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  • Oct

    The Morning Report: When is Cohan going to sell the Warriors? When the dollars are stacked up high

    By Geoff Lepper

    When is Chris Cohan going to sell the Warriors?

    If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me that question after I started covering the team, I might have earned enough cash to buy Cohan out by myself.

    The idea of Golden State changing hands has been on the front burner again since reports surfaced in July that Cohan was seriously looking to jettison his 80 percent stake in the Warriors, and the flame was turned up Monday when Yahoo! Sports said there is a new group of bidders interested in the team. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, a “well-moneyed and politically connected” group wants to pay off Cohan and move the W’s to a privately funded arena in downtown San Francisco.

    Unfortunately for those fans who feel — and I can’t say that I disagree with this viewpoint — that Cohan’s tenure is the root cause for why the franchise has been mired in an endless cavalcade of losing seasons, disgruntled stars, unemployed coaches and disaffected season-ticket holders, there is no Mikhail Prokhorov in the wings, set to swoop in on a tidal wave of rubles.

    The people who are looking to buy from Cohan — a list which includes Oracle’s Larry Ellison — are willing to spend hundreds of millions, but rightly not willing to overpay for the privilege of owning a team that won 29 games last season and has a loose cannon with an untradeable contract willing to sink the ship if he’s not moved out.

    I know plenty of folks think that Cohan’s long-running legal battle with the IRS, which from most accounts appears to be going poorly for him, will be the catalyst that finally forces him to sell the Warriors.

    I actually think it’s the other way around: He knows that the franchise is his most valuable asset, and as such refuses to consider anything lower than his optimal price, in order to ensure that he doesn’t get caught short and wiped out by tax liens.

    As such, I expect Cohan to continue to hold out for a hard bargain. And given that the guy has already stuck it out through being booed by hometown fans while hosting the All-Star Game, I believe an overwhelming amount of dollars is the only thing that will convince Cohan to sign on the line which is dotted.

    On a partially related note, some of Cohan’s best-compensated employees will be on the floor at the Staples Center to face the Clippers at 7:30 p.m. There will be live blogging here and tweeting (twitter.com/geofflepper) over there. See you then.

    Yahoo! Sports (Adrian Wojnarowski):
    Can we really name Chris Cohan “the worst owner in the NBA” without having a straw poll? I mean, Donald Sterling is still running the Clippers, yes?

    ESPN.com (Marc Stein): Don Nelson and Larry Riley plan a sit-down with Stephen Jackson on Tuesday before the captain (theoretically) returns to practice. The Warriors are in no rush to move Jackson, Stein says, “because it is unlikely such an approach would speed the process.”

    Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II):
    The next move belongs to Jackson; whether he chooses to come back or come up with an “injury” (“Dr. Stevens, paging Dr. Mark Stevens.”) remains to be seen.

    Arizona Republic (Paul Coro): Stephen Curry gets confirmation of the Suns’ love from Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry.

    Fast Break (Adam Lauridsen):
    Sometimes the lead really does say it all: “Suspending Stephen Jackson? A start. Firing Robert Rowell for creating this mess? Now that would be progress.”

    Talking Points (Tim Kawakami): I have to admit, I LOLed at this graf: “Bobby Rowell and I have come up with a perfect way to soothe Jackson and get him back into a long-term leadership role: Give him another three-year extension! Because that always works.”

10 Responses to “The Morning Report: When is Cohan going to sell the Warriors? When the dollars are stacked up high”

  1. Geoff:

    You do a really cool job with numbers and analysis, the live game blogging. Ever thought of doing a study on the decline of Don Nelson in GS previously, then in Dallas, and what’s happening in current GS? It looks like he again, after a few years and a good run, is losing his influence and grip on the team. A slow, steady decline back to Hawaii looks like a common story.


  2. Sterling never had a rabid fan base to disappoint. Cohan has performed just as bad, even blessed with a 1-team market with a rabid fan base. That is why he is the worst owner in the NBA.

    Adrian Wojnarowski is a solid journalist. His book the “Miracle of St. Anthony” is one of the best basketball books ever written. I hope that other national journalists will follow his lead. We need national attention to our cause. SELL NOW COHAN.

  3. I know Woe fans love ‘Buike, but the best deal for Jackson might be him and Kelenna (and maybe Acie Law) for Josh Howard who has become somewhat superfluous in Dallas. That would mean one season to see if JHo is still worth what he can get and for him to see if Nellie ball is right for him. Worst case scenario is his $ would come off the books next summer. Not a great deal, but a great deal ain’t happening.

  4. [...] Ellison, wants to buy the Warriors and move them to San Francisco. But Geoff Lepper at 48minutes thinks Cohan will hold out for a good price considering the Warriors are one of the few real assets he has [...]

  5. Why move the team to SF, lease/buy land and build a stadium *somewhere* with private money when there is a professional stadium ready in SJ? Sharing the stadium with the Sharks will be profitable.

    Also Larry, the Samuri, Ellison flies his jet out of SJ - right?

    Any how, Cohan has to sell because he needs the cash now. That means he can hold out selling the team as long as he can hold out from needing the cash. In this economy, and with the IRS on him, how long is that?

  6. i disagree about needing the money stacked high before the ass will sell….if the fans would stay away for only a couple of years so cohan would have to start paying some of the players salary and rent for the building out of his own pocket he would leave in a hurry as so not to bleed him dry that it certainly could….as it is now it doesnt matter what management does wrong the warriors still have supporters with there head up u know where crying about the team lack of but still giving profits to cohan….what other pro market can get away losing 14 out 15 years while not trying to win and still make over 10,000,000 dollars profit per year… Cohan knows he has very stupid fan base with lots of money and is using then to the hilt…..say what u will about upper management but in the end they are pocketing ur money!!!! So tell me how is the dumbass???

  7. Stern can motivate Cohan.

    The Bay Area is 5th in population, tops in per capita income of all major US metropolitan areas.

    We support two NFL and MLB franchises and San Jose supports a popular pro hockey team in a modern stadium.

    Either Cohan sells to a motivated investor or Stern and owners move on adding a 2nd bay area franchise. It could be moving a money losing team with either new or existing ownership.

    The SF stadium proposal makes little sense to me since the Giants stadium was a private investment. The BB stadium would need to be private and navigate the City’s politics.

    San Jose already has the infrastructure and stadium. It’s the 2nd most populous city. Move the Kings to SJ and let the investment group negotiate with a weakened Cohan about selling his team.

    The bottom line Cohan and the NBA’s interests are diverging. The NBA needs a 2nd team in this metropolitan. They are leaving money on the table by allowing a 15 year disaster run the only franchise in town.

  8. Oh and and team playing in San Jose’s Stadium will be accessible from California High Speed Rail and the 2015 electrified Caltrain service.

  9. there will never be another nba team other then the warriors in the bay area ever, the area will not support one winning and one losing team……one will have to go and stern knows this….. even 4 nba teams in cali is too much….

  10. Dan;

    We’ll see two NBA franchises in the Bay Area. Maybe one moves to SF or not but definitely one will settle in San Jose.

    Texas has Rockets, Mavericks, Spurs for with a state pop of 24 M people. Cali has 36 M.

    San Antonio has a NBA franchise. Dude, San Antonio has the same population as San Jose and San Jose isn’t surrounded by range land.

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