I’ve had numerous friends over the past month or so ask me about the Warriors sale, and what I thought their plans were going to be for the upcoming free agent bonanza that started today. The answer keeps being “not a whole lot” for both questions. I wanted to get up a post on something related to the sale for awhile now, and haven’t had anything really worthy of reporting to our awesome readers. Unfortunately, the sale process has been about as fast moving as the whole Cohan era, and nothing is going to happen sooner than expected. We originally thought there was a chance that we’d have a new owner in place by July, but now it sounds like we are going to have to wait at least until mid to late August to find out who will try to bring us out of our 15 year misery. As far as the free agency thing goes, we are pretty much going to avoid any possible moves that would make the team better in an effort to end the Cohan era in rightfully disappointing fashion. I guess I didn’t really expect them to do much since most of their money is tied up, but they do have a nice bargaining chip in Monta Ellis to obtain a player that wants to play alongside Curry. I actually don’t care what they do until they have a new owner that WILL clean house. I prey that new owner doesn’t trade away my mancrush, Curry. My dream scenario that I doubt would ever happen, but may as well throw it out there is; Ellis, Biendris (throw in a first round pick) for Gasol and Gay (if Gay goes for the sign and trade since he’s a restricted free agent). This will never happen, and at this point the fans are the only true asset to this franchise, and if possible, Cohan would’ve traded us for cash to the Lakers long ago.
Now, to the sale of the team. From what I’ve read, the nonbinding bid round is over. I wasn’t a fan of this non-binding bid thing, I mean, if I wanted to write $400M on a piece of paper with my name on it, and had sent it to them, that would’ve counted as a bid, which is why I think they had twenty or so bids during that first round. Now that we’ve passed the opening stages, the Warriors have opened up their books for the top four potential owners to look at, and evaluate. I believe all the groups have actually visited Roaracle and taken a tour the facilities. Now that the bidders have seen the books and facilities, they are now submitting binding bids. If there are two close to eachother, I’m sure Cohan will allow those two to punch it out, so he can get his top $ for the team. Here are the top four bidders in the mix, and I have to say I’m heavily rooting for the first two over the last two.
Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison (sixth richest man in the world according to Forbes) – He’s been the frontrunner since he offered to buy the team last summer even before they knew they were for sale. He’s teamed up with the 20% minority group, which owns the portion that Chris Cohan doesn’t. He cashed out 50M of his 1.2 Billion Oracle shares around the same time the team went up for sale. Was it to buy the Warriors and sign every top player he could without looking at the salary cap? I sure hope so! I think he’s been extra careful during this bidding process just to make sure he’s not outbidding himself like the Dodgers were with Manny a couple years ago… If he buys the team it sounds like there is a VERY good chance they will move to San Francisco or possibly San Jose which I’d be fine with.
24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov leads another group – He grew up in the Bay Area, so that is just one reason that makes this team very attractive to him, and would make me a happy fan of the new owner. He sold off the 24 Hour fitness franchise back in 2008, so he’s got some money laying around. I love that he’s a former Bay Arean, because he’s like us, and has had to put up with a decade of losing. He feels like he’d be a very fan friendly owner. Although, I wonder if it would be as hard to cancel your season tickets as it is to cancel your 24 Hour fitness gym membership.
Peter Gruber of Peter Mandalay Entertainment leads another group – This guy has earned over a few billion worldwide through his movie prowess. His movies have received over 50 academy awards. He’s also been in the television circuit, and has had a hand in making some of the most successful series in the 80’s and 90’s like Married With Children and Seinfeld. He’s also a professor in his free time teaching at UCLA. With him as an owner you would never have to worry about marketing. I’m kind of worried if our owner is teaching at UCLA though. I’d also rather not have the owner preaching how to flop/acting on the court.
David Bonderman is a founder of TPG Capital leading the last group – He’s listed as Forbes’s 105th richest man with $3.3 billion in the bank. There isn’t a ton of info on the guy except that he’s living in Texas and one of their three headquarters is in San Francisco. It’s reported he spent $7 million to get The Rolling Stones and John Mellancamp to play at his 60th birthday. One thing that scares me is I read he is one of the investors in a new sports arena in Las Vegas. Is he trying to make them into the Las Vegas Warriors? That would be devastating; I would almost rather suffer with another Cohan-like owner… It’s pretty tough to think that anyone would move out of the 5th largest market in the nation, but maybe he would…