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SBD/March 21, 2012/Franchises
Warriors Co-Owner Joe Lacob Discusses Fans' Booing During Monday Ceremony
Published March 21, 2012
WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME: ESPN.com's J.A. Adande said Warriors fans are "entitled to voice" their opinion, as “no group has had better support than them for as bad (a product) the Warriors have put out there." Adande: "However, that does not entitle them to ruin Chris Mullin’s night” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 3/20). NBA TV's Matt Winer said, "This is the absolute wrong venue to voice their opinion." NBA TV's Dennis Scott said, "You would think a little more respect would come out. ... It's unfortunate to see Chris Mullin on his day to get his number retired to hear all of those boos." NBA TV's Steve Smith: "Obviously, they didn't like what was going on, whether it was the trade, whether it was the ownership, and they feel they wanted to express it at that time. Not the right time." Smith added if GM Larry Riley "would have grabbed that microphone, he would have got the same" ("Inside The NBA," TNT, 3/19). CSNBayArea.com’s Ray Ratto said fans did not “forget what happened before” Lacob and co-Owner Peter Guber bought the team, because “you buy their history.” CSNBayArea.com's Matt Steinmetz said, “You cannot praise and want Warrior fans to be Warrior fans with all that passion and then not have that part of it (Monday) night. You get both.” Ratto noted the fans “have put up with awfulness almost unremitting for 35 years." Ratto: "They don’t have anywhere else to vent their anger.” Steinmetz: “The thing that was surprising was how long it lasted. That to me was the issue” (“Chronicle Live,” Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, 3/20).
SHOULD LACOB HAVE EVEN BEEN OUT THERE? In S.F., Bruce Jenkins writes it was "inexcusably rude for the Warriors' fans to ruin Chris Mullin's halftime ceremony with such relentless booing." It took "some guts for Lacob to stand out there in the first place." Some wondered why he would even "consider sharing the ceremonial spotlight, but Lacob earned the right." Mullin had "soured on the Warriors after leaving his general manager's post, to the point where he avoided Oracle Arena at all costs, and Lacob spearheaded the reach-out process that made Mullin feel welcome again." Jenkins: "Good for Mullin and Rick Barry, both of whom felt compelled to grab the microphone and chastise the mob" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 3/21). But L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said of the Warriors, "They had to know their owner was going to be booed. They had to know he was that unpopular … and shouldn’t have sent him out there.” Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said the team's marketing department "should have known to have the ceremony before the trading deadline,” and the team should not have “brought the owner out there” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 3/20). SportsNet N.Y.'s Jonas Schwartz said, "I don't know why the owner speaks at a night like that, but who knows?” WFAN-AM's Joe Benigno: “Can you imagine Jim Dolan making a speech in the middle of Madison Square Garden?” (“Daily News Live,” SportsNet N.Y., 3/20).
WORKING LATE: The AP noted Lacob "worked into the wee hours of Tuesday morning to return 'hundreds' of emails in the wake of a stunning display by typically well-behaved Bay Area fans." Lacob said that of the "hundreds of emails he received after the alarming boo-fest, 'every single one of them has been supportive.'" The video clip of the halftime ceremony had "generated nearly" 50,000 views on YouTube by midday yesterday (AP, 3/20).