Those with short memories may not realize that the Golden State Warriors used to be a perennial laughingstock. Not that long ago, the two-time NBA champions were anything but desirable destinations for elite players.
My how times have changed.
In Betaball: How Silicon Valley and Science Built One of the Greatest Basketball Teams in History, Erik Malinowski of The Atlantic details how Joe Lacob took over Chris Cohan’s moribund franchise and transformed it into arguably the archetype for all others. Via deft personnel moves, cutting-edge technology, and more than a little luck with the draft and salary cap, the Warriors have emerged as the talk of the NBA. Two titles in three years will do that.
As someone who has closely followed the Warriors over the past five years, much of what Malinowski writes didn’t surprise me. (Of note, he included a few interesting nuggets such as why the Cavs’ fired David Blatt despite his 31-10 record and some choice words between new coach Tyron Lue and LeBron James.)
Malinowski’s text ends after the June 2016 NBA Finals and James’ heroics. Yes, there’s an epilogue, but I really would have loved the same in-depth coverage of the Warriors’ 2016-7 season with new edition Kevin Durant.
Brass tacks: Betaball is no Moneyball. Still, Erik Malinowski has penned compelling read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: The author’s publisher sent me a copy gratis.