While the Los Angeles Lakers ended the 2021-22 season without playoff basketball, the Larry O’Brien trophy could still come back to California — as the Golden State Warriors have returned to the NBA Finals after a three-year break.
The Warriors blitzed past their opponents on the way to the Finals, losing just four games this postseason. It will be Golden State’s sixth Finals appearance in eight years, showing how the franchise has thrived since Joe Lacob and Peter Guber purchased it in 2010.
Lacob wanted to make the Warriors a perennial title favorite, emulating the success of the Lakers and the Boston Celtics. And he thinks Golden State has done so during his reign, pointing out in an interview with NBC Sports’ Dalton Johnson that his team has been making the Finals at the same rate as L.A. under Dr. Jerry Buss:
“I’ll give you a statistic that I think is just the most unbelievable statistic,” Lacob says. “The Celtics are great. Jerry Buss owned the Lakers for 33 years. Does anybody know how many Finals he made in 33 years? Sixteen out of 33 years. Now that is remarkable.
“We’ve now made six in 12 years. So, I love the 50-percent rate. Whether we’ll continue that, I don’t know.
“But I’m sure as hell gonna try.”
The Warriors will face the Celtics in the 2022 NBA Finals, which start on Thursday. A win would make Golden State the third-most decorated franchise in the league’s history, placing them 10 titles behind L.A. and Boston.
Lacob appears to criticize Lakers for going ‘all-in on older players’ in 2021-22
Lacob seemingly took a swipe at the Lakers earlier his year, criticizing “a couple teams” that “went all-in on older players.” The Warriors owner said those teams should have anticipated their injury struggles ahead of the 2021-22 season after signing too many players aged 30 or older.
The Lakers entered 2021-22 owning the oldest roster in the NBA.
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