Coming into the NBA season the Golden State Warriors had heavy expectations to live up to. Having been the western conference representative in the NBA Finals since the 2014 – 2015 NBA season, and replaced by the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2019 – 2020 NBA season, many believed they would be able to battle the Lakers in the playoffs to see which team will be the most dominant in the future.
Then, the unexpected happened. Star shooting guard and 5x All-Star Klay Thompson tore his right Achilles. This news became a huge blow to the franchise as they were going to enter the upcoming season with their stars fully for the first time since 2019. Moving quickly, the team began to make moves to replace Thompson’s production and one of those was a trade for former Phoenix Suns swingman and then Oklahoma City Thunder player Kelly Oubre Jr.
Oubre Jr. has always been a sparkplug. Known to bring a fiery passion and energy to the floor he had a breakout season, and his best as an NBA player, last year averaging 18.7 points, 6.4 assists, and shooting 35.2% from beyond the three-point line per game. That same passion he displays on the court is something he carries off the court as well and it was on full display as Oubre Jr. spoke on what it’s going to be like playing for an owner who “actually cares about the organization.”
“You just hit the nail on the head,” Oubre said on 95.7 The Game’s show titled Damon, Ratto and Kolsky. “I can play for an owner — somebody who actually cares about the organization and not just the perception of the organization on the media end of it. It’s all about the foundation for me, man. You have a beautiful foundation, can build a beautiful [future].”
The Meaning Behind Oubre Jr.’s comments
This can and will be, viewed as a shot at the Phoenix Sun’s current owner Robert Sarver. The Suns haven’t made the playoffs since the 2009 – 2010 NBA season when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals in six games. They have also been on the receiving end of many jokes as a lesser team in the league given their drought of success. This seems to be one of the reasons for Oubre Jr.’s comments.
On the Warriors’ end of those comments, Oubre Jr. made a very significant point. Golden State’s team owner Joe Lacob has invested heavily into this Warriors team to help them achieve their success and is doing even more so this offseason bringing in Oubre Jr. With his acquisition, and the tax penalty following it, the team’s tax bill will be $82 million for just this upcoming season. That is a massive payout for a team that may not even make the western conference finals with how stout the conference is overall.
In order for this team to be as good as they were thought to be this season, star guard and 2x MVP Steph Curry will have to have another MVP-type of year. He’s more than capable of doing so already being one of if not the, best shooter the NBA has ever seen.
Yet it is a tall task to ask of him as he will rely heavily on former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green, Oubre Jr., newly drafted James Wiseman, and former #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins. On paper, they read off as a tough team but they are largely unproven as an offensive unit and will need to step up in a big way to be a top team.
Warriors GM Bob Myers Knows Time To Win Is Now
Given the complexity of the Warriors this year they have acted swiftly to ensure they are staying as competitive as possible. None of that would be able to happen if their owner wasn’t as willing to spend lavishly to keep the team afloat.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers echoed that sentiment when he spoke on Lacob giving him the green light essentially to make the best moves possible for the franchise.
“I’m not saying this because (Lacob) is 15 feet away from me,” Myers said during a news conference Thursday. “I’m so lucky to have an owner and ownership group like I have.
“I don’t know if the fans know how lucky they are, but my boss wants to win. My boss has never said, you can’t do this, you can’t do that. And I’d like to thank him for giving myself and our front office the opportunity to be aggressive, because he wants to win.”