One Golden State Warriors executive has the time of day now that the team is just one win away from another NBA championship.
Appearing this week on 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast,” Warriors basketball operations consultant Zaza Pachulia responded to a big criticism that has recently been levied against the team — that they supposedly have a competitive spending advantage over the rest of the league.
“We’re not doing something that’s illegal or against the rules,” Pachulia said. “We are doing something that we are totally fine to do. It’s totally legal. It’s on behalf of the ownership group that we have.
“I’m super proud of what [co-owners] Joe Lacob and Peter Guber has done for this team,” added Pachulia. “Culturally, on and off the court, I’ve never seen anywhere with an ownership group being so dedicated, to be thinking about the players and their families. I’m thankful to be part of it.”
Pachulia, who won two titles as a Warrior during his playing days, clearly doesn’t think too much of the criticism that some rival teams have voiced. The Dubs do lead the NBA this season in payroll ($178 million) and total spending ($346 million, thanks to qualifying for the repeater luxury tax). But it is not like they just bought their way to the top — three of their highest-paid guys (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green) are homegrown players whom Golden State drafted a full decade or more ago. Jordan Poole, Gary Payton II and Otto Porter Jr. are also just a few of the complementary Warriors who have had a substantial impact in these NBA Finals against Boston, all of whom are making under $5 million this year.
The criticism of the Warriors as a big-money team was already a popular one back when they landed one marquee free agent a few years ago. But it makes much less sense now that Golden State is riding mostly homegrown veterans and bargain-bin role players to another NBA title run.