fans around the NBA recycle the same chants from arena to arena. While I'm all for an enthusiastic "Defense-defense" or a "Let's go Warriors," I think the time has come for us to make up some team-specific chants like they do in soccer.

I think this idea first hit me when I went to Highbury Stadium in London years ago and watched Arsenal play Chelsea. It was crazy to hear the unity, passion and support of fans as expressed by song. The team even put the words to the chants on the scoreboard so everyone could join in. I know this is a radical idea, but I'm certain that it would go over well with die-hard Warriors fans like myself. If you do decide to give this a whirl, please let me know so I can plan to fly down from Seattle!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Shie Benaderet

ANSWER:
Thanks for the e-mail, Shie. We appreciate your support as a former season ticket holder (and the support in the Northwest!).

I’m intrigued by your idea and I am sure that Peter Guber, who is all about in-game entertainment and experiences, would find it interesting as well. I have always been amazed at some of the fan involvement at various sporting events around the world, especially in the game of soccer. As seen (and heard) on your video, those fans are extremely passionate and, in my estimation, take it to an entire new level. We’ve all witnessed the games on TV at home where we hear the crowd chanting in unison in the background and, quite honestly, I think it’s pretty cool. I guess the only place we really see that in the U.S. – on a much smaller scale - is in certain college atmospheres (think basketball at Duke or football at LSU). I’m not sure why it has not become more prevalent in the professional ranks in America. Interesting thought, however.

Regards,

Joe




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