Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury offers a blueprint for long-term success. Kawakami mentions a lot of the things that we already know or has been on the “to-do” list for the last three decades, such as defense (‘Play some defense. Any defense’) or learning to use trade exceptions and expiring contracts in meaningful ways.
But the one that stands out the most, which I should be repaired immediately is its reputation:
Goal: Play with energy, foster locker-room chemistry, make this a place the current players don’t want to leave and others might want to join.
Monta Ellis’ positive recent testimonials are meaningful mostly because he was a major symbol of teamwide sourness for the last two years, and everyone around the league noticed.
But it has to be more than Ellis sounding happy. It has to come from an entire organization that’s on the same page — from Lacob’s vision to general manager Larry Riley’s planning to coach Keith Smart’s strategy to Curry’s decisions to the 12th man’s practice habits.
As great of a place as the bay area might be, playing for a company that has a horrible work culture can kill your will to live (see Rony Seikaly, Tom Gugliotta, Donyell Marshall, and more). We have all either witnessed this ourselves firsthand at our own jobs or know of others that may dread punching in their time-clock day-to-day.
Of course, winning cures everything. But there are plenty of teams in the NBA who are just as bad without the type of baggage that the Warriors carry. And worse yet, the Warriors are practically non-existent in the NBA fan’s imaginary. Fixing the perception that playing for the Warriors is a form of punishment or exile is one way to rebuilding and possibly attracting free agents. Let see what Lacob has in store for the Warriors as the season continues.