Report: Rival teams have 1 big complaint about Warriors
Now that the Golden State Warriors are back in the Finals, they appear to be the NBA’s most hated once again.
Zach Lowe of ESPN reported on Tuesday that rival NBA teams have a big complaint about the Warriors — that they supposedly have a competitive spending advantage over the rest of the league.
Golden State leads the NBA in total payroll this season with nearly $180 million on the books. With a leaguewide luxury tax apron of $136 million, the Warriors are paying a record $346 million in salary and tax combined (having qualified for the dreaded repeater tax for the first time this year).
Lowe does add though that a significant portion of the money spent by the Warriors (tens of millions) is being spread out to non-luxury tax teams via revenue sharing and payouts.
While it is true that the Warriors are spending a yachtload of money, they also deserve credit for using that money wisely. Golden State’s four highest-paid players (Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins) have all justified their respective price tags with excellent play this season. Meanwhile, the Warriors have filled out the rest of their roster with quality players on inexpensive contracts like Kevon Looney (making $5.2 million this year), Otto Porter Jr. ($2.4 million), Jordan Poole ($2.2 million), and Gary Payton II ($1.7 million).
Just because a team spends money up the wazoo does not necessarily mean that they are guaranteed for success. Smart management and team-building strategies are also needed. The Brooklyn Nets, a team with a similarly hefty payroll and tax bill as the Warriors, managed to go just 44-38 this season and got swept out of the first round. It was also recently revealed that the Nets lost a shocking amount of money this year.
Despite what their rivals may think, the Warriors and owner Joe Lacob have shown a commendable willingness to spend and compete (even to the point of paying the repeater tax). In addition, they have backed it up with savvy decision-making and proper allocation of resources. That is why the Dubs are now in the Finals again for the sixth time in the last eight seasons.
When Golden State was experiencing a downturn the past couple of years, rival teams made fun of them for the amount of money they were spending. Now those same rivals are sulking about Golden State’s return to success.