As any NBA fan knows, even more than the game on the court, it’s often the off-court drama that makes the headlines. And who is new Warriors CEO Joseph Lacob? Joe Lacob is the son-in-law of billionaire minority owner Joe Lacob, who founded the Golden State Warriors in 1962. Last month, Lacob fired coach Steve Kerr. Lacob also cast some harsh words on draft prospect LaMelo Ball. Lacob believes that Ball’s father LaVar, who will begin his two-week prison sentence on Monday, is trying to make a big-time name for himself.

Last week, the Golden State Warriors signed LaMelo Ball, the younger brother of Lonzo Ball, to a $17 million endorsement deal. Some believe that this deal will motivate Lonzo to improve his play, and that it will be a beneficial move for the organization. However, Golden State Warriors CEO Joe Lacob took to Twitter to express his displeasure at the signing of the younger Ball.

In an interview with Business Insider, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob shares his opinion on the recent transfers of big men LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards. From Joe Lacob’s standpoint, the decision to send his son LaMelo out of high school early was a mistake. Lacob believes the decision to send Anthony Edwards to UCLA was a mistake, too.

The No. 1 and No. 2 pick of the 2020 NBA Draft finished as the two best rookies in the NBA this season. The second pick, Warrior James Wiseman of Golden State, was not as good. Today, Warriors general manager Joe Lacob showed his support for his husband.

Lacob put his foot in his mouth with that one, though. By defending Wiseman, he is backhandedly complimenting LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards, which may not please Charlotte Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves fans.

LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards had great performances in their rookie seasons

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball has won the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy as the 2020-21 NBA Rookie of the Year, according to Kia. pic.twitter.com/ZZl8aBqK8E

– NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 16, 2021

Edwards and Ball had fantastic statistical seasons in their rookie campaigns. Edwards averaged 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals while playing all 72 games. Ball missed 21 games, mostly due to a broken right wrist, but still put up 15.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals.

Both players benefited from being involved in their team’s attack. Ball made 13.2 attempts from the field and had a conversion rate of 26.1 percent. Edwards averaged 16.8 attempts per game (6.2 less than league leader Bradley Beal) and recorded a 27% conversion rate (9% less than league leader Luka Doncic).

While Edwards helped the Timberwolves to a record of 23-49 (sixth in the league), Ball helped his team to a respectable record of 33-39, leaving the Hornets in 10th place. A spot in the East and a spot in the tournament.

Ball and Edwards finished first and second, respectively, in the Kia NBA Rookie of the Year election with 465 and 309 points. Tyrese Haliburton, picked 12th by the Sacramento Kings, finished third with 114 points, according to NBA.com.

The Warriors’ Wiseman, averaging 11.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 39 games, was not part of the ROY conversation.

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob defended James Wiseman but shut out Ball and Edwards

Joe Lacob? Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group via Getty Images

The fact that the No. 2 didn’t have a No. 1, No. 3 or even No. 12 during the season earned the former Memphis player some criticism. Lacob doesn’t like that, and he defended his friend during an appearance on The Athleticpodcast The TK Show, presented by Tim Kawakami.

Lacob said to Kawakami: I am shocked by what I have read about James Wiseman. I don’t know what these people are looking at. I am delighted – delighted – with what I have seen this year.

With Wiseman’s college career limited by eligibility issues and his rookie season marred by COVID-19 and a meniscus injury, the general manager believes he has done well. He also compared Wiseman to Joel Embiid, who struggled with injuries and fitness issues in his first few seasons before becoming an MVP candidate.

All of Lacob’s comments were a great defense of his player, but then he turned his attention to Ball and Edwards :

It depends on where you’re going. The kid from Charlotte, LaMelo Ball, is a great player, he had a great year. He probably deserves Rookie of the Year, but I could also suggest Anthony Edwards. We also thought they were great players. Would they have had the same years as us? The situation is important. I don’t know. Would you have had the same chance to drop out as Anthony Edwards? I don’t know. I don’t think so. This is important.

Lacob concluded his tirade against two other successful recruits by saying that if they perform well, he is looking three or four years ahead. The implication is that his organization picked the best player anyway.

Unnecessarily attacking two other rookies to protect his man is not the best image for Golden State’s general manager. But that’s not so surprising.

Lacob is a venture capitalist who acquired the Warriors in 2010 for $450 million after spending five years as a minority investor in the Boston Celtics, according to NBA.com. Under the leadership of the Massachusetts native, the team won three NBA championships and moved from Oakland to the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco.

In 2016, as the Warriors began their dominance, Lacob gave a now infamous interview to the New York Times. In the article, Lacob told author Bruce Schoenfeld:

We are probably years ahead of any other team in terms of structure, planning and the way we do things. We will be a long time behind the rest of the NBA.

That quote was not well received by other NBA executives. Lacob is portrayed in NBA circles and the media as arrogant and is used to ridicule the Warriors and their general manager when they lose.

Like the light-years quote, Joe Lacob’s expressive problems may haunt him in the future.

All statistics are provided by Basketball Reference

CORRESPONDS TO: Warriors owner Joe Lacob isn’t worried about LeBron James snatching Stephen Curry I don’t think it will happen

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