Warriors Owner Sends Strong Message to ESPN Analyst [WATCH]

Joe Lacob Warriors

Getty Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob celebrates during his team's 2022 NBA championship victory parade.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith finally made his return to First Take on Monday after an extended absence and Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob is apparently all about it.

The four-letter network’s analyst extraordinaire had been off the air since July when he underwent shoulder surgery. And to celebrate him on the day of his big comeback, Lacob filmed a short sketch that ended up airing on the show.

In the clip (embedded below), Lacob was shown being prodded to get out of bed and being wholly unenthused about the idea, even as he was informed that First Take was starting. Upon hearing that Smith would be back in the studio, though, he changed his tune in a blink.

“He’s back? Stephen A. is back? He’s the only one who believed in us,” Lacob declared, springing out from under the covers with a Dubs shirt on and the Larry O’Brien Trophy beside him. “Welcome back, Stephen A.”

Stephen A Is Still Backing the Dubs

Lacob’s assertion that Smith was once the lone member of the hoops punditry residing on Warriors Island isn’t far from the truth.

In the early days of the 2021-22 campaign, Klay Thompson was still on the shelf, Andrew Wiggins had yet to become an All-Star and Jordan Poole wasn’t long removed from a G League stint. So, not many people were vouching for their title cred at that point in time. Smith was a believer from the beginning, though.

“If Klay Thompson comes back healthy… the Warriors might win it all,” Smith said on First Take, just two games into Golden State’s season. “I really mean it, I’m not playing with anybody.”

Ever the trendsetter, Smith has already hopped back onto the Warriors bandwagon for next season, too.

“I got the Warriors repeating,” he shouted to his fellow panelists during a June broadcast. “They are winning the NBA championship again next year. This time next year, Steph Curry will surpass LeBron James and he will have five chips. He will tie Kobe Bryant. He will surpass Shaquille O’Neal.

“The Golden State Warriors, they’re going to do it again.”

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Zalatoris Shouts Out Steph

On Sunday, golfer Will Zalatoris won the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in dramatic fashion, beating Sepp Straka in a playoff. After securing the showdown, he invoked Stephen Curry’s post-Finals MVP mantra — “What are they gonna say now?” — in celebration.

It was an apropos response to the moment; Zalatoris had missed crucial putts during near misses at multiple previous tournaments, just as Steph had failed to earn MVP honors in years past. This time, though, the San Francisco native finished the job, as Steph did against the Boston Celtics.

“I did say that,” Zalatoris later confirmed. “I’m a big Warriors fan and, obviously, Steph — he’s a Cal Club guy, he’s a pretty big inspiration, obviously. I follow the Warriors like crazy and when he said that, it kind of related to kind of my journey so far.”


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