Warriors owner Joe Lacob reflects on time with the Celtics, shares his competitive edge ahead of the NBA Finals


Lacob was co-owner of the Celtics from 2006 to 2010.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob desperately wants to beat the friends he used to work with. Photo by Associated Press/Jeff Chiu

Joe Lacob has seen his Warriors reach the NBA Finals six times since becoming its owner in 2010. However, the 2022 NBA Finals will have a different meaning for him.

The Warriors’ majority owner will see his team compete against the Celtics, a team in which he had a minority stake for four years before he bought the Warriors. A native of New Bedford, Lacob became a part-owner of Celtics in January 2006 when he became a co-investor with H. Irving Grousbeck, working with Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca while in Boston.

Lacobe’s time with the Celtics saw the legendary franchise return to prominence, winning the NBA title in 2008. Speaking to reporters Monday ahead of the NBA Finals game between the team he now owns against his former team, Lacobe shared what he learned from his time. in Boston that helped shape the success of the Golden State.

“It was very important,” Lacob said. “I think to run any business in life – in fact, I don’t think it even needs to be a business – you just need some experience, right? You should be able to do some pattern matching. You need to figure out what works. And what doesn’t work.When I’ve been building companies, you kind of know who’s the right COO for a particular type of company, and what kind of people you hire…

“In this case, it’s the same thing. Boston has been an experience for me, as a limited partner, to get to know how an NBA team works, up front, in person, and in real life. I got to know people like Danny Aing and Doc Rivers was the coach. By the way I have a ring from a year 2008 somewhere in the tournament Five years I think it’s been a great experience with the basketball team and the business I learned some things that I liked the way they did them and things that might have been different We built our own arena They rented a yard These are key decisions you have to make You decide it. But I felt it was important for the long-term stability of this franchise to be able to have our own arena, control it, and have the revenue to support the team.”

Lacob left the Celtics ownership group when he bought the Warriors for $450 million in July 2010, with the sale approved by the NBA in November of that year. After two rocky slate seasons, the Lacobs Warriors made the playoffs in 2013 as Steve Curry rose to stardom.

Lacobe and the Warriors front office made the bold decision to fire coach Mark Jackson after the 2014 playoffs even after the team saw steady improvement in its three seasons. The Warriors ditched Jackson for Steve Kerr and immediately reaped the rewards, with Curry becoming MVP while the Warriors won the title in 2015. That began one of the most dominant five-year streaks in NBA history, with Golden State reaching the five Finals. seasons and winning the title three times.

Lacob also spearheaded the decision to move from the home of the longtime Warriors, Oracle Arena, in Oakland to build Chase Center in San Francisco in 2019. The Warriors’ success on the field and new home is their biggest reason for being. It is now worth $6.03 billion, making it the second most valuable team in the NBA, According to Sportico.

Despite the success, the three titles of The Warriors are not enough.

“Boston was very important and these guys were very helpful. They are friends to this day — but not very close friends,” Lacob said. “I want to kill them now, I’ll be honest. I’m very competitive about this and I’m sure they are too. It’s going to be a battle on the field and a bit of a battle on the property level as well. We want to kill each other and we want to win, both teams. And they should.”

The Lacobs Warriors welcome the Celtics Thursday for their first two games in San Francisco before the series moves to Boston for Games 3 and 4 next week.