OAKLAND – With a drink in his right hand and an NBA Finals cap on his head, Warriors owner Joe Lacob stood in the locker room and recalled the past. Of course, not all of it was pretty.
“No one can understand except for my fiancée all the things we went through the early years,” Lacob said Thursday after the Warriors beat the Rockets to win the Western Conference championship. “There was a lockout, if you remember. A sexual harassment thing to remember. We had to change over the roster. We had to wait to see if we would get the seventh pick.
“We had to change a lot of the employees in this organization.”
After all that, the Warriors are in the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years. Lacob through the years has said he would deliver a championship. The Warriors are now four wins away from achieving just that.
“I know there were a lot of promises early on, a little bravado,” Lacob said. “A lot of that was just goal-setting there for an organization to turn it around.
“Everyone has a goal, and that goal is not finished. We haven’t achieved it yet.”
One employee who was fired was Mark Jackson, who had taken the Warriors to their two previous playoff appearances. He was in the building as an ESPN broadcaster. Steve Kerr was the rookie coach who took the reins and won 67 games in the regular season.
“He’s been fantastic all year long,” Lacob said. “I mean, it doesn’t get any better. He’s done everything. He’s succeeded. He’ll probably never as much credit as he deserves because it’s really hard to do what he did coming in with all the expectations to go from good to great.
“Everything that Steve first said in the interviews, he did.”