- The Golden State Warriors is named the Sports Business Journal Franchise of the Decade.
- The team has recently opened the first and only privately funded sports arena, the $1.4 billion Chase Center in San Francisco.
- Since being purchased for $450 million in 2010 by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the team has amassed a 478-262 record and is reportedly worth $3.5 billion.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors has been named "Franchise of the Decade" by Sports Business Journal, a prestigious industry award that recognizes the best overall franchise across all sports in the last 10 years.
Owned by Joe Lacob, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, and Mandalay Entertainment Group CEO Peter Guber, the Warriors amassed a 478-262 record since the new owners purchased the team in November 2010 for $450 million.
The Warriors have appeared in five consecutive NBA Finals, the first team to do so since the Boston Celtics in 1957, winning three championships since 2010, and tied the Celtics by accumulating the best six-season stretch with a 373-119 record.
"It's a huge recognition for all the work that people have put into this organization this decade," Warriors president Rick Welts said in an interview with CNBC.
Welts, who joined the team in 2011, presides over a franchise that recently opened the first and only privately funded sports arena, the $1.4 billion Chase Center in San Francisco, which reportedly has commitments for $2 billion in tickets before opening its doors. According to The Athletic, the team is expected to gross roughly $700 million annually.
Welts made sure to mention critical names who helped the organization's turnaround over the last 10 years, including former head coach Mark Jackson, whom he credited for transforming the Warriors' losing mentality before current head coach Steve Kerr took the helm.
"We went from being a team that when they were ready to play expected to lose, to a team that believed they had first had a chance to win and then expected to win," Welts said when discussing Jackson. "That's a gigantic shift in the culture of the Warriors."
Welts also praised Warriors guard Stephen Curry, the team's face of the franchise. Curry, the two-time Most Valuable Player and six-time All-Star, signed the second-highest contract in NBA history — a five-year deal, valued at roughly $201 million, in 2017. Curry's contract trails only Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook at a total value of $206 million.
"When your best player is not only the athlete and talent that he is," Welts said, "but also the person that he is, you've got a heck of a head start in trying to create something special."
According to Forbes, the Warriors is worth $3.5 billion, the third-most-valuable NBA franchise and 10th-most-valuable sports team in the world. The team was also named SBJ's Team of the Year in 2014 and 2016.