Robert Reiners/Getty Images Joe Lacob, Peter Guber

100 Things Warriors Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Danny Leroux covers plenty of the team's recent success with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant. But it also explores the exploits of Run TMC, Latrell Sprewell, Purvis Short, Robert Parish, Sleepy Floyd, Manute Bol and Rick Barry, among others. In this excerpt, Leroux documents how the sale of the franchise from Chris Cohan to the Joe Lacob-Peter Guber partnership unfolded.

The winning bid was $450 million.

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In July 2010, the dysfunctional Warriors, who had been to one postseason in 16 years, were officially the most expensive franchise in NBA history. It was perhaps the best execution of Chris Cohan's tenure as owner.     

News of Cohan looking to sell his 80 percent stake in the Warriors started in earnest in July 2009. By January 2010, billionaire Larry Ellison was sitting courtside at Oracle Arena for the first time, watching LeBron James dominate. Sixteen days after his debut at a Warriors game, Ellison confessed during a public event at Oracle headquarters that he was trying to buy the team.
     
"I'm trying. I'm trying," Ellison (who was discussing Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems) replied to an audience member asking about him buying the Warriors. "Unfortunately, you can't have a hostile takeover of a basketball team."
     
And just like that, it was on, the most engrossing drama involving the team in years: Who would buy the Warriors?
     
On March 22, 2010, the Warriors announced Cohan would be selling the team and had hired Galatioto Sports Partners to execute the sale. Sal Galatioto had previously orchestrated the sale of the Phoenix Suns in 2004 for a then-record $401 million and had a similar game plan for the Warriors.
     
Galatioto accepted blind bids from any groups interested in buying the Warriors with what he said was a hard deadline for getting the bid in. After that process, the most serious bidders would get full access and the ability to kick the tires on the Warriors but still had to finalize their bid without knowing the offer of any other group. The highest bidder got the team.
     
This seemed to be a cinch for Ellison, who not even two weeks before the Warriors announcement ranked sixth on Forbes' list of the world's wealthiest people. They reported Ellison's net worth to be $28 billion, third among Americans behind Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Golden State Warriors FlagHe was clearly the fan favorite to buy the Warriors. In February 2010, Ellison captured the 33rd running of the America's Cup, completing a 10-year personal quest that saw him spend $100 million. It was America's first win since 1982 and Ellison was onboard the BMW Oracle when it won. That process and its success provided fans a glimpse into the relentlessness he would bring to the Warriors, along with endless pockets that could make the Warriors relevant in a changing, more expensive NBA.
     
Two days after the announcement, another big-pocket Bay Area icon publicly expressed interest in buying the team. Mark Mastrov, founder of 24 Hour Fitness, immediately went after the notion that Ellison's billions made him the best candidate. "I think I can do just as well, if not better," Mastrov told Bay Area News Group.
     
On May 18, the bids start rolling in. As many as 12 groups made their pitches, according to reports. Ten days later, Galatioto trimmed the field to four viable bidders, with Ellison and Mastrov as the only two known bidders at the time.
     
It was not until June that it was reported Celtics minority owner Joe Lacob and Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber were one of the final four. They were discovered on a tour of the facilities, as was Wall Street financier David Bonderman, head of the fourth group, a week later.
     
All bids were due July 6 and all four bids topped $400 million, according to Galatioto. At this point, Ellison and the Lacob/Guber tandem were the two highest bids. While Warriors fans waited for a resolution, Lacob and Guber were behind the scenes finalizing the sale of the team.

Oracle ArenaLacob was in Greece at the time. He was supposed to be vacationing with his fiancé, Nicole Curran, but he was down to the final hours before the deadline to finalize the sale. Lacob was on the phone waiting for the official word the deal was done. The pilot of the helicopter, on his last trip before his union was going on strike, pressured Lacob to get on board but he refused to get off the phone until he got the thumbs-up.
     
Finally, he did. He beat Ellison.
     
"We were going by helicopter to Delphi in Greece," Lacob said, "which is famous for the Oracle. The Oracle of Delphi. To which I then said, ‘We're off to see the Oracle.' The irony, right?"
     
The Warriors officially announced the sale was complete to Lacob and Guber but the drama was not over. Ellison put out a statement that left Warriors fans a bit miffed. "Although I was the highest bidder, Chris Cohan decided to sell to someone else," Ellison said in a statement released by Oracle. "In my experience, this is a bit unusual."
    
According to insiders, Ellison's bid was higher but Galatioto said Ellison's binding bid was late and the Warriors had already informed Lacob's group that they won the bid. Galatioto said it would have been unethical to back out on Lacob's group because Ellison's late bid was slightly higher.
     
The other side of the story? Cohan never wanted to sell to Ellison and used the Oracle billionaire's presence in the process to ramp up the bids.
     
"It was an auction process, so who knows what really went on," Lacob said after being awarded the team. "We did what we felt was right. We've been in it all the way. I'm incredibly proud of the fact that we stayed out of the news. We were not under the radar with respect to Chris Cohan. We did our due diligence. I think we wanted it more than the other guys and I think we are more knowledgeable about basketball than all these others guys. And if I didn't think so we wouldn't have done this."
     
After 15 years of frustration and drama, the Golden State Warriors were finally under new ownership.

-- Excerpted by permission from 100 Things Warriors Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die by Danny Leroux. Copyright (c) 2017. Published by Triumph Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Available for purchase from the publisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. Follow Danny Leroux on Twitter @DannyLeroux.

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