NBA fines Warriors owner Joe Lacob $500,000 after calling luxury tax system 'unfair'

·3 min read
Owner Joe Lacob of the Golden State Warriors
Warriors owner Joe Lacob was fined $500,000 on Wednesday after he made comments criticizing the NBA's current luxury tax system. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The NBA fined Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob $500,000 on Wednesday for comments he made bashing the league’s current luxury tax system, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Lacob said on a recent episode of the “Point Forward” podcast that the luxury tax is part of a “very unfair system.”

Scroll to continue with content

Lacob was fined as the NBA doesn’t allow team owners or officials to discuss "unauthorized communications regarding collective bargaining."

The Warriors paid an NBA record more than $170 million in luxury tax and $346 million in total payroll last season, something that turned heads in the league, especially after they won their fourth NBA title in eight seasons.

[Set, hut, hike! Create or join a fantasy football league now!]

Lacob told “Point Forward” co-hosts Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner that this system was unfair and it was punishing them.

“The hardest thing of all is navigating this luxury tax, unfortunately,” he said, via NBC Sports. “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 believes we ‘checkbook win,’ we won because we have the most salaries on our team.

“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. 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 … and 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.”

While Wiggins wasn’t drafted, Lacob says his team was essentially developed from the ground up.

“If you're developing your own guys and paying Steph Curry what he deserves and Klay Thompson what he's earned, why am I paying $200 million in luxury tax? I don't think that's fair,” he said.

The NBA increased its salary cap by more than $10 million for next season to $123.655 million. The Warriors paid nearly $176 million in salaries last season, which was more than $39 million over the salary cap.

The Warriors' high bill isn't going away. Next season, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks, they could pay anywhere between $181 million and $200 million.