Joe Lacob’s Christmas is well under way, which is why he has decided to holiday in The Hamptons with his new best pal, Kevin Durant.
Durant and the highest-placed Warriors are scheduled to meet on the ritziest part of Long Island Friday, and while few people think this will result in Durant abandoning the joys of home and hearth in Oklahoma City for the glitz and glamour of Oakland, this is still Lacob, and Peter Guber for that matter, in their element.
But a new and even more illusory shoe has dropped, and that is the yearly opt-out of LeBron James, which as we know is designed to remind Dan Gilbert the difference between owning a franchise and running it.
Which brings me to the obvious conclusion – why don’t the Warriors start chatting up LeBron, even if it is just for snicks and giggles?
Now before you either start hyperventilating at the possibility or turning purple as you scream that it can’t possibly happen, note that we expect nothing but James to return to Cleveland to enjoy every bit of the honeymoon he has given Ohio. This is just for Lacob’s amusement.
And why do we care about Lacob’s amusement? Because we care about our own, and there is nothing more amusing than watching a successful franchise try to lick the third rail without actually getting electrocuted.
Or maybe stretching its tongue a quarter-inch closer than that.
Lacob loves to shop in ways that methed-up suburbans with a fresh credit card, a new mall and time on their hands can only imagine. He wanted Dwight Howard desperately. He had to be guided off a window ledge to keep from trading for Kevin Love. Now he is traveling as part of a party to the heart of New York Knicks country to talk Durant into going against his own best financial interests to come west as Stephen Curry’s on-court adjutant.
So why wouldn’t he just go completely bat-guano crazy and run at LeBron too? And who among us doesn’t believe in the pure entertainment value of multi-millionaires going bat-guano crazy in general? How else do you think we got the political structure we have today?
For one, it would get Lacob a level of attention that would make Mark Cuban strip his remaining arteries, and to be truthful, Lacob enjoys him some pub.
For two, it would make Dan Gilbert pull off his own head in exasperation, and we haven’t had a good example of owner-on-owner crime since the NFL used Mark Davis and Dean Spanos as piñatas for Stan Kroenke’s amusement.
For three, it would make general manager Bob Myers and consigliere Jerry West hurdle bendy buses at a single bound to reorder the entire structure of the team. Myers has the legs for it, but West a little past his bus-jumping prime and Steve Kerr is still playing ducks and drakes with his spinal fluid.
And for four, it would get Lacob more of those happy speaking engagements in which he gets to say things like “Red Auerbach would rise from the dead to work for us, and I can prove it,” “The Warriors are actually the documentary version of The Matrix,” and “I wonder how Vivek Ranadive is doing with that logo redesign that incorporates those praying-hands emojis.”
It is, in short perfect . . . as in perfectly chaotic, absurd, system-defying and just plain loopy. It is, in short, just what we as discerning consumers demand.
This has already been a weird enough year, even after you remove the Warriors’ 73-plus-15 win season. There is Leicester City. There is Iceland. There is the redemption of Northeast Ohio and the resuscitation of O.J. Simpson as a national curiosity. There are the deaths of Muhammad Ali, Gordie Howe and Pat Summitt in one month, and we’re not even out of June yet.
Plus, we have a Presidential election scripted by Quentin Tarantino, England is shopping for a new continent to join (Atlantis looks like the early clubhouse leader), and Game Of Thrones is on hiatus again, which means that you have to go elsewhere for your weekly dose of medieval gore.
In short, we need something bold, something new, something swindled and something fool, and Lacob going after LeBron James, as absurd as it surely would be, is just the thing. It would upset the order of life as we understand it one more time, it would redefine excess as success in a bold new way, and if Lacob actually dared to score both James and Durant, it would mean the return of the Harlem Globetrotters with the rest of the league serving as the 21st Century’s Washington Generals.
In other words, it would completely ruin the structure of everything, at a time when so many people in so many places have decided to vote the straight ruination ticket.
So go for it, Joe, you gloriously hyperactive festival of fun. Swing for the fences. Fly into the sun. Ride the nuclear bomb like Slim Pickens in Doctor Strangelove. Make your Christmas the best Christmas ever. We’ll just sit back and do what we do best – watch the blood splash against the surface of the moon and smile.