“Warriors come out to play-yay!”

Where do the Golden State Warriors play?

Growing up in the Midwest I wasn’t familiar with many of the NBA Western Conference teams. And the name “Golden State” used to confuse the heck out of me. Come on you’ve got to give me a pass – I was little. Well just in case any readers out there are still unfamiliar with the Warriors let me give you a quick rundown.

Warriors History…

The Warriors Called Philly their home for 16 years before moving out West prior to the 1962-63 season. In 1962 Warriors legend Wilt Chamberlain poured in an NBA record 100 points, a mark that has never been close to being approached in the 47 years it has stood. Before the start of the 1971-72 season the Warriors moved across the bay to Oakland and officially became the Golden State Warriors. There are currently 17 members of the Warriors organization in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, including Chamberlain, Robert Parish, and Rick Barry who is known for his underhand free throws. The Warriors won two championships on the east and one championship on the west coast in 1974-75.

RUN-TMC

During the 80s and 90s the Warriors saw players come and go. The high scoring trio of point guard Tim Hardaway, guard Mitch Richmond, and forward Chris Mullin (collectively known as “Run-T.M.C.” after the rap group Run-D.M.C). Chris Webber of the Fab Five Fame and former Rookie of the Year. Latrell Sprewell and the chocking then head coach P.J. Carlisemo during a practice. The drafting of Todd Fuller. Fuller who? Just one of the twelve players chosen in the 1996 NBA draft over Kobe Bryant.

The 21st century ushered in more rebuilding and finally a 2007 playoff berth. Subsequent seasons have showed bright spots with the drafting of Stephen Curry who almost lead his mid-major squad to NCAA Final Four.

On another piece of history, today the Golden State Warriors were sold for $450 million, a record price for an NBA franchise. This breaks the previous record of $401 Million paid for the Phoenix Suns in 2004.

What’s interesting about this deal is that the perceived front-runner, Larry Ellison, CEO and Co-Founder of Oracle, did not secure the winning bid. Ellison has publicly stated that he offered a higher bid than the new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. It’s being reported that the difference in bids might have been around $50 million which if that is the case it’s somewhere right around 0.02% of his total wealth. Yes, Ellison is a billionaire and is the sixth richest man in the world.

So what happened?

Well what we do know is that Joe Lacob is no stranger to the NBA. He’s a minority owner of the Boston Celtics, which he will have to sell in order to take a full interest in the Warriors. He’s also a managing Partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the world’s leading venture capital firm. Lacob is also an active investing partner in KPCB’s Internet company initiative; he led the firm’s investment in AutoTrader.com and Sportsline.

Peter Guber is also a player in the sports and entertainment world. As a producer, among the many films he brought to the screen are Rain Man, Batman, Flashdance, The Color Purple and Midnight Express. He is the owner of Mandalay Sports Entertainment which has become a national sports entertainment provider, owning and/or managing professional baseball franchises, sports marketing and venue management.

Sal Galatioto, President of Galatioto Sports Partners and wizard of sports asset purchase agreements, said that Ellison offered a “marginally higher offer” just hours before the signing. “He was way past the deadline,” Galatioto said. “There was no way I was going to recommend that bid to Chris [Cohan]… Once the shot clock expires, are you allowed to get back on the court and have it count? I don’t think so.”

Even though I’m sure Galatioto knew that Ellison could put his money where his mouth is and follow through with his bid. It’s sounds as though Galatioto didn’t want to jeopardize the existing agreement that was worked out and on the table. You just don’t bid on a professional sports franchise the way you bid on an ebay auction. Even though the rejected bid was higher, it sounds as though it was still too risky to walk away from the ironed out agreement.

Either way without the extra cash Cohan, who purchased the team in 1994 for $119 million, is still making a profit on this deal. Considering the unstable economy, the fact that two NBA franchises recently sold in the $200 million range, and that Forbes has valued the Warriors franchise at $315 million Cohan made out alright.

And Warrior fans are still wondering when their team will be alright…Warriors PLEASE come out to play-yay.

Good Night Sports Fans,

Alana

LeBron has left the building…

Lebron JamesI’ve never seen anything like the events of the last several weeks. One player had enough power and influence to make grown men beg and cry. Ok, so I can’t say for sure if anyone actually cried over LeBron’s “LeDecision” or begged him to sign with their team, but there were plenty of theatrics along the way.

I wasn’t surprised by all of the sports journalist’s daily commentary. In fact, listening to all of the theories was actually entertaining at times. The hour long “The Decision” special that was on ESPN was “different,” but I can’t say I was surprised to see ESPN produce such a program. What did surprise me was Dan Gilbert’s, Cavaliers Majority Owner, Letter to Cleveland. Here’s a link to the letter just in case you haven’t read it yet. http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/gilbert_letter_100708.html

Typically in the NBA Mavs owner, Mark Cuban, is the “I will always speak my mind, go ahead and fine me owner,” and Dan Gilbert, well I don’t know. Until now he never drew much national media attention. Those of us from the Metro Detroit Area know of him through Quicken Loans fame and other business ventures. And if he was ever quoted in regards to the Cavs he always provided typically NBA owner sound bites. Well, not any more. To say that Dan Gilbert is upset that LeBron is leaving Cleveland is an understatement. He is maaaddddd, and taking names.

I can’t say that I can pick a side on this one. I guess what I really want to know is, whatever happened to “it’s a business?” Isn’t that what owners always tell athletes after they trade them or refuse to renew their contracts? Rather than getting personal or relying on loyalty don’t owners and front office management always seem to fall back on the statement “it’s a business?” So I’m wondering what changed in this situation? This situation got personal – fast. Not only did it get personal it’s almost as if the entire Northeast Ohio region bet their entire economy on one person. Seriously Ohio, did you bet the farm on LeBron in Vegas? I’m not saying you can’t be upset, but have a little pride. Did you forget your state single handedly decided the 2004 election? Hey Cleveland, I thought you said you Rock?

Maybe Cleveland you are a little to blame. Calling a player “The King” and “The Chosen One,” maybe that wasn’t such a good idea. Yes, LeBron is an outstanding and talented player, but you worshipped him and in the end you lost your identity. My mom always taught me that it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. It looks like LeDecision taught us all that it has to be about the name on the front of the jersey – not the back.

Good night sports fans,

Alana

I Want To Be An Owner…

Finally, the day has come that I am taking my blog live. It has been a labor of love the past several months. For those of you that don’t know I am on a quest to become an owner of a professional sports franchise (See My Story in About Alana for the background details). I would love to be an owner in the NBA, WNBA, NFL, or MLB. Essentially, I want to combine my entrepreneurial spirit along with my love of sports. I decided that until I reach my goal I will blog about it. This blog will allow me to keep my goal and dream alive. As long as www.iwanttobeanowner.com is live, my dream will stay alive right along with it.

Also, I really enjoy talking about sports, and I think I have a unique perspective that others will enjoy reading about. I plan to blog about current events – especially as it relates to ownership/management. I did a little a blog research before starting mine and I found that there are plenty of sites out there that discuss the athletes, but I have yet to come across any sites that specifically digest sports ownership. I will discuss decisions that owners have made, should make, or will make. And I will add my two cents by describing what I would do or would have done if I was in their position. I also hope to have a few interviews here and there featuring current owners or front-office management (My interview wish list will be coming soon).  Last but not least, some of the best blogs out there have reader participation. So please leave comments and tell me what you think – there’s no me without you.

A couple of more things before I go…I want to thank several special people that made this blog possible. My family has been very supportive along the way – especially Ed, my big bro. When I first told him that I wanted to blog about sports ownership he gave me the two thumbs up. While I hoped that he would ghost write it for me, for those of you that don’t know he’s an amazing writer. He did, however, suggest the title. I have to admit I wasn’t sold on it at first. But after watching a television interview featuring Bob Beaudine, Sports & Entertainment Search Executive and author of The Power of Who, it became clear to me that this was the perfect title. I realized that I shouldn’t feel the need to disguise what I want, sugar coat it, or hope that others will get what I am trying to say without me really saying it. Ask for what you want! In the end this was the one and only title to select.

Another special thank you goes to my web designer Nicki from In the Designs. Nicki is an up-and-coming designer and is extremely talented. Her prices are very reasonable and the finish product is amazing. I am soooo glad that I decided to hire In the Designs to put this all together.

So without further ado I present to you….. I Want To Be An Owner.

Game time!

Alana