San Francisco – Bob Myers end of the season and final press conference with the Golden State Warriors.
BOB MYERS: Well, you can’t make it to a day like this any more without everybody knowing what you’re going to say. But this is tough. This is hard. I have so many different things, emotions that I’m still processing.
But the bottom line is, this job, the one I’m in, and I would say this for my professional general manager or coach, requires complete engagement, a complete effort, a thousand percent, and if you can’t do it, then you shouldn’t do it, and so that’s the answer to the question of why. I can’t do that to our players. I can’t do that to Joe and Peter. Really, I can’t do it to myself. And that’s the question I’ve been wrestling with. Appreciate your patience letting me make that decision, everybody in this room.
I’ve only known how to do things one way my whole life, is kind of all the way, and it doesn’t feel right to do something when I can’t give it everything, and that’s what it takes to do what we’ve done over the last 12 years.
I have a tremendous amount of everyone within the Warriors, especially Joe and Peter. Joe, you gave me an opportunity to work for this organization. Nobody else did. I was just an agent, a young agent that had not done a ton. Got hired by what, at the time was I think the most expensive purchase of an NBA team. Pretty gutsy call on Joe and Peter’s part.
I think about those memories of the brand new trying to figure it out days. Joe was a new owner. I was a new GM. Kirk was there. People like Raymond and Brandon and Larry Riley teaching me in my first year, patience. I kind of wanted to come in and thought like a lot of people that you can figure it out and learn quickly; the humbling part of the job. But he accepted me.
Guys like Travis Schlenk, Larry Harris, people that were there before me Larry was a GM. I knew Larry when I was an agent. He’s a great friend today and always will be; Travis.
It’s really the people that you do it with, but those people, the original people that were there, is a special place back in Oakland for all of us when it began.
It’s hard to go back that far because so much has happened. When Joe hired Jerry, I knew Jerry, and getting to work with him was a joy. One of best things I ever got to do. Learning from him but mostly just getting to know him. What an amazing guy. Forget about the basketball side of him, just as a person, and Joe and I getting to know him and sharing his energy and passion. It’s hard to watch a game with Jerry because he’s just competitive. But I passed that on to Kirk and some other people a few years in. I said, “He’s too much to watch a game with.”
Rick Welts was also one of the originals. What a decent man. Great leader. Helped shepherd the business into what it is today. All great people. Joe and Peter have done a tremendous job, and I would like to think I’m evidence of how good they are at hiring great people and letting them do their job.
Mark Jackson was my first coach, and Mark was so right for the time. He was what we needed. We needed confidence. Our players needed it. Our organization needed it and he brought it, and only the way that he could. And got us to start believing in ourselves, and that’s an important thing. He brought that confidence and leadership.
You know, and as I think about making the playoffs, it was such a huge thing for the was, and I think that was 2012 my first year as GM, and then beating Denver. I remember going to that Denver series thinking, “I hope we don’t get swept. I just hope we don’t get swept.”
And obviously winning the series and beating Spurs was the beginning of all of it. It was the beginning of — it was the beginning of this, and the players were showing us the way and leading us and guiding us.
And then Steve came along. And oh, boy, you know what a guy. What a once-in-a-lifetime friendship, once-in-a-lifetime person who — he’s a fantastic coach. He’s an all-time, top Hall of Fame coach. But you can go through your whole life and not meet people like that, not make friendships like that. It’s super rare.
Most GMs and coaches don’t like each other, and I can see why. It’s pretty set up to fail.
“It’s your fault.”
“No, it’s your fault.”
“No, you’re doing it wrong. You should play these guys.”
“No, you got me the wrong players.” It’s so set up to fail.
But winning a championship in ’15 with him; when Steve is in the room, it just makes you feel better about the room. He has a way of doing that. You’ve all been in here with him so many times, and it’s his calming presence. He’s got, like I said, decency and a humanity that is rare, and also is a fantastic coach and has led this organization for I think nine years and will continue to lead this organization.
The players, what can you say? They are the reason that I’ve loved it so much. They are the reason for the success. I got a chance to talk to most of them, most of the key guys.
You know, some people say the GMs shouldn’t be — don’t get close to the players; you might have to cut them, or you might get emotional and not pay them or pay them or whatever it is.
I kind of push back and go, what is the point of any job if you don’t like and build relationships with who you go to work with? What is the point. Some would say to win. Okay. But who are you doing that with, and what happens after that?
And so I mean, Steph Curry is just — you can’t even begin to — you can’t over state who he is. When I talked to him, it’s so rare of somebody of his calibre to be who he is. And I think people know him for what he does, but how lucky is this organization to have him as its leader. And for me to get to watch him be that guy for my whole time here, what a gift to me, and that’s one I could never repay, ever. But it’s great that he’s saying. It’s great that he’s here.
Draymond, we’ve been through a lot, too, from watching games with — the game in the Finals when he got suspended to all the conversations that no one knows about.
Klay, I remember with Larry and I met with him at Scott’s Seafood over in Oakland, in his rookie get-to-know-you-tryout with us, and now look at him. He’s very comfortable in his own skin and four championships later.
And Andre Iguodala who took about three years to get to know because he doesn’t trust anybody. But what a unique leader. He was a huge part of that first championship; and to watch Looney become who he is. Just wonderful people that have graced this organization and will be remembered kind of forever.
Durant called me today. He was in Monaco. What he did for us, showing up here, knowing what he would hear about when he made that decision; for him to have that courage.
Remember Joe and I were on the phone with him right before he decided, and you could tell he knew what might be coming down his road if he came to us, and for him to do it, and to completely deliver on everything that you would want: Two Finals MVPs; taking us to three Finals appearances, two Championships.
What a talent. What a great — if you like basketball, watching him and Steph and these guys play, that was — I’d do that for free.
Shaun came to work with us. I don’t know if you know Shaun but what another just — these people are so hard to find in sports. They are so rare. Getting to know Andrew, watching him show up. Watching him become him. All of these guys, Jordan.
Some of the main guys, and even some of the young guys, it’s what makes it great. Makes it hard to leave. Guys that have been here before: Bogut, David Lee, David West, LB, JaVale, I mean, it’s the journey with all these players, with all the coaches, going through it with Alvin and Mike and Luke and all the people that went on to be head coaches here. It’s what makes it great.
I want to thank Rick Celebrini and the staff for getting all our guys healthy, trying to get me healthy, although that hadn’t quite happened yet. I’ve stolen some of Rick’s time. But Rick and Drew and their whole staff and what they do is underappreciated but hugely important.
My group, that’s who I really get to do it with: Kirk and Mike, Larry, Kent, Nick, Shaun, Pabail, Onsi, David, Ryan, Hannah, Chloe. I get all the people in my position, a lot of — it looks like I’m doing these things. I know full well that it’s us and it will always have been us, and we win together and we lose together and we succeed and we fail. And thank you for helping me, doing it with me, challenging me, supporting me, befriending me. That’s my team of people.
To the fans, oh, boy. I grew up a fan of the Warriors. I was like the ten-year-old kid in the upper Oracle. I was telling the business manager that I would get Warriors tickets for my birthday, and you know, months in advance, this is when you actually got the hard tickets. There was no digital tickets. So my brother and my dad I would go. I was born in ’75, and that was the last championship.
To feel like I had helped give this fan base and this community, did my part, not perfectly, but as best I could to get some more of those things and Joe said it when he got hired — or not hired, Joe didn’t get hired — when he bought the team (laughing) that we’re going to have more of those. I remember looking at thinking, how are you going to do that? And boy, did he do it. It’s crazy to see those four new ones up there and where the organization’s come. I’m so thankful.
Part of me wishes I could have been a fan during it all. I might have enjoyed it more, and I hate saying that, but I might have, sitting up there in the upper deck or whenever I was sitting.
But while the people that I see on the streets, the people I see in the airports, very kind fan base. We haven’t gotten everything right. I did get yelled at a few times about we didn’t sign a big man at the buyout. It’s not as easy as everyone thinks. We do like big guys, contrary to popular belief. Joe, especially, likes size and he will tell you himself.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for the passion; understanding that we are human, we try, we try harder than you can even imagine to give you what you deserve. I wake up at three in the morning — I’ve woken up at three in the morning way too many times for a job, but as you all may know, it’s more than a job, and that’s why I love it and that’s why it’s hard to leave it.
Lastly, before I take questions, I want to thank my wife and my daughters for getting on this train with me. It’s a fast one, and once you’re on it, you’re on it, and being there with me in a crazy kind of awesome way. I tell my daughters, I would have done anything to be in a Warriors parade, and they have gotten to be in four. Well, one of them has, and one of them — well, I forget. They have done enough. They have had enough success.
But thank you for you and always reminding me that you — when I work, you take care of the kids (fighting back tears) and that is — I couldn’t do my job if you didn’t do yours, and that means a lot to me. It’s a lot of sacrifice.
I was at dinner last night talking to my family, and I said to my daughter, I said, “You know, thank you guys, too, for being there. I missed a lot of stuff, but we had some great times. But thank you guys for kind of allowing me to do it and be there.”
One of my daughters said, “Dad…”
“Dad, will you pass the ketchup?”
So kids are fine. Family is good. They are worried about their own situations. But I’m sure they will miss it as they all will as we move through it.
Lastly to everybody here, when I started, I think it was this guy over here in the red and white hat, Marcus, and Rusty, I don’t know if Steinmetz was in the mix at the time. He might have been — moved on. But it wasn’t this, and it’s been fun watching it become. This is what you want. And it wasn’t Internet. It wasn’t social media. It was The Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times. Simpler, but thank you for all of you.
You covered me fairly. You cover us fairly. Getting to know some of you, I like all of you. You have hard jobs, too. I have no idea how hard but I know it’s hard.
Hopefully, I think Raymond is about as good as they come, and hopefully he’s been a good partner for you as much as I think he has. This team — and then I’m going to take questions — this team is in great shape. It’s in great shape. Joe is not going anywhere. He has supported me.
He has given me — if there was a metric on cost per win, I don’t know how good I would be, because we have spent a lot of money because he’s so competitive because he cares so much. And to have an owner like that that puts his heart and his will and his money into winning; you can’t ask for anything more, and that’s not changing. You’ve got a fantastic coach. You’ve got arguably one of the best players to ever play and one of the best people to ever play in Steph Curry.
So the future is unbelievably bright. I know that some people have said that I’m leaving because there’s a lot of big decisions. Well, it’s been a lot worse than this. There’s been a lot harder summers than this when we started in the past. So I have great confidence in what’s to come, and I have no doubt that much success will still be forthcoming.
So sorry I went all over the place, but that’s it. I’ll answer any questions you have.
Q. It’s so clear that this is a heartfelt decision, and when you describe the job that requires complete engagement, could you share a little bit of the timeline about when you first started considering a departure? When did those feelings get really real, and would you describe this as a family decision?
BOB MYERS: Well, every decision is a family decision. But I know it’s been — my wife, if I stayed, she’d support me. My family would support me.
You know, geez, 2019, we had been in the Finals five years in a row. That’s a lot. It’s exactly what you want. It’s exactly what you do it for. I had to figure out then what was left. Finals take a lot out of you, for some of us that have covered us for the Finals.
Four years ago, I thought, can I keep doing this, and how can I keep doing it? Talked to Joe, he said what do you need. We brought Mike in. I’ve got a tremendous amount — it’s only because of the help I’ve had over the last four years but if you about it, I’ve thought about it, but really, I wanted to go through this season just focused on the season, and when the season ended, I started thinking, do I have what’s required to do to do it the way I know it needs to be done.
It’s a personal thing, and so for me, it was just — it hard because it’s so public. I don’t love that it’s so public but I get why it is. I just wish you could just leave a job like most people, and your reasons are your reasons.
But I started thinking about it when the season ended, and had had thoughts prior, but really, when the season ended, and it has — well, people can do it however they want. I have great respect for every GM in any sport. They do it however they want.
I know how I have to do it, and if I to do it that way, I can’t do it.
Q. I know how hard this is for you but what’s the hardest part of coming to this decision, knowing how close you are to the guys and everything?
BOB MYERS: Well, the hardest part is I love the people at my work, and I won’t get to see them as much. I won’t get to help them as much as I can. That’s a tough thing. But I also know that they deserve the parts of me that I’ve got to be able to give, but it will be the people.
I guess I’m probably semi-addicted to the competitiveness, maybe more than I think. This is an intoxicating thing. I will probably have a hard time with it. Games become part of your life. You know, coming to games, rode games are on TV, you feel it, you wake up in the morning. The competitiveness, there’s nothing like it. It’s just high stakes.
So I’ll miss that. Because you can’t really find that. It’s a hard thing to find. It’s a tough thing to live in but there’s an awesomeness to the competition at the highest level, and to compete in the Finals and do all those things. I’ll miss watching games. I’ll miss going to games. I love basketball. I love it.
My first love, I’m not — being this close, watching Curry warm up, being with Steve, being with my group, battling it out with Joe on the right, wrong thing, those are just — it’s a constant thing, and I don’t know how I’m going to do. But there’s a lot of things I’m going to miss, and I’m sure I’ll find those things out as time passes.
Q. You mentioned the organization is in great shape. You mentioned Joe, Steve and Steph. You do leave a void, obviously. Who do you — I guess how do you expect that to be filled? Obviously you have a stable of people under you. What type of shape do you think the front office general is?
BOB MYERS: I think it’s in fantastic shape. I mean, I get more credit than I deserve. There’s people that work with me that deserve more credit and are going to get a chance to do more. They have already probably done more than people know. That’s the great thing about this in that it’s a team. It’s not me that does all these things by myself. It’s about my group and they are tremendous, and they deserve more attention and credit than they have ever gotten.
Joe will probably answer the next thing, and whatever that is will be with my full support. I end on June 30th. I’ll help out on whatever way makes sense for everybody. But like I said, Joe — he’s sitting right here. I don’t — I wouldn’t have hired me 12 years ago. Why would he hire me? I was an agent. He bought this big purchase. He could have hired probably anybody, and he hired me.
So he’s good at this. He got Rick Welts, brought in Jerry, Steve. This franchise, it’s one of the best franchises in the word, and he’s — it’s his. So whatever decision he wants to go with will be a good one. It will be a good one. But I’m sure you can ask him. He’ll address it.
Q. You talked about Steph, Draymond, Klay Thompson, guys that you have been attached to as much as anyone in this organization. What was it like telling them that you were going to leave, and what was that conversations like, and how did that feel for you?
BOB MYERS: It’s hard. Those guys, you think about what you go through with people, and it’s not all great. Most of it’s been unbelievable. But I guess on those things, it’s easier because I think I’ll still talk to those guys. I mean, I want to. I think those relationships are real. So it’s not good-bye.
But it’s more like, you know, you guys — they are going to keep going. This is just my stop. The train is powerful. This thing is moving. It’s just, I’ve got to get off. It’s hard.
It’s funny, I was talking to Steph a little bit, and I go, “I feel like you’re not really trying to change my mind.”
He started laughing. He goes, “No, it hurts,” but he understands. The people that know me understand. But you can’t take away what we’ve done and what we’ve been through.
My hope is that those relationships last a long, long time. If they don’t, it’s too bad, I’ve screwed something up. Because what’s the point if you have 12 years if you walk away and you don’t have those. I don’t understand that. I think it’s good but those are always tough.
The people that have been here — not that the people haven’t been here a short amount of time, it’s hard, too, but people like those guys, that’s a long time to work with someone and accomplish what we did.
So it’s a bittersweet one.
Q. You mentioned bringing Dunleavy in that year. Was there some conscious effort on your thinking that you were kind of preparing him to replace you; that he was a guy who could replace you? I know it’s Joe’s and Peter’s decision. Is he ready to replace you?
BOB MYERS: Well, Mike’s great. He’s as good a GM, if he wants it, it will be great, if that’s what he wants. But it’s his call. It’s Joe’s call. It’s not my call. But if that’s what he wants to do, he’ll be great. He knows more about basketball than I do. He grew up in it. He was born into it with his dad; he played in it.
If that’s his calling then — that wasn’t my thought at the time, honestly. I just thought, we’re always looking for people that will make us better. Joe is always about bringing in talent. I didn’t have an idea at the time that I was grooming him. I mean, he’s more my friend than coworker.
But he’s really good, and he would be fantastic if that’s a choice. But I’d be lying if I thought, four years ago, let’s bring in Mike and he can assume this thing. I told him, if that’s what he wants, then I’m fully supportive. I said I’ll help with Draymond if he needs it (laughing).
But yeah, just you know what, I look at things like that, who is part of the solution, and he’s part of the solution, in whatever that role is. If he stays in that role, he’s in, great. If he wants to do more and that’s what the decision is, he’ll be great.
Q. A couple weeks ago at the season-ender, Steve talked about the difficulties of this year, in particular, and the lack of chemistry and the lack of trust issues that started, obviously, in October. I’m just wondering, you said you took a long time to think about this, but did this season in particular take an added emotional toll on you?
BOB MYERS: Well, yes, but that’s not why I’m leaving. This was a hard year. I don’t know, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t.
But there’s been hard years and there’s been tough ones. Even when we were winning, those years with Durant and those teams, there was no outcome that was acceptable except winning. I think we were favored in every game we played. It’s great but pressure.
This year, I don’t know, it’s hard to repeat. And there was some tough things this year, I’m not going to discount those. But some people asked me, you know, if the team wins the Championship, would you leave? I think, yes.
So if this was a perfect year, it might have still been the time, I don’t know. But they are all — they all come with their own challenges. There’s one happy GM at the end of the year. It’s a hard one. One happy coach, one happy team. Luckily we got to be happy four times.
Q. First of all, congratulations on a great run. Aside from spending more time with your family, of course, do you know what’s next for you? Do you know how you’ll spend most of your time? My projects on your mind? Just be a regular basketball fan? What does the next year or so look for you?
BOB MYERS: Well, my wife said we’re going to get a drink maybe on the way home. Nanaya, who is awesome, who helped me over the last — Nanaya became famous when she got her ring. She gave me a little glass of champagne an hour or so ago. I don’t know that answer and I guess I don’t need to know that answer. I’m in a narrow lane just because I love basketball so much.
But I don’t know. I’ve never stopped. I’ve never really stopped going. I went right from an agent to this. Went to law school at night after college. My whole life has been like — maybe it will be good for me to sit still. I don’t know how good I’ll be at it but I’ve actually never done it, and maybe figure some things out. And I don’t know what’s coming.
Q. Some of the activities you mentioned that you’ve missed with your girls, what are some of those, and might you become a youth coach or anything — are they having, I don’t know, piano recitals or thing that you’re going to do to maybe fill some of that void?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, look, I make a lot of things. I try. I think what will be different is sometimes it’s not about showing up. It’s about being present. So I can physically be there. I’m physically there as much as I can be, as much as any GM can be. But there’s a mental part, like when our games are going on, you’re thinking about that.
I tried to be my oldest daughter’s kindergarten’s basketball coach. It did not work well. It’s going to be tough for me because I love my family but I want — it’s very hard to move out of this kind of hypercompetitive world.
But, I don’t know, I think I’ll sit with that and see. Love my kids, love my wife, that’s never going to change, but I don’t think I’m done working. I’m going to do something. But they are great. I’m lucky. I’m lucky with the three daughters keep me sane. I’ve got enough men, boys in my life around here. It balances itself out.
Q. My apologies for more of a straight basketball question, but beyond the four championships, obviously one thing you’ll be remembered for, one big thing you guys embarked on was the two-time lines and trying to develop the next core. How do you reflect on that? It’s a difficult thing to do, or to try, and as you leave, how did that work and where do you think that stands?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, I don’t think we said that but I’d see the narrative. We, myself, Joe, us, all of us, we’re just trying to put together the best team we can every year, and we got it right last year. I guess if you don’t win, you don’t get it right, so then you go back to the drawing board and see what you did right, what we did wrong.
Our effort, the effort of this organization is first class. The desire to win is pure. But the beauty of — and what makes this job so fun is you get to try again. You lose in the second round, and you say, well, that wasn’t good enough, so what are we going to do. I don’t know that we put a timeline on — when we talk, when we have talked, it’s not about let’s focus on the second timeline here, or this is a first timeline thing. It’s trying to win championships.
An owner doesn’t spend $360 million if he’s worried about the next thing. An owner spend that if he wants to win a championship. Trust me, that’s all Joe wants to do.
And I know it’s been — last thing before he comes up. This wasn’t about money. I just want to make that clear. It’s not about money. I’ve made plenty of money. I got offered plenty of money. So thank you for that. I know you’re going to come up here now.
JOE LACOB: Hi, everyone.
Well, I have to admit that when I first considered buying a team, I thought about a lot of things but I never thought about a day when I’d have to say good-bye to a partner and a friend and someone who is so close to our organization and me.
So this is a first, and there’s no script for this. So Raymond…(tossing paper notes aside).
In all seriousness, I want to thank Bob for 12 years of your life and your family’s life. It’s been an incredible run as we all know. We have had historic success, not only as a business but obviously on the basketball court, and you’re a tremendous part of it, a huge part of it. Four championships, six Finals in 12 years. I don’t know, if you ever do this again, I think you will in some capacity because you’re too competitive, but if you ever do this again, it will be hard to keep that record going. It’s just an incredible accomplishment.
I just want to say on a personal level, I have four kids. And I’ve said this before, I actually consider Bob my fifth. It’s really hard to see your son, because that’s what I kind of feel like this is, leave, and go off to do something else.
And I’m not going to sit here and tell you I understand it, because I don’t. It’s not in me to do that. I’m so competitive and I know he is, too. It’s a really hard thing for me to understand why but it’s really not for me to understand why. I just want him to be happy.
And I will say, there is some similarity, and Bob and I have talked about this. I was a little older than you but I had been at the venture capital firm, a very good firm for 25 years, and some people would say one of the greatest jobs in the world. Why would you ever leave to do anything else? We had amazing success.
And I couldn’t really explain that to people other than to say just there was something else I wanted to do. In my case, I knew what it was. Maybe Bob does, maybe he doesn’t, I don’t know. But I dropped it all. Told my partners I was leaving. It was a very hard thing to do to go try something different and something new. Maybe that’s what’s in your future, I can’t say, I don’t know.
But I wish him the best of luck and I know he’ll be successful at whatever he does, and I can guarantee you that he will not sit for long. I don’t think it’s in his nature. He has been an incredible partner over the period, not over what the success we’ve had but what you guys don’t see, what you don’t know, the amount of stress, the amount pain, the amount of tension, the amount of — there’s just so many things that happen if you’re all together as we have been in trying to build something, which you know, from where we were to where we are now, I think we can take great pride and you can take great pride in.
I can think back — when I think about Bob, I think about a couple of thing. One, I think about the first day I met him. He was suggested to me by Danny Ainge, who gets a call out here today. I was looking for a GM and interviewed a bunch of people that the league recommended, and just nobody was clicking exactly right.
And Danny called me one day, who I knew from my Boston days and said, “You know, there’s this guy, Bob Myers. He’s young. He hadn’t ever done any of this before.” Described who he was.
I said, “Well it doesn’t sound like he’s qualified.” And that’s the truth.
“Well, you ought to just meet him.”
I said, “Okay, I’ll interview a bunch of other people but I’ll meet him.” And it was back this January of, maybe, 2011. We had just taken over the team. I think January we met. Came out. We met. I really, really liked him. I said this guy, characteristically, capability-wise, I think he could be really good at this. But wasn’t necessarily the resumé.
Interviewed a bunch of people for a few more months and ultimately I said to myself and Peter, “You know, I don’t really like any of those either candidates. I really like this guy Bob Myers.” You know, we called him back and the rest is history. It’s a pretty amazing story.
So that’s one thing I think about.
Another thing I think about which is an incredible thing, when we were doing the Iguodala acquisition, it was so hard because we had, as I recall, and I don’t remember all the details now, but we had to shed a bunch of money, and it was hard to be able to bring him on and I remember I was on vacation or semi — I call it vacation, but up in Montana, and I was on with Bob all the time, all day, all night, just constantly, how are we going to get this done? He worked so hard to get that deal. People could never understand how difficult that was just to — it doesn’t seem like a lot, right, but just to get that guy and turned out to be a very important person in the history of the franchise and the success we’ve had.
So he’s an incredibly diligent, hard worker, which I will always remember and respect. I mean, just insanely so. So I remember that.
The next one I remember, the great moment was Kevin Durant. You know, we lost that horrible series in 2016, up 3-1. Hard to even think about or talk about it to be honest with you. I won’t say a lot other than Bob Myers was on the job pretty fast. It all worked out; it would not have happened. We would not have had those next two championships if Bob had not done what he did and work an incredibly difficult — he was the key guy. It was his idea and his execution.
Yes, a lot of other people had a lot to do with it in the organization. It’s always a we thing but it would not have happened without Bob. We owe him that. That’s something I think about as well.
And I guess I also think about 2019, more heartbreak. You know, how difficult that was to see two of our greatest players in consecutive games go down and how Bob dealt with that and the humanity with which he approached it. It’s incredible. I can’t even describe it to you or try to put it into words, but it’s just so vivid for me in terms of remembering it.
And I could go on and on and on. You know, the things that weren’t done, the trades that weren’t done, which were an incredible amount of time and diligence and effort and so on. I just think we have a great organization and Bob was a central, central part of it over the last 12 years.
We are going to miss him incredibly. I wish him the success. All the success in the world in whatever he decides to do. Who knows, maybe he’ll be back with us at some point in the future. I don’t know, I’m not going to give up that easily. He may think so, but I’m not.
BOB MYERS: (Smiles)
JOE LACOB: I’ve always said that success is — yeah, you have to have talent but you have to have the management involved in these organizations on the business side, on the basketball side. Management makes a huge difference, a huge difference. And none of can understand that as much as when you’re doing this and involved in it. And Bob has just been as good as it gets or ever will be. So thank you for all those efforts.
I’ll just quickly address —
BOB MYERS: This is more compliments than I ever got in my life (laughter).
JOE LACOB: Got to keep you working on the next thing, Bob.
What’s next? We have, Bob addressed and I think he addressed it well and I’m sure you’ll have a couple questions. We have a good organization and we believe in bench strength. Some may think we don’t based on they criticized our bench on the court sometimes. But we do believe in bench strength, and within this organization we have a lot of bench strength and we have a lot of people that are really good at their jobs.
We are constantly training for situations like this. You can’t always achieve it, but Bob has trained some great people in his organization. I think they will play a great role going forward. I’m not going to say what we are doing yet but I don’t know what we are doing wet. I only learned of this decision this morning. And while we’ve been thinking of the possibility of it happening, certainly, knew it was a possibility, although I didn’t want to admit that that was really a possibility to myself, it was a possibility.
So we thought about it, but it’s not going to be something that we rush into. We’ll get it done when we get it done. We’ll make the right decision for the organization and hopefully move forward. I think we are preparing for the draft, free agency, all those things and I know Bob — I’m going to work him till every last day till June 30th to be involved here whether he knows it not. So he’ll be here for that.
BOB MYERS: Yeah, that’s fine, yeah, I guess that’s the way it’s going to be.
JOE LACOB: (Laughs) And so I think we’ll be prepared and we’ll go forward and it will be good. Anything else you want to say before — I can take some questions, too.
BOB MYERS: That means — you drive a hard bargain, so to was nice to hear those things. I do share those sentiments. I guess I skipped over a lot of the things I’m proud of. There’s a lot of things to be proud of.
It’s a hard job. It’s hard to win. Somebody’s going to win a championship in two weeks. It’s not us, but we know what it feels like to win the Championship and lose one. So, proud; I should have hit on that, but I’m proud of what I did and I’m proud of what we did.
But thank you for those things. It was really nice.
JOE LACOB: All right, some questions? I’ll be glad to take any questions.
Q. You mentioned that management can make the world of difference. How do you think Bob’s decision of leaving might impact other people making decision, including Steve who only has one year left on his contract?
BOB MYERS: They are coming; they are coming right for you (laughs).
JOE LACOB: That’s okay. One thing that’s great about this organization and all organizations that achieve greatness is that they have great continuity. If you look at Miami, who is in the Finals last night, great continuity over many years. Same thing with this organization.
We have three players that have been here other an Udonis Haslem, I think the three longest-tenured players in the league, Bob, 12 years, maybe the longest-tenured GM, ever in the Warriors; that true, Raymond, or tied? Steve Kerr has been here nine years. We are all about continuity. We have been working together a long time. We know how each of us think.
I think it’s going to be hard to adjust to no-Bob. But we’ll figure out a way to do it. I don’t know if that answers your question.
Q. The new CBA has a lot of restrictive rules that may not be directly aimed at you guys but will impact you guys pretty heavily. How do you view that changing or not changing your future plans on roster?
JOE LACOB: I’m not going to comment on the roster very much because the truth is, we have a lot of work to do, obviously, and we have time. We have until the draft and free agency, which is a month away or so.
We are going to win no matter what. I don’t care what the rules are. We are going to figure out a way to do it. That’s what good organizations do. They figure out a way to win the game. And our game is to win games and to win championships.
When we came here, this ownership group, 13 years ago, we made a ridiculous proclamation about winning within five years, and of course somehow we managed to do it, all of us, players and everybody involved. We have continued to win.
Look, the rules will change in the game but we’ll continue to do that. We are going to work really hard to do it, and I think we have really smart people. We’ll do it?
Q. As you consider a new GM and the culture fit and all those types of things, what should the new person know about your involvement for the team, your enthusiasm for basketball, day-to-day, what it’s like to work with you?
JOE LACOB: I guess they can go talk to Bob and see what that’s like. I think there are a lot of misconceptions. I’m involved as an owner and Peter is involved, but I think you should be involved if you want to be successful. I think this idea that somehow you should stay out of the way is ridiculous.
No good business runs that way. Whoever is in charge is involved, and they know what’s going on. Now, you hire great people, like this guy, and you let them make the calls. You don’t get in their way. You let them do their job. That’s a basic tenet of what we do.
But as long as I’m involved in ownership, I’m going to be involved in the organization, and sometimes there are ultimate calls that have to be made, and you know, the buck stops here, as they say, so you have to do that. I haven’t really had to do that very much because I have had great people like Bob Myers and Brandon they are coming and Steve Kerr and these guys know what they are doing. They have been great at their jobs.
Q. You talked about continuity but this is going be the first draft under your tenure where you don’t have a long-term GM in place. How do you approach the draft under those circumstances and when do you think that you are going to make a decision on who is going to replace him?
JOE LACOB: I’m not going to box myself in here to be honest and open about this. We really just learned about this when you learned about it this morning. I was always hopeful that Bob would continue on; that somehow he was joking, but wasn’t.
So obviously I’ve thought about it. We have got some ideas. We’ll make a decision as soon as we can, but I want to make sure that we make the right decision, and if it happens in a week, great. If it happens in a month, great. We’ll make that decision through the natural course, have the right process. I think we are preparing are to the draft and free agency and all those things regardless, and we’ll be ready.
Q. Not to box you in any further, but do you think Bob’s replacement will almost certainly be internal, or will there be any outside candidates on the table?
JOE LACOB: I’m not going to comment on that at this time. I will say that we do have a very strong organization, and there’s a good possibility it could be an internal candidate.
But haven’t made a decision, so can’t really give you an answer. We are going to work on that.
Q. Is Bob running the draft then?
JOE LACOB: (Turning to Bob quizzically).
BOB MYERS: I wasn’t very good at that, anyways.
JOE LACOB: I don’t think we’ve even gotten to that level of what’s going to happen exactly in the next month. I guess he’s in play theoretically until June 30th; so the Draft falls within there.
BOB MYERS: Support. Support role.
Q. Also he’s sitting in front of you, but is your son, Kirk, a candidate to become the general manager?
JOE LACOB: I’m not going to comment on who is a candidate, who is not a candidate at this point. Going to keep you all guessing. Particularly you, Tim.
Q. You’ve been with Bob all this time and you guys have developed a really close relationship. What are the things you’re going to miss about him irrespective of basketball, just his companionship and his friendship?
JOE LACOB: I’m going to miss talking to him 5 to 20 times a day. There are times during the course of the year where we don’t but most of the time it’s a constant dialogue. I’m going to miss that. Probably the thing I’m going to miss the most is that because Bob is such a great person, so smart — I don’t mean to keep giving you more accolades today but might as well.
That’s going to be hard. We have all worked together for a long time and I mean, that’s going to be a very difficult thing to adjust to. But you know, life goes on, and nothing is forever. We all know that. Owners don’t own teams forever. Players don’t play forever. We like to think they do. New players come along and get better and all of a sudden they emerge. Maybe Bob has something else great in his future that he wants to do.
Things do change. As much as we would like them to last forever, they just don’t.
Q. You talk about things not lasting forever. How much pressure is there organizationally to get as much done as you can while you have Steph, Klay and Dray on this roster?
JOE LACOB: It doesn’t matter if they are here or not here. There’s a lot of pressure. Our job is to win championships, period.
And I’m going to expect that, we are going to expect that this year, next year, three years from now, five years from now. There’s no point in doing this if you’re not trying to win the Championship. No point.
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