For someone who already has all the hobbies he can eat, Warriors owner Joe Lacob can be such the alluring chanteuse sometimes.
On a day when his team was squeezing the Atlanta Hawks from the bottom of the tube for the benefit of a national audience, he decided to stir a couple of other pots along the way, on his planned San Francisco arena and what he might want to put inside it.
First, he admitted to Yahoo Sports Talk Live inquisitor-in-chief Jim Kozimor what most people suspected, that the new arena wouldn’t be ready at the earliest until 2018. Then he was asked about another tenant, the currently anchored San Jose Sharks.
“We do talk to the Sharks. They have their own situation, they have to evaluate that,” Lacob said. “Our building is honestly being built for basketball, number one, for concerts, number two. It will be able to accommodate hockey, but that’s not the major goal of it.
“They have a great home in San Jose, they draw very well. I think they’re happy, to be honest with you. I don’t see that happening, but could it happen? You never know. You never want to say never.”
True, you never want to say never, unless the question is “When would you like to be ravaged by a bear?” But Lacob really revealed nothing that can’t easily be countered by the following truths:
1. The Sharks’ fan base is 40 minutes away by crow, two hours by car.
2. There is no advantage to the Sharks to be someone’s second tenant since the team is owned by the same person (Hasso Plattner) who operates the building in which they currently play.
3. If Plattner sells at some point, a hockey team without control of its own building is not a great investment.
4. We didn’t hear Lacob say he was willing to share title on his new arena.
So what’s with the noise then?
Easy. Lacob has also flirted out loud about buying the Athletics, who are at present no more for sale than the Sharks. He could become the disputed king of the Bay Area even without having the two most active money bovines, the Giants and 49ers, and we’re quite sure he’d love to be just that.
But saying isn’t doing, not by a long shot. All teams are for sale eventually, but Lacob would have to find $750 million just to buy the teams, let alone the money to build a new baseball stadium to go with his arena -– bookends alone the bay, if you must.
And as it relates to the Sharks, there is an equally provocative thought about a post-Plattner world, namely the York family.
The 49ers envision their new stadium as the bejeweled hub of a South Bay revenue stream that lasts forever, and there is no non-football-related item that would enhance it quite like an all-purpose arena to replace the oddly venerable San Jose Arena.
Not that the Sharks need to move, even though their building is or is about to be the fourth oldest in the league behind Madison Square Garden (New York Rangers), the Scotia Bank Saddledome (Calgary) and Rexall Place (Edmonton).
Real estate envy, though, is a terrible thing, and the Sharks will have it at some point soon, if they do not already. Without the leverage to leave for a superior market (the market they are in plenty good for their needs), they will have to create their own solution, and their choices are to do it themselves, or sell and have someone else do it for them.
But Kozimor didn’t ask Lacob about buying the Sharks. He asked about the Sharks being a tenant. And Lacob batted his eyes, tilted his shoulder just so and answered, “Never say never.”
Which, frankly, is a lot closer to actually saying never than you might think. I mean, he hasn’t bought the A’s yet, has he? Or built his arena yet? Or gotten fitted for his ring?
No. Not yet, anyway. After all, sometimes you just have to let a chanteuse sing the songs the way they were meant to be sung.