Joe Lacob on Warriors' pending free agents: 'Nobody’s going to outspend us'


Joe Lacob on Warriors' pending free agents: 'Nobody’s going to outspend us'

It's a potential reality that has become impossible for the Warriors and their fans to ignore, given recent developments: At least one of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson -- both scheduled to become free agents at season's end -- could be wearing a different jersey next season.

The Knicks have opened up massive salary-cap space and are rumored to be making a run at Durant. Lakers fans were chanting 'WE WANT THOMPSON' from the upper deck of Oracle Arena on Saturday night, although Klay said he didn't hear them.

The fact that both All-Stars would be attractive targets for other teams comes as no surprise, both because of their individual talent level and the general collective desire to bring an end to Golden State's hegemony. However, if either Durant or Thompson plays somewhere other than Golden State, it won't be because the Warriors were unwilling to pay enough to keep them.

In a conversation with The Athletic's Tim Kawakami, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said cost wouldn't be a prohibitive factor in keeping the team's current trajectory going.

"We can do whatever we want (financially),” Lacob said. “And you should expect that that’s not going to be a reason this team … doesn’t stay great going forward. We have the capital to pay our players what they deserve. And we will."

As Kawakami notes, that's a slightly different tone than Lacob has struck in the past, when he's at times indicated there might come a point when cost outgrows resources. The fact that the opening of Chase Center -- and the immense resulting cash flow -- are imminent likely is part of the reason why.

Even if the Warriors lose Durant or Thompson despite their best efforts, it won't change their approach to roster building.

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"I think we’ll continue to have a good team, if not a great team, and try to hopefully be a title-contending team for as long as we can," Lacob told Kawakami. "We’ll be aggressive. Nobody’s going to outspend us. Nobody’s going to outwork us."

While it's a fun exercise to postulate who the Warriors' backup plans might involve, perhaps even years down the road -- Kawakami offers up names such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns -- Lacob and the Warriors remain fully intent on keeping this current group together.

"All I can say right now is I think we love our roster with all our players, the coaching staff," Lacob said. "I think we’re in a really good spot. I can only say, we’ll evaluate at the end of the season and sort of see if anything’s changed from where we are today. Right now, it looks pretty good.

"This is probably our best roster ever."

Ex-Warrior Anthony Morrow reveals Steph Curry nickname from rookie season

Ex-Warrior Anthony Morrow reveals Steph Curry nickname from rookie season

Steph Curry and Anthony Morrow were teammates with the Warriors only for one season.

But they built a friendship during the 2009-10 campaign that carries on to this day. And as we all know, it's common for people who are good friends to create nicknames for each other.

So what did Morrow call Steph? Well, we just found out as the two-time NBA MVP was a guest on "The Life Podcast," which is co-hosted by Morrow and Justin Jack (Jarrett Jack's brother).

"I had a nickname for Steph when we were with the Warriors -- his nickname was 'Middle School Shawty,' " Morrow said. "He played carefree like he was in middle school, but it was effective.

"And he turned into one of the GOATs, man."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

We have learned a lot about Steph over the years, but this definitely is new information.

It's safe to assume the majority of the basketball world is familar with the "Baby-Faced Assassin" nickname given to the three-time NBA champion years ago. But "Middle School Shawty?" We haven't heard that one until now.

And you better believe yours truly is going to use it from time-to-time moving forward.

[RELATED: Steph calls on people to get uncomfortable to enact change]

One final tangent -- in 2009-10, Morrow shot 45.6 percent from deep on 4.4 attempts per game, while Steph shot 43.7 percent from beyond the arc on 4.8 attempts per game.

That's wild.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Steph Curry calls on people to speak up, get uncomfortable to enact change


Steph Curry calls on people to speak up, get uncomfortable to enact change

Steph Curry was one of the first athletes to speak out after George Floyd's death in police custody.

The Warriors star posted on Instagram trying to articulate how fed up he is with police violence against African-Americans and the institutional racism that's been prevalent in this country since its inception. The Warriors star spoke further about Floyd's death, the ensuing protests and where he thinks we as a society can go from here in an appearance on "The Life Podcast" with Anthony Morrow and Justin Jack.

"It's just crazy, how many examples do you need," Curry said of police violence and systemic racism toward African-Americans. "This one, I actually found out from [Stephen Jackson]. He's been posting like crazy trying to make sure his partner is memorialized the right way and they remember his name and he's taken that on his back. It's crazy to think in my Instagram feed, I don't post that much, but like, I couldn't even get through eight different posts from Ahmaud Arbery to George Floyd.

"And that, in and of itself, it's sad to your point. One, we know there's police brutality, we know there's systemic racism, all these issues that we're all trying to address. As the black community, the thing that we are doing is trying to use our voice, our platforms, everybody is activating in the streets and the communities trying to do the work and everyone is playing their part.

"But until people outside of our community speak up, use their platform, get uncomfortable and actually feel some type of emotional change to the issues then we are just going to be in the same situation. That, to me, is the thing I've been watching on social media, if we can actually get some solutions. To raise your voice and get mad and get angry and you hate doing it over and over again, but we got to figure out some solutions to this problem and they got to be accountable to it."

Floyd was an unarmed African-American who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis when officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for eight minutes. The video showed Floyd telling Chauvin and three other officers who were watching that he couldn't breathe and asking for Chauvin to stop. Floyd's death sparked protests across the country as citizens march against police brutality and systemic racism.

Floyd's death comes three months after the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed by armed white residents of a South Georgia neighborhood while he was out on a run. After months of outcry and the release of the video of the killing, the two men finally were arrested on May 22 and charged with murder. It took three months and a massive outcry from celebrities, like Curry, for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to step in and arrest Gregory and Travis McMichael.

Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. To Curry, the video of Chauvin killing Floyd was horrifying and Chauvin's reaction during the video and in the aftermath shows how deep the systemic racism is ingrained in the DNA of people and institutions.

"It's crazy that he's been just sitting at home chilling," Curry said of Chauvin. "I'll never get over the grace period that people get. Is it just me -- like you just said his rap sheet and how he's got complaints for all this -- like what I'm trying to say is, it's crazy how ingrained his perspective on life is and the abuse of power and all that stuff is happening and you see the camera literally 10 feet away from you and you don't have a facial reaction, you don't have any empathy, you don't have nothing. You just got your hands in your pockets.

"For me, I'd be acting different just knowing that I was on camera. He was so ingrained in his ways and that just speaks to how deep this conversation is that we've been fighting 400 years. That is just counter-intuitive to me knowing that I'm on camera and I know I'm wrong. But maybe you just don't know you're wrong."

There were protests all over the country this past weekend, from Minneapolis to Dallas and Oakland to New York City. While some protests turned violent, Curry acknowledged a number of police officers who didn't antagonize the protesters and instead chose to listen, speak up and walk with those seeking justice and change.

"Shoutout to all the police officers that I've seen speak up," Curry said. "Every single one of y'all, keep doing it. If you want change, it's the people right next to you that's going to do it. Shoutout to them because that takes some boldness to step out. I know they got that code and all this type of stuff. Appreciate them."

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Curry is one of countless star athletes who used their platform to speak out in the wake of Floyd's death. That list includes Warriors coach Steve Kerr, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Joe Burrow, Jaylen Brown, Carson Wentz, Trevor Lawrence and Odell Beckham Jr. Kerr, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman and former NFL defensive end Chris Long all have asked more prominent white quarterbacks and coaches to use their platform.

Chauvin, a 19-year police officer, had 18 previous complaints in his file. 

The other three officers who were present when Chauvin killed Floyd have not. One of the officers, Tou Thao, had six previous complaints in his file. The other two did not have any previous complaints.