Marty Glick showed up at the Hebrew Free Loan Business Circle Luncheon last week toting a couple of glimmering friends.
The former chief financial officer of the Golden State Warriors was at the annual event — a fundraiser at which the S.F.-based agency highlights many of the people it has supported — as the featured speaker.
His “friends” were the last two NBA championship trophies, which many guests posed with before the luncheon.
Even though the Warriors had suffered an ugly 33-point loss to the Boston Celtics less than 24 hours earlier — the team’s most lopsided loss at home during the era in which they’ve won three NBA championships — several of the business executives, bankers and real estate agents in the audience came to the March 6 luncheon in Warriors garb.
Hebrew Free Loan, which was founded 122 years ago and has been giving out interest-free loans ever since to everyone from students to first-time homebuyers to business owners, raised more than $31,000 at the luncheon, including $2,500 from the auction of a basketball signed by the 2018-19 Warriors.
Hebrew Free Loan also added three new Business Circle members at the March 6 luncheon, including Glick.
Glick, in conversation with Jordan Gill, the executive director of BimBam (formerly G-dcast) after spending eight years at Hebrew Free Loan, focused his remarks on the 2010 sale of the team to Silicon Valley venture capitalist Joe Lacob and partners for a then-record $450 million and the early years under the new ownership.
Glick said he happened to be sitting next to Lacob at a Warriors game about 15 years ago when they started talking about Lacob’s interest in buying the Oakland A’s baseball team. That began an email relationship that led Lacob to invite Glick, a biotech executive, to become a minority owner of the Warriors in 2011.
At the time of the sale, the Warriors had failed to make the playoffs in 15 of the previous 16 seasons and often had one of the worst records in the league.
“I agreed to restructure the business side while Joe restructured the basketball side,” Glick said. “I had zero experience in the business of basketball. But when I walked in I saw, from a business perspective, there was a reason the team was terrible. I looked around and the average computer was six years old. They were buying new file cabinets instead of laptops.”
Within a few months, Glick had bought new computers for the entire staff. And Lacob was starting to make the moves — such as acquiring Andre Iguodala and drafting Draymond Green in the second round in 2012 — that would eventually lead to the team’s dominance on the court.
Glick, who now is a special adviser to Warriors ownership and is not authorized to speak on behalf of the current team, has focused in recent years on securing financing for the Warriors’ Chase Center, the 18,000-capacity arena in San Francisco that they are scheduled to move into next season.
When Glick agreed to become a minority owner of the Warriors, the paperwork said he would be entitled to a championship ring when the team won an NBA championship.
Back in 2011, such an accomplishment seemed absurd even to dream about.
“I told Joe that was ridiculous, and now I have three,” Glick said, raising his right hand to show off one of those rings.