Joseph Lacob Rumors
Joseph Lacob, an ex-member of the Celtics board of directors and new owner of Golden State, hasn’t been shy about moving around the furniture with his new team. He recently began an interview by praising coach Keith Smart, but couldn’t help revealing his true feelings. “The guy has worked very hard to get this opportunity, and the truth is, he’s doing a lot of really good things,” Lacob said. “You cannot deny that the locker room is a better place and that the atmosphere and attitude around this team are not better. There are a lot of players who are a lot happier than they were before. There are some good things happening.” Operative word: some. “The record, unfortunately, is not one of them,” Lacob said. “The questions are: How much of that is Keith? How much of that is injuries? How much of that is the owners not making the right decisions? We need a little bit of time to work these things out. He’s going to be evaluated, the players are going to be evaluated and I’m going to be evaluated at a future date.”
The sale of the Golden State Warriors franchise has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors, according to a source with knowledge of the proceedings. The official announcement is expected Friday. Joseph Lacob, a Menlo Park venture capitalist, and Peter Guber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment take over as principle owners of the Warriors. Back on July 15, the team announced that owner Chris Cohan had agreed to sell the franchise to the pair for $450 million.
The takeover of Lacob and Guber, along with the minority owners they have since lined up, comes more than a month after they initially hoped it would. Lacob, who will operate as CEO, had said he was hoping to be approved by the start of training camp. That target date passed, then the group shot for the start of the season. That goal date wasn’t met either.
When mega-billionaire Larry Ellison somehow lost the Golden State Warriors to a partnership led by a venture capitalist named Joseph A. Lacob, the common reaction was, “Who?” Lacob — rhymes with Jacob — is not nearly as well known as several of his partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where Lacob leads the Life Sciences group along with Brook Byers. But Lacob’s upset over Ellison, Oracle’s founder and CEO, has suddenly transformed him into a kingpin of Bay Area sports. “I think this is his arrival moment,” said Jamis MacNiven, the owner of Buck’s, the Woodside eatery popular with tech wheeler-dealers. Lacob, 54, is “at the top of his game.” Some of the chatter at Buck’s, MacNiven said, includes vicarious “gloating” that Ellison was beaten at his own game. But now Lacob has the task of winning over long-suffering Warrior fans who were openly rooting for Ellison and his deep pockets to turn the troubled franchise into a winner. So what kind of owner will Lacob be?
If Lacob was an underdog, associates say, he was a formidable one — a low-profile but prosperous investor who has helped build many startups into successes, among them Sportsline, which was acquired by CBS, and Align Technology, known for its “Invisalign” orthodonture product. “This is not an investment for Joe. It’s a dream,” said Wyc Grousbeck, managing director of the Boston Celtics, where Lacob has a minority stake. Grousbeck is a former venture capitalist who recruited him into the group that acquired the Celtics in 2002. The group was dubbed “Banner 17,” signalling its goal to lead the storied but then downtrodden franchise to its 17th championship, a goal achieved in 2008. “He’s a smart, competitive, successful basketball junkie,” Grousbeck said.