Peter Guber Rumors
Executive board member Jerry West’s most recent contract with the Warriors is scheduled to expire this July, and as of yet there have been no serious discussions with owner Joe Lacob about an extension, both men told me recently. This doesn’t mean there won’t be any discussions–Lacob specifically said he planned to have a conversation with West soon–and West indicated that he knew that Lacob and co-owner Peter Guber had been very busy getting the San Francisco arena to the ground-breaking stage.
Multiple sources indicated to me that West might be intrigued by an offer from the Lakers, but he also feels very connected to the Warriors’ quest for championships. West, one of the greatest executives of all-time from his Lakers and Memphis days, has been a vital part of the Warriors’ turn-around since joining the franchise in May 2011 as an executive board member and key front-office voice.
These were the San Francisco Warriors until 1972, when Oakland became their home on the other side of The Bay. Now, more than seven years after venture capitalist Joe Lacob and entertainment magnate Peter Guber headed a new ownership group that bought the team and made it clear from the start that they were San Francisco-bound, everything old is new again. And, as they see it, well-earned. “A lot of (the reaction) is relief, to get to this point, because this has been a hard, hard thing to do,” Lacob told USA TODAY Sports. “(It was) the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve been involved – over 30 years – in a lot of companies, and some went down, some succeeded, but this is a tough thing. I have great respect for any owner who gets a new stadium or arena done. It’s hard.”
While there are plenty of critics of the move, including a passionate contingent from the region’s East Bay that alleges the organization never truly embraced the city of Oakland, it certainly helps the optics that the Warriors are footing the $1 billion bill for the privately-financed venue. The combination of the arena becoming a reality and the Warriors’ recent success on the court is the kind of thing that seemed unlikely just a few years ago, when so many folks looked sideways at Lacob and Guber when they would talk about building a global brand. “I think the way it was put (during the ceremony) was ‘The Madison Square Garden of the West,’” Lacob said. “Madison Square Garden is a pretty unbelievable place, and to be the Madison Square Garden of the West … I think is a pretty big – if you can achieve that, that’s pretty good.”
The news of Kaplan’s increased investment and responsibility comes on the heels of the Philadelphia 76ers acquiring Dignitas and Apex and Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber purchasing a controlling interest in Team Liquid on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.