ESPN’s Chris Mullin was at the center of one of the most disastrous number retiring ceremonies in the history of sports last night. While Mullin was getting his Golden State Warriors jersey retired in Oakland, the fans at the Oracle Arena booed Warriors owner Joe Lacob unmercifully when he took the mic. Fans were protesting Golden State’s trade of Monta Ellis to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, who happens to be out for the rest of the season. The trade smells like a tank job to protect Golden State’s top seven lottery pick and fans clearly aren’t happy after another season of losing. It was so bad, Mullin, who also had a stint in the Warriors front office a few years ago, had to take the microphone back to calm down the crowd. It didn’t work.
As things went from bad to worse for Lacob, Warriors legend Rick Barry (himself a former NBA Finals analyst for CBS back in the day) came to center court to tell the Oracle Arena to get off his lawn… or something to that effect. Here’s what Rick Barry had to say while proverbially shaking his fist:
“Hey, one second here. Come on people. You fans are the greatest fans in the world. Everyone has said that. Show a little bit of class. This is a man I have spent some time talking to. He is going to change this franchise. This is crazy. Seriously, come on,” Barry pleaded. “You’re doing yourself a disservice. All of the wonderful accolades being said to you. For you to treat this man, who is spending his money to do the best that he can to turn this franchise around, I know he’s going to do it. Give him the respect he deserves.”
Overall, it was a nightmare for Lacob, who handled the entire situation with an incredible lack of poise, and the Warriors organization. Golden State claims to have the best fans in the NBA, but is this the time to take out frustration on your owner? It’s difficult to say. Every blog in America wouldn’t be talking about the Warriors’ struggles without this video, so perhaps they did their job.