How the Golden State Warriors are low key running tech in Silicon Valley
The Golden State Warriors are heading back to the NBA Finals to face LeGoat and the Cavaliers for the fourth consecutive year.
And while the Dubs’ on-court success has drawn comparisons to some of the greatest teams to lace them up, it’s the Warriors’ off-court success that has set them apart.
The Bay Area is more than just a home for Dub Nation’s rendezvous fan-base; it’s home to the burgeoning tech scene and booming startup culture entrenched in Silicon Valley.
NBA players such as Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, and Andre Iguodala have made headlines for their respective pivots from athletes turned investors.
But after a closer look into the Warriors’ off-court endeavors, there’s no denying the influence Silicon Valley commands in Golden State.
Joe Lacob, Warriors’ Majority Owner
Joe Lacob, one of Golden State’s majority owners, is a veteran venture capitalist from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Considering both his reputation as a seasoned investor and his active engagement with the Warriors, it’s no surprise that the rest of the Golden State family takes after Lacob’s penchant for investing.
After all, Lacob did prove his commitment to investing when he initially bought the dismal Warriors for a record-breaking $450 million back in 2010. Under Lacob’s ownership, the Warriors have had a meteoric rise to international stardom.
Peter Guber, Warriors’ Owner
Even though Guber has a smaller share compared to that of Lacob’s, he was granted equal standing within the franchise.
Guber, the former Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, currently sits as the Chairman and CEO of the multimedia Mandalay Entertainment Group.
With Lacob’s capitalist experience acting as financial guidance and Guber’s cultural perspective rounding out the partnership, the Golden State Warriors are just built differently.
Together, they hired a general manager who had no experience in the sports industry and two coaches who hadn’t coached on any level, let alone a professional one.
But after two rings, a fourth trip to the Finals, and the Warriors’ estimated net worth of $3 billion, it’s clear Lacob and Guber have appropriately invested their money within the Silicon Valley environment.
Hailed as the greatest shooter to ever grace the court, two-time MVP Steph Curry is taking full advantage of his NBA stardom, particularly off-the-court.
The fact that Curry gets to perform in front of CEOs, founders and presidents every home game definitely helps.
Regardless, the Baby Faced Assassin owns an equity stake in CoachUp, a start-up that connects private coaches with athletes all around the world.
Plus, in 2015, he co-founded a tech start-up, Slyce, with his old college teammate Bryant Barr. Curry has also recently backed Brandless, a start-up that aims to provide affordable household items.
Even though he’s nursing a leg contusion that will force him to miss Game 1 of the 2018 Finals, Iguodala is still winning, as he cashes in from the savvy investments he’s made in his time in Oakland.
In addition to his investments in Facebook, Twitter, and Tesla, the Warriors forward has also backed Arianna Huffington’s new company Thrive Global, a health and beauty startup by Walker & Company, as well as Derek Jeter’s platform for athletes, The Player’s Tribune, among other companies. Iguodala tells CNBC,
“We have some great relationships with VCs [venture capitalists] out there, mainly Andreessen Horowitz. They’ve kind of taken me under their wing and … showed me some things in the portfolio and how I can integrate my brand into some of their brands.”
Andre works with his business partner, Rudy Cline-Thomas, to fully utilize the Warriors’ relationship to Silicon Valley.
Nearing the completion of his second season with the Warriors, Durant is on the verge of becoming a two-time champion while simultaneously turning himself into a capable investor.
KD has been quietly making a splash in the start-up scene as a willing investor, backing tech companies like Postmates and Acorns.
Durant’s portfolio also consists of JetSmarter, The Players Tribune, and Overtime, a startup that focuses on up-and-coming high school ballers.
With the recent creation of his own YouTube profile, it looks like Kevin Durant is looking to further cement himself as a big-time baller and growing businessman.
While Draymond’s investment portfolio doesn’t stack up as impressively to those of his teammates’, Green has been quite vocal in his ambitions to become a billionaire by the age of 40.
And though he hasn’t made any financial decisions to back a start-up, Draymond has recently partnered with Blink Fitness on a franchise development deal to bring at least 20 gyms to his native Michigan as well as Illinois. He said,
“This is not an endorsement deal for me. I’m going to invest my money and my time to partner with Blink to bring an amazing gym experience to these communities.”
Perhaps this is the beginning of Draymond’s financial evolution in his quest to become a billionaire.
Swaggy P is one of the newest faces in the Bay and he’s already familiarizing himself with the booming tech scene that is Silicon Valley.
In December of 2017, Brandless, an e-commerce startup that offers household items and food for $3 or less, publicly announced that Young was one of more than 20 investors in a $35 million Series B funding round led by New Enterprise Associates.
Other investors included fellow-Warrior Steph Curry and Portland Trail Blazers star C.J. McCollum. Okay Swaggy P we see you making those grown-men decisions!
Even though Golden State has their hands full with the Cavaliers these upcoming weeks, I’m sure some of the Warriors are looking to score outside of Oracle too.
Who will be the next Warrior to start funneling money into Silicon Valley?