Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob racked up a $500,000 fine for violating the NBA’s policy on publicly discussing collective bargaining talks, one of the largest fines in league history per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Speaking with Warrior Andre Iguodala and host Evan Turner on Point Forward Podcast, Lacob took shots at the league’s luxury tax system calling it “very unfair.”
The Warriors had the NBA’s highest payroll and luxury tax bill, which exceeded $340 million.
“The hardest thing of all is navigating this luxury tax, unfortunately,” Lacob said. “I went back to New York this week for labor meetings. I’m on the committee. And you know, obviously, the league wants everyone to have a chance, and right now, there’s a certain element out there that believe we well ‘checkbook win.’ We won because we have the most salaries on our team.”
It was the Warriors’ first return to the Finals after losing to Toronto in 2019.
Golden State was led by stars Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green but also received significant contributions from first-time champs Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole.
“We’re only $40 million more than the luxury tax. Now, that’s not small, but it’s not a massive number. We’re $200 million over in total because most of that is this incredible penal luxury tax. And what I consider to be very 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 paid $69 million in luxury tax in 2020-21, $170 million in 2021-22, and are projected to pay $181 million in 2022-23.