Joe Lacob, an American entrepreneur, is a $3 billion-plus fortune holder. Joe Lacob is best known as the majority owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors after making a fortune as a venture investor. In 2010, Lacob and a consortium of investors, including Peter Guber, paid $450 million for the Warriors. It was just over a year before the Warriors purchased Stephen Curry, a collegiate basketball talent who had been overlooked.
Early Life and Education
In New Bedford, Massachusetts, Lacob was raised by a Jewish family. After moving to Anaheim, California, the Lacob family became fans of the Los Angeles Lakers and Anaheim Angels.
While studying for his undergraduate degree in 1978, Lacob also acquired master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Since 1987, Lacob has been a partner with Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm. Some of his most notable ventures are AutoTrader.com and Align Technology as well as NuVasive and NuVasive Technologies. Former employment at Cetus Corporation (now Chiron), FHP International, and Booz Allen & Hamilton preceded Lacob’s arrival at Kleiner Perkins as an investment banker.
When asked about his background in statistics, he has said that his degree in epidemiology gave him a solid foundation for his lifelong interest in sports statistics.
Because it couldn’t hold its own against the Women’s National Basketball Association, the American Basketball League, which he was a major investor in, finally dissolved (WNBA). H. Irving Grousbeck, an entrepreneur and professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, was his co-investment partner in the Boston Celtics in 2006 when he became a co-owner of the team.
When Chris Cohan decided to sell the Golden State Warriors to Lacob and his group of investors for $450 million on July 15, 2010, he was forced to sell his minority stake in the Boston Celtics. For the Warriors, the Lacob-Peter Guber combination beat off over a dozen other bids, among them Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, 24-Hour Fitness entrepreneur Mark Mastrov, and Texas billionaire banker David Bonderman He has been a season-ticket holder for the Warriors for nearly ten years.
Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics and Jeff Moorad of the San Diego Padres, two big league baseball club general managers who have both proved that winning records are not simply tied to the team’s payroll, are two of the people he cites as examples. David Lee and hometown hero Jeremy Lin, an undrafted rookie guard, both had their contracts approved by Lacob.
Keith Smart was hired as Don Nelson’s replacement as an assistant coach. On November 12, 2010, the NBA’s board of governors overwhelmingly authorized the transaction. Lacob and Peter Guber are the primary shareholders, but Lacob is in control of day-to-day operations.
Coach Mark Jackson was sacked by Lacob prior to the 2014-15 NBA season despite having guided the Warriors to the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons. At a venture capital conference, Lacob justified the decision: “Part of it was due to his inability to work well with anyone else in the company. You can’t have 200 of your coworkers not liking you, even if you performed a terrific job.”
During the 2015-16 NBA season, Lacob stirred up considerable debate when he said his club was “light years” ahead of the competition. The 2014-15, 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2021-22 NBA seasons were all crowned by the Warriors as championship years.
Since taking over as head coach in 2015–16, Steve Kerr’s Warriors have won the most games in a season (including the regular season and postseason) and the greatest regular season (73–9) in NBA history, as well as the best postseason (16–1) (.941 winning %).
Nicole Curren, Joe’s wife, gained some recognition at Game 3 of the NBA Finals on June 5, 2019, when she sat close to Beyonce. Nicole was spotted bending over Beyonce to chat to Jay-Z at one point. Nicole became one of the hottest topics on Twitter the following day because Beyonce’s expression looked to be irritated by the gesture.
Joe purchased a Malibu beach property for $29 million in September 2019. Atherton, California, is the site of his principal property, a 14,000-square-foot estate he bought for $19.8 million in 2007.
Google pioneer Sergey Brin’s $180 million ranch property and Whatsapp creator Jan Koum’s $100 million residences are just a few blocks apart from his Atherton home. A coincidence occurred when Joe and Jan purchased their respective properties in Malibu at approximately the same time but with a substantially higher purchase price for Jan ($125 million).
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