Golden StateWarriors

Lacob: ‘I think we can contend for a playoff spot'


Warriors owner Joe Lacob is in Las Vegas this week, takingin some Summer League games. On Wednesday, Lacob joined NBA TVs telecast ofthe Warriors-Miami game and had plenty to say on a variety of topics On the Warriors goals heading into the season:We just want to continue to show improvement, get bigger,get stronger. Weve got a lot of young guys so it might take a while. But wehave a lot of talent. Weve had two good drafts in a row and building throughthe draft is usually the best way to do it. We had a key tradethe AndrewBogut trade. We think thats going to help us a tremendous amount. Its veryhard to find a center. Were looking forward. We think we have some good pieceshere to build on."On second-year shooting guard Klay Thompson:Honestly, Id watched him for three years as a Stanfordfan, sitting courtside at Pac-12 games. All our guys, Jerry West, our staff,felt he could be a special player and we feel thats even more so the case now."On Andrew Bogut: Hes ahead of schedule, looking great. We think hes goingto be healthy. His injuries were really freak injuriesthe elbow and theankle. Theres no reason in the world he cant recover. He does seem to be alittle injury-prone. Thats fair. Hopefully he stays healthy, Stephen Curryshealthy and were a much-improved basketball team.Monta Ellis is a great player, and we gave up a lot. ButBogut is one of the top three, top four, top five centers in the league. Youcant find them. You just cant find those players."On Festus Ezeli, whom the Warriors selected withthe No. 30 pick: We targeted him the whole draft, hoping hed be there at30, and I think we thought there was a pretty good shot. He didnt have thebest senior year (at Vanderbilt), but hes a four-year player, and hasntplayed a lot of basketball. Hes very talented, five percent body fat, 6-11,270.Hes the kind of player we need -- a very smart player. Fortunately,he was there. Perhaps more fortunatea player we thought would go in themid-20s, Draymond Green, was there at 35. It couldnt have gone much better. HarrisonBarnes could have gone (picked No. 7) in the top four, so it just couldnt havegone any better from our perspective."On the proposed arena in downtown San Francisco:Its a long process, but we are actively working ondeveloping that site, getting the approvals. It will take a couple of years todo that. Thats San Francisco. But its a tremendous site on the waterfront.Theres only one other arena on the waterfront and thats Miami. It is abeautiful site, it will be privately financed. It will be expensive. It will bea hard process to get through but we think we can do it. Were going to do it,and I think our fans are going to be richly rewarded with a tremendous arena."On being an NBA owner: Its pretty fun. This is the best. We have great fans. Iwas a fan for a long time for the Warriors, many, many years. We all havesuffered so much we all want to win so badly.I think the Western Conference is really tough. A couple ofteams might not be up to what they were in the past, but some have gottenbetter. Its going to be tough, but we improved a lot, too. I dont think ourrecord last year says much about the talent we have. I think between what wasinjured and what was added and another year of experience for our coachesI thinkwe can be pretty good and contend for a playoff spot.Wed be upset if we didnt. No predictions, but hopefullyeverything goes right and were going to be there. And our fans will be prettyhappy."On sitting courtside at games: I didnt pay 450 million to sit in the rafters."

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