Here’s a transcript from Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob talking about the hiring of new coach Steve Kerr.
When you met in him OKC, what was a key moment?
“It was a three hour-plus meeting. When you’ve hired a lot of people in your life, you sit there and you’re in a process meeting other people. And all of a sudden you sit there with a guy, you know it when you see it, you know it when you hear it. This guy is it.”
Did you leave that meeting thinking Kerr would take the job and when did he inform you he would take it?
“We sat down after that meeting as a group over the next five minutes. We all looked at each other and said, ‘This guy’s fantastic.’ He’s just exactly what we’re looking for. If we can take him away from the Knicks, we’re going to try to do it.
“We called him and it all happened in 24 hours.”
Does his experience as GM bridge the gap between the coach and the front office?
“I don’t think people understand how important his experience as a GM is. The fact that he was a GM for three years — he’s seen all of it. As he’s been a player. Yeah, he hasn’t coached. But he’s done everything else around it and he’s just very well-prepared for this.”
Kerr famously got into a fight with Michael Jordan. Did that story shape how you view him?
“I’ve known him socially for a long time so I didn’t have to get to know him. The other guys did. They didn’t know him that way. I knew he was the kind of person that we wanted and that had kind of character and that kind of strength of character. So none of that was a question for me. I already knew all that. The real question for me was how prepared was he today to go be the head coach of the Golden State Warriors? What plans did he have. When he came into our meeting, he knocked the socks off everybody. He was incredibly prepared. He gave us a Power Point that was in incredible detail. And I know it sound funny to talk about a Power Point, but it covered everything. And he went through it piece by piece. We pummeled him with questions and he just nailed it.”
Can you, as two competitive people, butt heads and have that be a positive?
“You want competitive people in every position in a successful organization. Whether it be the finance manager or whether it be the coach or whether it be the GM or anything. You want competitive people. People who want to win. Who want to succeed. Who have goals.
“Everyone talks about expectations, but it’s really about goals. You want people to have goals. That want to achieve something, want to achieve something great. And Steve Kerr has had goals all his life and he’s met those goals and exceeded those goals. And maybe he didn’t have all the physical advantages that other people had and was able to do that. That ought to tell you something about him.”
What are your goal for this team for next season?
“I just want us to be the best we can be. We know we have a good team and we’re going to try to make it better in the offseason. Hopefully we will be competitive and go as far as we can next year. I think Steve said it so well. This is not just about next year. It’s about the next 5-10 years. Our goal ultimately is to win a championship. Let’s not forget that. I don’t that Bob or Steve is unaware of that. They all know that. We want that. I want and we’re not going to stop until we get it. And we will get it.”
Did you know where things stood between Steve and the Knicks after meeting with him?
“We didn’t know for sure. Only what we’re told. There’s agents involved and agents say whatever they’re going to say. All we knew is what we could control, which is we wanted him. We wanted to go after him. We wanted to be very competitive. We knew there was a very capable competitor out there with a guy that Steve respected in Phil Jackson so it was not going to be easy to get him. We just made our best pitch.
“We talked to Steve after the meeting and he said he would be interested and turned it over to his agents. And then we basically saw whether we could be competitive and make a deal happen. Honestly, once we made a decision to do something, we’re going to do our best to get it done.”
Confidence in the relationship between owner, GM and coach?
“I’m ecstatic. We have two guys in Bob Myers and Steve Kerr that I could not pick a better pair. If I had my choice of anybody, that’s it. These guys are going to work together tremendously and the three of us are going to work together really well I think.”