When I tell people I was a big fan of the late George Steinbrenner, they can’t understand why. But the answer is really simple.
Steinbrenner owned the Yankees like a fan. He lived and died with every win and loss. And he wanted to win at all costs.
He wanted to make Yankees fans happy, even if it meant emptying his pockets in the process. That pissed off a lot of non-Yankees fans, but he was the perfect owner. Every fan should want an owner like George Steinbrenner.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob doesn’t have that in him. He’s not a fan’s owner. The honeymoon period — where fans cheered just because he rescued the Warriors from even worse ownership — ended when Lacob was drowned out by boos during Chris Mullin’s jersey retirement ceremony. Maybe sooner.
In just a few short months, you, the average insane Warriors fan, have come to know the real Joe Lacob. And you turned on him.
Judging by his actions, Lacob doesn’t care about you, even though you’ve supported an awful team for decades.
He traded away your favorite player, Monta Ellis, and didn’t care what you thought. Then he gloated about the trade, rubbing it in your face.
When you booed him, he seemed genuinely shocked. That’s the sign of an owner completely out of touch.
I didn’t have a problem with the Monta Ellis trade. The Warriors weren’t going to win a championship with him. But before the ink had dried on the deal, Lacob told Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami how he truly felt about the trade:
“…while I know this is hard for many of our fans, and perhaps not understandable to them, the fact is we just hit a home run.”
Hey Joe: Fans get attached to players. Warriors fans had attached themselves to Ellis. They loved him. The large sums of money shoveled into your bank account for No. 8 jerseys might help you remember.
Fans watched Ellis grow from a high school unknown into one of NBA’s most exciting, dynamic slashing guards. From a player that couldn’t hit a 20-foot jumper emerged an above-average 3-point shooter.
It’s one thing to trade him. It’s another thing to rub it in the face of your fans. The scene at Oracle during the Chris Mullin jersey retirement was 100 percent about how fans felt about Lacob’s trading of Ellis.
And now, without any care for the Warriors’ loyal fan base, Lacob is trying to move the franchise. I say “trying” because this thing is far from a done deal. Piers 30-32 might be just 15 miles away, but to some fans, he might as well be moving the Warriors to Nova Scotia.
Just to be clear, I love everything about the move except the execution. I love the location. I love that it’s close to BART. I love that it will be in a neighborhood with lots do before and after games. And I truly believe that moving the team to San Francisco will help attract free agents.
San Francisco is sexy. Oakland is not. Sorry Oaklanders.
But Lacob doesn’t have your interests in mind when he talks about moving. He’s thinking about how best to market the team. He wants to build up the stock of the Warriors so he can sell the team down the line. He’s a businessman, not a fan.
Lacob is drinking the same special coffee as A’s owner Lew Wolff. Both agree it just tastes better outside of Oakland.
The unfortunate part for Lacob is that his move will drag on for most of this decade. In the sports world, five years is a long, long time.
That’s five years worth of hateful, guttural boos. You’ll have at least 205 Oracle home games to let Lacob that you don’t care about him.