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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Warriors owner fined over luxury tax comments

Joe Lacob smiling

April 28, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob smiles against the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob recently spoke about how unhappy he is with his team’s luxury tax bill, and the complaint has now cost him even more money.

The NBA has fined Lacob $500,000 after he described the league’s luxury tax system as “very unfair,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. Lacob made the remarks on the “Point Forward” podcast when defending the Warriors against talk that they simply outspend the rest of the league to win.

“The truth is, we’re only $40 million more than the luxury tax. Now, that’s not small but it’s not a massive number,” Lacob said. “We’re $200 million over in total because most of that is this incredible penal luxury tax. And what I consider to be unfair and I’m going to say it on this podcast and I hope it gets back to whoever is listening. Obviously, it’s self-serving for me to say this, but I think it’s a very unfair system because our team is built by … all top eight players are all drafted by this team.”

The Warriors are projected to pay $181 million in luxury tax next season. Lacob’s point is that three of their four highest-paid players — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — were drafted by the team. He probably wants some tweaks to the system that punish teams less for retaining players they drafted and developed.

Rival teams have supposedly complained that the Warriors have a competitive spending advantage. Curry responded to that narrative after Golden State defeated the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.

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