HoopsHype Peter Guber rumors

January 25, 2012 Updates

As he watches Orlando superstar Dwight Howard ultimately lead the Magic to a comeback win by torching the Warriors for 45 points and 23 rebounds—tying an NBA record of 39 free throw attempts in the process—Lacob could only dream of luring the dominant big man to the Bay Area. Tampering rules prohibit him from commenting on the NBA rumor mill that includes Golden State as a possible landing spot for Howard, who’s contemplating his exit strategy to a bigger market. Whether the future franchise player is Howard or someone else, Guber and Lacob figure their job is to make the team a true destination. “This market should be elite, a place that players want to come to,” Guber says. Now, that would be something to see. Forbes.com

December 9, 2011 Updates

The Warriors met Wednesday with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Giants CEO Larry Baer to discuss the feasibility of erecting a new, state-of-the-art arena near AT&T Park that would open before the 2017-18 season. Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber have talked about the need to replace Oracle Arena in Oakland since buying the basketball team in July 2010, but this is the first time they have publicly stated their intent to explore options in San Francisco. They have also had discussions with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan about building an arena at their current East Bay site. San Francisco Chronicle

"The potential for building an arena near AT&T Park is very exciting," Lacob said. "The Giants have done some remarkable things over there. It's a great ballpark that revitalized an entire part of the city. "It took a year to get our feet wet, examine the organization and make a lot of changes. Step 2 is starting the process of getting a new arena somewhere in the Bay Area. We're a Bay Area team. We consider the whole Bay Area our market, whether we're located in San Francisco or Oakland." San Francisco Chronicle

October 24, 2011 Updates

We also learn that Billy Hunter and David Stern both belonged to the same fraternity -- Hunter at Syracuse, and Stern at Rutgers. New Warriors co-owner Peter Guber was in the same fraternity with Hunter at Syracuse. ESPN.com

Your job is not to instill in the Golden State Warriors an ethic of tolerance, but do you hope to have an impact -- do you feel obliged to have an impact -- on, say, Dorell Wright, Steph Curry, Monta Ellis and Mark Jackson, who is an observant evangelical Christian? Is "making a contribution," as you say, a hands-on experience whereby you speak to the team for 15 minutes one afternoon after practice and tell your story? Rick Welts: The answer is, "I don't know." I had a great conversation with Mark on the phone. Everyone in the organization has been incredible. I'll tell you one of the most gratifying experiences I've had since May -- and you'll understand this -- is the interview I had with the Warriors. I was with Peter Guber and Joe Lacob for six hours. I realized I didn't have to guess what they knew or might have known or how they'd feel about it, whether they'd have a problem with that, because I was out. ESPN.com

October 17, 2011 Updates

As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, Shaquille O’Neal is teaming up with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to launch its “Amplify Your Voice!” campaign, and Warriors President Rick Welts will be honored Oct. 21 by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) during their seventh annual Respect Awards gala in Los Angeles. The Warriors named Welts president and chief operating officer in September to oversee business-related operations and report directly to owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. He had a nine-year stint with the Phoenix Suns as president and was chief executive officer the past two seasons. San Francisco Chronicle

You've now joined the rival Golden State Warriors as an advisor with a three-year deal with owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob. Can you merely be an advisor? Jerry West: "I knew you'd ask this. They want my opinion. I won't be the final decision, even though I may want mine to be. This puzzle needs pieces. How can we do that without disrupting the entire board? We'll compete against one of the best franchises [the Lakers] and it'll be something when we beat them and you're no longer surprised. I feel in a vibrant city we can do something positive. You can't do it by being passive. We have to be aggressive. One playoff appearance in 17 years is not acceptable." Los Angeles Times

Has writing the book been a cathartic experience? Jerry West: "Yes and no. The process of doing this was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I wanted to stop writing it several times, especially the part in regard to my father, who was not here to respond. People might've had an idea that I'd had tough times. They didn't know the depths — that the same things that brought me such joy also caused such pain. You always want to strive to be the best, but I did so at great expense." Los Angeles Times

August 18, 2011 Updates

A dazzling orator and storyteller, Guber managed to talk about the Warriors for nearly an hour without ever mentioning the NBA, basketball, the Warriors or any of their players. All the while, the topic was abundantly obvious. "Every touch point from the time a fan decides to buy a ticket to the time they leave the arena is important. If it's difficult to get out of the parking lot, we've just ruined the dessert of their dinner," Guber said. "Music really counts. It sets the emotional tone of the audience. It's like an IV to your heart. "Introductions will be different. We can't just turn off the lights, have a disco ball spinning and an announcer you can't hear. That's not show biz. That's not good enough." San Francisco Chronicle

The Warriors' new ownership team has little control of the arena, which it leases. The parking attendants are controlled by the city and could be getting a different company message from the Raiders or A's, who share their services. That hasn't stopped Guber's marketing vision from developing Technicolor dreams. He wants to add more health-food options, find better ways to entertain the 1,500 or so fans who show up 1 1/2 hours before tip-off, and polish every crevice of Oracle Arena. "We need constant and never-ending improvement," Guber said. "I mean, we've got no (spot)light at center court. That's simple drama. ... Our music sometimes sounds like it was chosen by a passing truck. "No detail is small, but we can't fix every detail all at once. I ain't the master of the universe, but I'll take my shot." San Francisco Chronicle

Guber is trying to figure out a way to make that product available to all - a tough sell when the Warriors' proposed schedule includes no Sunday home games and all home tip-offs at 7:30 p.m. "I'd like to draw heavily on a diverse family experience," Guber said. "If you make all of the games during the week at 7:30 p.m., when does a 9-year-old come to the game? How does a family bring its 9- and 11-year-old to the game? How do you develop legacy fans? "The Warriors have a great legacy, but we've got to honor that and find ways to continue it." San Francisco Chronicle

July 3, 2011 Updates

You chose to join the Warriors as an adviser, and you know you could've done any number of things with your life. There must have been something about Joe Lacob and Peter Guber and their pitch to you that said, "I'm going to do this. I'm going to spend my time with the Warriors." Jerry West: One of the most important things in life is to be around people that have great energy and great enthusiasm. I don't want to be around anyone at this point in my life that's an energy drainer, because they're not a lot of fun to be around, and pretty soon you're at ... their level. But these are two incredibly enthusiastic men. They are unbelievably bright. They want to do something very, very positive up there. San Francisco Chronicle

June 20, 2011 Updates

Today's NBA is filled with owners who paid through the nose for their teams, and have years of red ink in front of them before they ever see a return on their investment. The list includes Joe Lacob and Peter Guber (Golden State, purchased in 2010 for $450 million), Robert Sarver (Phoenix, 2005, $400 million), Dan Gilbert (Cleveland, 2005, $375 million), Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagluica (Boston, 2002, $360 million), Ted Leonsis (Washington, 2010, $300 million -- an estimated price that does not include another $250 million in debt on Verizon Center and the Wizards that Leonsis also has to assume) and Mikhail Prokhorov (New Jersey, 2009, $200 million for 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn in which the Nets will play beginning in 2013). NBA.com

May 24, 2011 Updates

For the most part, Lacob and Guber have been solid, although not without some stumbles along the way. To get some sense of the good work they're doing to foster better relationships with their fanbase, check out this contract they've sent out to all their season-ticket holders (via TrueHoop and TBJ). Or, if you hate links to photos, read the stipulations below. 1. THE CLUB will reach the 2012 NBA Playoffs. 2. THE CLUB will have a player participate in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. 3. THE CLUB will win 25 or more home games at Oracle Arena. 4. THE CLUB will honor a Risk-Free Renewal, with a 5% Interest Guarantee Option for the 2011-12 NBA season. Yahoo! Sports

February 20, 2011 Updates

After five years as a Celtics minority owner, Lacob and business partner Peter Guber purchased the Warriors for a whopping $450 million last summer, a hefty price for a franchise that is overshadowed in the Western Conference, so much so that the average NBA fan might be unaware they play in Oakland and that the team has a loyal and passionate fan base that hasn’t seen prolonged success since the 1970s. Although he was a minority Celtics owner, Lacob remained a Bay area resident, and when unpopular and oft-criticized owner Chris Cohan decided to sell the team, Lacob and Guber outbid several competitors to secure the franchise. The duo has mostly decided to keep the franchise intact for an evaluation period, the lone move being to remove Don Nelson as coach and replace him with assistant Keith Smart. Boston Globe

Success has been fleeting for the Warriors until recently. Golden State’s 26-29 record is four games short of a playoff spot, but the Warriors are a growing and respectable franchise with a talented younger core. As the Warriors prepare for their Tuesday matchup with the Celtics in Oakland, Lacob reflected on his time with Boston and how it will shape his approach with the Warriors. “The experience has been fantastic,’’ he said. “I feel like I was made to do this. We have great fans, a great market here, a very exciting young team with some great core pieces, and my job is to try to build on that. Making the playoffs once in the last 16 years is, of course, totally unacceptable. I think we’re making some progress.’’ Boston Globe

The Warriors are in desperate need of a strong identity, and Lacob and Guber feel they are the duo to provide that. Lacob’s competitive spirit has been simmering in preparation for these two matchups with the Celtics over the next month. In his eyes, it’s big brother against little brother, and he relishes the underdog role — for now. “Let’s be clear, I bought the Golden State Warriors and paid $450 million for them so I got 450 million reasons to root for the Warriors,’’ he said. “I do tremendously respect the Celtics organization. I think they are a model franchise. I hope they win it all this year. “But having said that, you can bet your bottom dollar we are going to try to kick their [expletive] when they come out here next Tuesday.’’ Boston Globe

November 19, 2010 Updates

The new owners at some point will begin searching out a new arena, and this world-class city will be at the forefront of the conversation. There is the important disclaimer: Lacob and Guber said they will consider several options, including remaining in the current site twinned with the home of the Raiders and A's next door. That would mean another renovation that could force temporary relocation for the Warriors, just as they spent 1996-97 in San Jose when the building known at the time as Oakland Coliseum was gutted and updated, but Guber said it "sure" is on the table. "We view this as we are the team of the San Francisco Bay Area," said Lacob, previously a Celtics minority owner. "That's what it's called. There are three major cities in this area: Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco. Put 'em in any order you want. We are very fortunate to have those three cities as our market. Right now, we play in Oakland and we have a very nice arena. We have tremendous fans, who, by the way, actually are from all over the Bay Area. We have great fans, we have a great arena, we have great access to that arena. We are very happy where we are. We're delighted with it. At some point in the future, we may get presented with options, for San Francisco, as you suggest, or somewhere else, for a new arena. And we would look at that. NBA.com

"Everyone always wants a newer arena. We'd be silly not to say that we didn't want the best accommodations for our fans and for our team. So I think having a new arena that's done properly is an advantage and if we're lucky enough to be part of that process at some point, whether it be in San Francisco or Oakland or wherever, then that'd be great. There are advantages to both, certainly. San Francisco is a major metropolitan area, it's got a lot of name identification. But Oakland, frankly, has a tremendous fan base and it's a great city in its own right. And there are great fans over there. It's not something that we sit around and say, 'Oh, we're dreaming to go to this city,' or whatever. We are happy -- very, very happy to be where we are -- very happy to have three great cities of the greater San Francisco Bay Area as our market." NBA.com

In the end, Lacob and Guber headed the group that delivered the winning bid of $450 million, a record for an NBA franchise, while Ellison put out a statement claiming that he, in fact, made a higher offer. The company that handled the sale for Chris Cohan indicated the Ellison offer came late. Lacob, the managing partner with a venture-capital firm, and Guber, the chairman of Mandalay Entertainment Group, claimed the long-shot victory that became official last week and led them to a round of interviews in the hotel suite with sweeping views. “We didn’t beat Larry Ellison,” Guber said. “That’s too much of a headline. We didn’t beat Larry Ellison. That’s why they play the game, so to speak. You go in there and do the things you need to do to win, you follow the strategy, you execute a business deal, a transaction at the highest possible level, paying attention to the right details. And then, [stuff] happens. You get fortunate. We’ve been close on a couple of transactions that felt extraordinarily close, right at the wire, both together and individually. This one connected.” NBA.com

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