Amid all the hype surrounding the Warriors’ announcement of their plan to build a new arena at Piers 30-32 in San Francisco in time for the 2017-18 season, co-owner Joe Lacob was sure to hammer home one point: Victories are still what matters most.
“Winning remains our No. 1 priority,” Lacob said. “And this arena is about winning. Just like the team on the court, it’s about winning for our fans.”
Winning is something Warriors fans certainly haven’t grown accustom to. Since 1994, the franchise has reached the postseason just once and has only two winning seasons during that span.
The last division title the Warriors won? You have to go all the way back to the 1974-75 season.
And after a 23-43 season, the front office is well aware of the challenges it faces in order to build a perennial contender in the Bay Area now and in the future.
“It’s up to us to build a basketball team you’ll be proud of,” Warriors executive board member Jerry West said.
Warriors fans will learn a little about the path the team will take in the future on May 30 when the draft lottery is held. The Warriors need to have their first-round pick, currently slotted at No. 7, remain in the top seven in order to retain the rights to it. If they should drop to eighth or lower, the pick will be sent to the Utah Jazz as part of a prior trade.
Adding a new draft pick to a roster that already has Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Klay Thompson would seem to set the foundation for a bright future. But coach Mark Jackson is ready to look too far down the road yet.
“At the end of the day, we are talking about 2017, though,” said Jackson, who led the team to a 23-43 record in his first season. “I can celebrate, I can high-five and look forward to it, but we have a commitment today. We have a commitment of winning today.”
NOTE: Thompson was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team on Tuesday. He averaged 12.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game this season.