I went to the Warriors game last night, mostly to watch Chris Mullin‘s number retired.

What fans were treated to instead was witnessing a PR nightmare.

Here is the video of owner Joe Lacob’s being roundly booed during the ceremony.

Three quick observations:

1) Lacob – and Warriors PR personnel – wildly underestimated the raw emotion created by the team’s recent trade of Monta Ellis.

The team needed to realize that putting the owner on the mic just days after this move was risky.

2) The sequencing was awful.  After Mullin made his comments, Lacob spoke.  The crowd had just reached a fever pitch, giving Mullin a rousing standing ovation.  The next logical step was to raise the banner.  Instead here comes Lacob, who just unloaded Monta for a player who can’t even play this year (due to injury).

Had Lacob spoken first, during the introduction – when the crowd was excitedly buzzing in anticipation of the ceremony – the fan reaction to Lacob would have been much different.

3) Lacob froze at the moment of truth.  Once the booing started, he needed to “own the room” and launch into his comments.  But he stopped, thinking the fans’ boos would dissipate.  Instead, his hesitation emboldened more fans to join in.  It was as if he were a WWE “bad guy” standing with the mic in his hands, taunting the crowd.

The combination of these three factors led to a disappointing experience for all involved.

Most disappointing was that a night to celebrate Chris Mullin’s acheivements was overshadowed by Lacob and the fans.