After five straight trips to the NBA Finals, the Warriors missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons as they looked to recalibrate the roster for a dynastic rebirth.
While the Warriors were plotting out their return to title contention, several analysts, pundits, and writers wondered if Golden State was wasting the remaining years of Steph Curry's prime by not going all-in to bring another star to the Bay.
Owner Joe Lacob thought that talking point was nonsense.
"It drove me crazy," Lacob told 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast" on Wednesday. "It drove me crazy, actually. And I did comment on it to the extent I could even in the spring. We're not wasting anything. We have the highest payroll in the history of the NBA by a long shot. So we are all in. We're going as far as we can. People talk about -- what they are not realizing when they say, 'Oh, they have to go trade all of those draft picks for some player,' they're not looking at how things might actually fit, OK? They are also not looking at what I have to look at and what Bob [Myers] has to look at, which is the future. You will hate me. You may like me short term, but you will hate me long term if we go and do something that's dumb and two years from now we are off a cliff.
"So we can't go off a cliff. We have to sort of balance things. We have to figure out: How can we be as good as we can possibly be now and be good in the future? I coined that phrase "bridge to the future." I got some criticism for it. I read it. I hear it. But you just have to ignore it. Have to do what you think is right. ... I've got a lot of people who are experts around me. But we all kind of sit in a room and architect it and figure out what we think is the right thing to do. We thought this was the right strategy, and so far, it looks good. Now, I admit our schedule hasn't been the hardest. I'm not going to deny that. We've got to go prove this over a longer period of time. But you look at the style, the energy, the passion, there's just something about this team that feels pretty right."
As Lacob noted, the Warriors currently have the NBA's best record at 9-1 and still are waiting on the returns of James Wiseman and Klay Thompson.
It still is early in the season, but so far, the returns for the 2021-22 Warriors have been everything Lacob, Meyers, and coach Steve Kerr could have imagined.
The offseason moves to bring in veterans Andre Iguodala, Nemanja Bjelica, and Otto Porter Jr. have paid huge dividends, Jordan Poole has taken a leap, and Curry remains one of the best players in the NBA.
Wasted prime? Not on Lacob's watch.