End of an era: Myers' departure signals a major shift in Golden State
Nobody knows what's next, but it'll be different
There are a lot of familiar faces around the Golden State Warriors dynasty run, but few have been as prevalent in the front office as Bob Myers. As announced yesterday, Myers’ tenure with the Warriors is over after 12 years. This is a huge change, and has long been looked at as the first domino to fall during what is sure to be an important offseason for Golden State.
What it all means and how it will change what happens with the Warriors will unfold quickly over the next few months. Capped out and hamstrung by the NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement that takes effect on July 1st, whoever ends up with Myers’ old job is inheriting a lovely, talented mess of a roster.
In his wake, there are some enormous shoes left to fill. Myers may not have drafted Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but he was at the center of just about every other move the Warriors made. His hands were on the wheel as the team catapulted from the lovable loser franchise that was giving out free hotdogs in order to sell tickets into the rarified air of perennial playoff contender and four-time champion that has become the NBA’s biggest draw.
In many ways, this was Myers’ team. And not having him around any more is sad.
Best of luck, Mr. Myers! Thank you for the diligent years of services, and all the behind the scenes patching and planning you’ve contributed!
Why did Myers leave?
Rumored earlier in the month, there’s no shortage of reasons why it was time. In fact, those were his own words used yesterday to break the news. “It’s just time.” And though we will likely never know the true breakdown of his rationale, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see where the fabric was wearing thin - and he even said that this wasn’t about money.
As one of the primary architects of the Warriors’ rosters, Myers has vested interest in being able to enforce his preferences, and then seeing those choices pan out. He may not have drafted either of the Splash Bros, but he there when the team drafted both Draymond Green and Kevon Looney. When they made their first big move, it was Myers pulling the level on sending out Monta Ellis and bringing back Andrew Bogut. When they decided to hold on to Klay instead of making a big swing on Kevin Love. He talked a lot about Kevin Durant during his farewell press conference. The most impactful free agent acquisition of the modern era. Then, after it broke apart, he managed to salvage a gem in Andrew Wiggins from the whirling chaos of Kevin Durant’s departure.
So there are aspects right now that probably aren’t that fun to watch. The aftermath of the peak. After using the team’s highest pick in years on a young and extremely raw James Wiseman, Bob Myers had to sit there and watch him not get playing time prior to a salary dump trade for a guy in Gary Payton that the team would have re-signed over the previous offseason if not for salary constraints imposed by ownership. All while knowing that Wiseman probably wasn’t going to fit with the Warriors current timeline needs.
When pinned down, Myers said that his main reason for leaving was because he doesn’t still feel like he can give the full effort and engagement that are needed for the job he’s being asked to do. Which is fair. Myers has made a name for himself by being available, and constantly working - and the Warriors’ problems are only going to get more magnified.
Anyone who has done any job for 12 years will have a decently long list of reasons to go try something else. I’d imagine that Joe Lacob isn’t the easiest boss to work for, and being around so much pressure every day at work for so long would burn any of us out.
Here is one of my favorite reporters, (that only got the job because one of my old favorite reporters left) on the man behind the job title. Via the excellent Kerith Burke:
My favorite Bob Myers story is from 2017-2018 when the Warriors swept the Cavs to win back-to-back championships. Everyone is streaming off the court into the tunnel to go back to the locker room. I’m there plucking off interviews. Myers stops.
I ask. “What do you think of the word dynasty? Of the sweep?” And the usual “how do you put this moment into words” question. While everyone else was jubilant, Myers said he was a little sad. His family was not at the game. His wife had recently given birth and was at home.
He wished he could share the moment with them. That crystalized for me who Myers was was. Emotional, family man, in tune with the bigger picture. If he wants a break or wants something different, may he go in peace and happiness. Wishing Myers the best for the future.
Executive of the year twice. World champ four times. And by all accounts, one extremely solid dude to have in your corner. I’m going to miss this guy a ton, and the Warriors franchise will miss him even more. Mission accomplished.
What comes next for Golden State?
Well, first up: the draft.
Remember that the new CBA rules governing the NBA salary cap will come into force this summer, constricting what was already a limited answer set available to the Warriors. Myers is technically still on the job through the end of June, but he quipped “advisory” when asked about his role in the draft.
I’ve quit enough jobs to know that Golden State probably shouldn’t count on Myers for too much during these final days. Some meetings, a bunch of handoffs and information exchanges - sure. But sitting down for the gritty task of negotiating? Or working the phones trying to squeeze some marginal value out of a low draft pick that everyone knows the team needs to trade? Probably best left to whoever is taking the helm next.
There are some big picture questions coming to the fore now that the team will have to decide on. While the rumors are that Mike Dunleavy jr. is slated for the job, the concern now is if the Lacob led front office lost a useful philosophical foil with the departure of Myers. Few commanded the same respect amongst the old guard as did Myers, who was always portrayed as the go-between when it came time to smooth over the bumps between a brusque front office and a bunch of egos and agendas and players just trying to make their way through the league.
Draymond Green is entering the final year of his contract, just as Jordan Poole begins his large deal. The presumption is that the Warriors will somehow finagle a discount out of Green, but there are some deep waters here and no assurances that Green is all that interested in hearing about how little money the team has for him at this point in his career.
The team isn’t necessarily in a place of concern, but it’s going to be hard to squeeze out another championship or two from the tail end of Curry’s career. Even so, maybe we are overthinking all this. Keep the core together, cobble together as many value veterans as you can, and roll the dice on a core that has been able to make it happen, mostly.
One way or another though, Myers departure signals the end of an era. It was a remarkable phase that probably could not have happened if not for his involvement. And for that, Myers is going to go down amongst the all-time greats. I don’t know if Eric Apricot is going to run a poll on this or not, but to me, Myers is without a doubt a Warriors for life.
It already feels different. But the memories are all the sweeter because of it.