In what some may see as a remarkable bit of naievete, Warriors owner Joe Lacob stepped onto the Oracle Arena floor last night to address the crowd during the ceremony to retire Chris Mullin’s jersey. The booing — it was heavy, and it rattled Lacob noticeably, enough so that Mullin and then Rick Barry, another Warriors great, had to intervene to make the owner’s case.
Said Barry: “You fans are the greatest fans in the world. Everybody said that. Show a little bit of class. Everybody said that. This is a man who I’ve spent some time talking to. He is gonna change this franchise. This is crazy. Seriously. Come on. You’re doing yourself a disservice. All of the wonderful accolades that are being said to you, for you to treat this man, who is spending his money to do the best he can to turn this franchise around — and I know he’s gonna do it. So give him the respect he deserves.”
The ceremony ended with Mullin’s young daughter counting down to the unveiling of the jersey. At least she got a pass by the fans…
Tom Ziller at SB Nation, who approves of the rain of disapproval with which the fans drenched Lacob, interprets the booing:
I can’t decide if this makes me like Warriors fans more, or makes me like Warriors fans the most. Here’s the context: Monta Ellis was an incredible fan favorite, and Bay Area fans have spent the last four years pretty much only being able to cheer for him as the team remains stuck in the muck. The Warriors traded him for Andrew Bogut last week. Bogut isn’t expected to suit up for the rest of the season, and Stephen Curry will likely also stay out, creating an impressive, irrefutable tank job atmosphere. Paying fans don’t tend to like to watch tank jobs in action.