Sure, the Golden State Warriors lost the NBA Finals last year in painful, unprecedented fashion, coughing up a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but that team can take pride in having won an NBA-record 73 regular season games, right? Not according to a noted former player who knows something about record-setting win totals — and never losing in the Finals.
Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob was in the studio on 95.7 The Game’s “The Afternoon Delight” show with Greg Papa on Tuesday on Tuesday and told a Jordan story from this summer. The following is from James Herbert at CBSSports.com.
“On the collective bargaining agreement, I was on the labor committee and I was in New York having a bunch of dinners with Michael Jordan and other owners. There were six of us. Actually, Dan was one of them, Dan Gilbert. Anyway, Michael Jordan — people are drinking and having a good time and all that, but there was a moment where he said, you know, 73 don’t mean [blank].’ He did it, Michael Jordan did that. And I looked at him and I just decided not to make a big deal of it. I said, you know, you’re right, we didn’t win it, we had to get better.”
This is extraordinary Michael Jordaning. It’s exactly what you’d expect Michael Jordan to do if he was out drinking with the owner of the Golden State Warriors and, like the champion he is, Jordan came through again.
But that doesn’t mean Lacob agreed with Jordan’s assessment, however:
“I have to be honest: It’s painful more to the players. I don’t really think of it that way. I think that was one of the greatest years you could ever have in any sport. So many things went right. If you remember, all of the games that went our way. I mean, just amazing. It was an unbelievable year. When I wear golf, I wear a hat that says 73 on it. It’s sort of my little remembrance of it. Because I know people all say, ‘Oh, well, you didn’t win the championship’—all the talking heads. You know what, we didn’t. But it was still an incredible year and I will never forget it. And we should be very proud of it. And I think as time goes by, there will be more thinking about it. Because I don’t think it’s gonna be replicated very easily.”
This isn’t really a huge surprise, as the biggest argument against Golden State in the “Warriors vs. Bulls” debate is that Chicago won a ring while the Dubs did not. No one is shocked that Jordan – who, you know, played on said Bulls team and values championship rings – would hold this opinion.
Oh, also, as anyone who ever watched Jordan play with the Bulls knows, Jordan was one of the greatest trash talkers in the NBA. It’s nice to see his ability to talk ruthless junk hasn’t gone away since his retirement in 2003.