Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber brings a unique perspective to the NBA after spending his entire business career in the entertainment sector. While there are certainly other owners and executives within the sport that can make a similar claim, Guber’s high-level experience in marketing and operating a profit-churning machine in the entertainment world makes him quite qualified to speak on the business of the league and, on Tuesday, he did just that with The Rich Eisen Show.
The full, 11-minute interview can be seen above but Guber’s thoughts on the rest “issue” in the NBA are quite interesting. At the outset, the 75-year-old makes reference to consumers visiting a movie theater or show in an effort to specificallysee big stars rather than anonymous actors. From there, he compares that experience to basketball and dips into the question concerning the NBA’s management of players in this vein.
“In basketball, I think you can’t promise that certainty. It could be injury. It could be just trying to contain the player’s life. Trying to manage the minutes. I think it’s a difficult thing when one fan pays to buy his ticket in a city and doesn’t get a chance to see any Kevin Durant or LeBron James or Steph Curry or any of the big stars that are luminaries for the sport. It is a problem. On the other hand, you have to manage their health. They’re thoroughbreds. They’re really incredibly fine-tuned athletes and you have to protect them and you have to manage them. It’s part of what you do. I think that if it’s properly done properly managed… I think the league is trying to do that… It’s just what it is.”
While “it’s just what it is” would not qualify as ground-breaking analysis, Guber hits on a lot of points within one quote and he later sheds light on what many perceive as an additional issue with the uncertainty of player injuries within a close proximity to tip-off time.
“I think not knowing about it 10 minutes before the game is not good. I think you really have to know about it early enough so people can make their own decisions. I think the television group is especially concerned because they bet on those big showcase games on the weekend toward the end of the year with teams that are contending and they want to see LeBron go against Westbrook or whatever.”
Eisen then (wisely) inquires about Guber’s discussions with Steve Kerr and Warriors management, though the co-owner did indicate that he believes the rest choice is “a decision the coach and the GM have to make” in Golden State’s organization.
Because the Warriors are at the forefront, alongside the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers, of the controversy with regard to resting players in national television spots, this is an interesting perspective to take into account. In the same breath, Guber isn’t the only big-time decision maker in an organization that includes Joe Lacob, Bob Myers and Kerr, and it will be very interesting to see how the Warriors and other NBA teams act on the issue in the near future.