OAKLAND, Calif. -- The NBA's board of governors unanimously approved the sale of the Golden State Warriors Friday to a group led by Joe Lacob and movie producer Peter Guber.
The long-expected announcement allowed the Warriors' new owners to assume formal control of the franchise from Chris Cohan, who presided over 15 mostly miserable seasons for the Bay Area's only pro basketball team.
The GSW Sports LLC ownership group includes six board members and multiple investors who paid a record $450 million for the Warriors, reaching an agreement with Cohan in July after outmaneuvering billionaire Larry Ellison during a spirited bidding
"The unmatched passion of this Bay Area fan base played a huge role in my pursuit of this dream come true, and I'm looking forward to a tremendous ride on our journey to the return to greatness,"
said Lacob, a venture capitalist and a former Warriors season
ticket holder from Menlo Park. "We will work extremely hard to
represent you as the championship organization that you deserve,
and the team that you will be proud to be a part of."
Fans in the basketball-crazy Bay Area already are optimistic
that there will be a change in
fortunes for the long-suffering franchise, which has made the
playoffs just once in the past 16 seasons even while its attendance
and local popularity has remained incredibly strong.
Even before his ownership was finalized, Lacob affected the
Warriors by engineering the dismissal of coach Don Nelson shortly
before training camp, apparently agreeing to pay Nelson's full $6
million salary of the final year in his contract with the Warriors.
General manager Larry Riley promoted longtime assistant Keith
Smart, who has emphasized defensive responsibility -- something
Nelson never inspired in his teams -- to a roster led by
high-scoring guards Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry with new power
forward David Lee.
So far, it's working wonders: The Warriors are 6-3 after their
loss in Chicago Thursday night, their best start since opening 7-2 in 1994-95 -- right before Cohan took over in