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Without Klay Thompson, Joe Lacob makes clear how he’s approaching Warriors’ 2021 season

© D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

No one can claim Joe Lacob is a cheapskate. The Warriors owner has funneled hundreds of millions into the franchise since taking over as majority shareholder (25 percent stake) in 2020 and while the franchise will be without the lynchpin of Klay Thompson for the second-straight season after suffering a torn Achilles, Lacob is not thinking about resetting the clock.

Lacob joined The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on The TK Show on Friday to discuss the team’s draft night and what the outlook is without Klay Thompson and without any indication that fans will return to Chase Center soon.

The most pressing question, of course, is whether to tank without Thompson. Given that the team just traded for Kelly Oubre using it’s traded player exception and will have a more than $80-plus million luxury tax bill, it seemed clear which direction the team was headed. General manager Bob Myers said he had the “green light” and Lacob said Friday that he’d never ask the team to tank.

“First of all, we would never do that,” Lacob said. “We didn’t try to bag last season. Some really bad things happened and unfortunately we were really bad. We have to admit that. And we wound up with the second pick of the draft, which I think is hopefully a transformative pick for our franchise, but I can tell you when this happened and we thought about what the consequences might be if the injury was as bad as we thought, you know, two hours before draft time, I thought about it for about 15 minutes.”

What happened next? Green light.

“And then I got everybody together in the war room right before the draft and I addressed them,” Lacob said. “Bob also addressed them. And I just said, ‘We’re not tanking. If anyone’s even thinking that, get it off your mind. Just forget it. Give me options. What can we do to make this team as good as we can make it and be competitive for our fans? That is certainly the intention.”

Listen to the full podcast here.


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