Last week, RidiculousUpside.com was able to get a closer look and feel for Santa Cruz Warriors' basketball. When examining the culture, it's easy to see that the NBA parent affiliate Golden State Warriors work hard (and are making strides) to instill some family values between the two squads. The bond between them is quite strong already, and only stands to continue flourishing with time.
Having said that, recognizing "family" between the organizations goes beyond simply a metaphorical sense. It's quite literal, in fact. Golden State's Assistant General Manager Kirk Lacob (son of team owner Joe) is Santa Cruz's G.M. What's more, two of the D-League squad's more notable players, Seth Curry and Mychel Thompson are brothers to two of the NBA team's rising stars (Stephen and Klay).
From there on out, having grown up in a basketball family seems to be an evident plus in Santa Cruz. Sharpshooter Cameron Jones in the cousin of Toronto Raptors' swingman Landry Fields. What's more, the team's head coach, Casey Hill, is the son of long-time NBA coach Bob Hill.
The list goes on.
Having basketball in one's blood certainly isn't a prerequisite for joining the Warriors' respective family, but it's safe to say that the experience each of the organization's legacy members, so to speak, has amassed over the years pays evident dividends both on and off the court.
Talking with RidiculousUpside.com, (Kirk) Lacob explained the keys to team-building and the role that family & trust play when it comes to the continued growth in Santa Cruz and the bond between both teams.
Continue reading below for more:
"We don't think about it when we're going out to find guys. We don't say 'okay, now we need to find guys with pedigrees.' But certainly, when you're doing your research, there tends to be positive attributes to people with pedigrees. It's a lot easier to vet someone when you know about their family.
In the case of Casey Hill, after knowing Bob, we knew what Casey was about. Actually, Pat Sund grew up with him a little bit because their dads worked together in Seattle. We knew Casey had a knowledge about the game, having been around it. There was nothing that was going to surprise him. He was ready. Look, it's a huge advantage to have grown up around the sport. You're taking things by osmosis all the time. Is it fair? Maybe not, but it's the facts.
For guys like Cameron Jones, Seth Curry, and Mychel Thompson, we know their brother(s) or cousin(s). We know they're good people. We know what they're all about that --- their work ethic. It makes what we see in those guys easier to trust. It might not be all the same, but something is going to be similar.
If you want to talk about my dynamic with my dad, one of the biggest things is that we trust each other. When he asks me to do something, he knows I'm going to try and do it to the best of my abilities. That's something that he's helped cultivate, being my dad. But something he values in the people that work for him is that he can trust them. He knows that they'll get something done if he asks that it be completed. There's certainly value in that. Whenever you work with people, you want to know what you're working with. You want to have a comfort level.
If you talk to any coach in any sport, they're going to say they want a team and staff that they can trust and feel comfortable with. It's hard to go from year to year. One of the hardest things in the D-League is the roster turnaround. So if there's any sort of familiarity you can build into a system, it helps. In our case, it helps to build familiarity around a family or a type of person. I think that the kind of idea around this pedigree is advantageous, but it's not something we seek out. We're not looking at players and saying 'he's got a brother in the NBA, let's go get him.' It's more of an extra positive or plus in the bonus column."