Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob fined $500,000 for criticising NBA luxury tax rules

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The NBA has fined Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob $500,000 for recent comments made on a podcast that violate the league’s rules on discussing collective bargaining, ESPN reported Wednesday.

While making an appearance on the Point Forward Podcast, hosted by Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner, Lacob called the NBA’s luxury tax structure "very unfair", lamenting the extra costs of having the league’s highest payroll.

This past season, the Warriors paid Stephen Curry $48million, Klay Thompson $40m, Andrew Wiggins $33m, Draymond Green $25m, and former second overall pick James Wiseman $9m, totalling $155m from just five of their 15 roster spots. The NBA's 'soft cap' – meaning the salary cap that can be exceeded to re-sign a team's current players – was set at $112m for 2021-22, and will rise to $122m for the upcoming season.

"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," Lacob said. "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.

"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 [of our] top eight players are all drafted by this team."

Lacob said that some have classified the Warriors’ 2022 championship a "checkbook win."

According to ESPN, the Warriors paid $69 million in luxury tax in 2020-21, $170 million in 2021-22 and are projected to pay $181 million in 2022-23.

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