Rick Welts

Warriors' five most underrated moves in Joe Lacob-Peter Guber era

Warriors' five most underrated moves in Joe Lacob-Peter Guber era

It has been exactly 10 years since Joe Lacob and Peter Guber agreed to buy the Warriors for $450 million.

Over the last decade, the franchise has won three NBA titles, relocated to San Francisco and become a global brand valued at $4.3 billion.

Lacob and Guber have made countless decisions as Golden State's owners, so let's highlight five of their most underrated/overlooked moves (in chronological order) that might not immediately come to mind.

Hiring Bob Myers

Myers joined the franchise in April 2011 as assistant general manager. The Bay Area native -- who was an agent before choosing a new career path -- was promoted to general manager one year later.

Myers was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2015 and 2017. And as Draymond Green said at the Warriors' championship parade in 2017: "Can somebody give Bob some f--king credit?! ... Bob is definitely the best GM in the league and he just sit back; don't want no credit."

Hiring Jerry West

The NBA's logo became an Executive Board member with Golden State in May 2011. West arguably is the greatest executive in NBA history, and immediately gave the franchise some much-needed credibility.

He was a big believer in Klay Thompson, and spoke on the phone with Kevin Durant before KD signed with the Dubs in July 2016.

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Purchasing the Dakota Wizards

The Warriors became the fourth NBA team to own and operate a D-League (now G League) affiliate when they purchased the Dakota Wizards in June 2011.

The franchise relocated to Northern California prior to the start of the 2012-13 season and became the Santa Cruz Warriors. Golden State effectively has used Santa Cruz to develop young players, and don't forget about the assignments for Steph Curry and DeMarcus Cousins.

Hiring Rick Welts

Welts came on board in late September 2011 as the Warriors' president and chief operating officer. The man who created the concept of "NBA All-Star weekend" was integral in making Chase Center a reality, and was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018.

"Peter Guber and I have made it quite clear since we assumed control of this team in November that we're looking to build a world-class organization from top to bottom," Lacob said nearly nine years ago. "We feel that we've taken a quantum leap in that direction today with the addition of Rick Welts as our president and COO."

[RELATED: Dubs' Welts shares funny story of being mistaken for Lacob]

Trading Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis was beloved (and still is) by Dub Nation, and Warriors fans were very upset when the front office shipped him to the Milwaukee Bucks in March 2012.

But acquiring Andrew Bogut was an important step to building a championship roster, and the move opened the door for the Splash Brothers to come to life.

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Warriors' Rick Welts shares funny story of being mistaken for Joe Lacob

Warriors' Rick Welts shares funny story of being mistaken for Joe Lacob

Warriors team president Rick Welts went to Croatia for vacation in the summer of 2018.

Wearing a Warriors hat in a restaurant resulted in a waiter saying, "Curry, yeah!" Welts recently explained to Daniel Brown of The Athletic.

Soon thereafter, other employees began to believe they were in the presence of Warriors owner Joe Lacob.

“He just started screaming to his co-workers there, ‘Joe Lacob! Joe Lacob! Joe Jacob!' " Welts told Brown. “I was waving, ‘No, no, no!’ but I gave up.

"So, I impersonated Joe Lacob — and got really good service from this really tiny restaurant in Croatia.”

Now that is a savvy play from a seasoned veteran.

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Welts has helped turn the Warriors into a global brand, which is why the franchise elected not to change its name to the San Francisco Warriors when they relocated from Oakland to Chase Center.

"What's happened in the interim is the Warriors, with the success we've had on the floor, have now become the team that everyone knows around the world," Welts told Warriors radio voice Tim Roye in April 2017. "More Steph Curry jerseys are sold around the world than any other player in the NBA. More Warriors merchandise than any other team in the NBA.

"So now, I think we've done a 100 percent reversal, saying, 'You know, we have a lot of equity in this Golden State name and it really means something around the world.' "

And that includes Croatia.

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Warriors' Rick Welts only has one box score framed in his office

Warriors' Rick Welts only has one box score framed in his office

Rick Welts -- the Warriors' team president and chief operating officer -- has seen a lot of basketball over the years.

But there is one single performance that stands out above the rest.

During a radio appearance Wednesday morning on "Joe, Lo & Dibs" on 95.7 The Game, Welts was asked: "Quarantine game -- if you're stuck indoors for a full year, one TV, one game playing on a loop, 24/7, 365 -- what game is Rick Welts taking?"

The Hall of Famer provided a definitive answer:

"Let's see. Michael Jordan. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Actually not even a close call for me. I only have one box score framed in my office -- if I ever get to see my office again -- and that's Klay's 37-point quarter. Without a doubt -- the most amazing thing I've ever seen on a basketball court.

"I could never get tired of watching it. He was out of his mind. I'm not sure we'll ever see anything like that again. And the crowd was a big part of it because he reacted every time the crowd reacted. Our bench was insane.

"Everybody in the building knew they were seeing history being made."

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In the third quarter of the Warriors' win over the Kings on Jan. 23, 2015, Klay Thompson went 13-for-13 overall, 9-for-9 from deep and 2-for-2 from the free throw line.

Very good choice, Mr. Welts.

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