OAKLAND -- With the three-day dismantling of the Lakers came the speculation and, in some part, concern, among Warriors fans that the team in Los Angeles might come hunting in the Bay Area in hopes of breaking off a piece of the dynasty.
No name was being thrown about more than that of president and general manager Bob Myers. From the moment Magic Johnson stepped down from his position with the Lakers on Tuesday, there has been no shortage of text messages, phone calls and general conversation regarding the possibility of Myers leaving the Warriors for the Lakers.
He went to UCLA and worked out of Los Angeles during his days as an agent, so . . .
Maybe (Warriors CEO) Joe Lacob thinks his son, Kirk, is ready for the job, so . . ..
The Lakers could make an irresistible offer, right?
Which may be why on Myers, standing on the sideline of the practice court as the Warriors prepared for Game 1 against the Clippers on Saturday, needed a couple seconds to catch my drift.
Me: What are you doing here today?
Bob: What do you mean?
Me: Shouldn’t you be having lunch with (Lakers controlling owner) Jeanie Buss?
Bob: Oh, right. Almost forgot. (Looks at his watch) I’m supposed to meet her at 2.
Myers then laughed a laugh that suggests he’s not eager to go anywhere anytime soon, even if there are days and nights when he probably wouldn’t mind.
For one, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka seems overtly secure in his status, practically diving headlong into the power vacuum created by Johnson’s departure and showing coach Luke Walton the door Friday morning.
For two, Myers, who has lived his entire life in either the Bay Area or Southern California, knows whatever headaches that come with his current job would barely register when compared with those felt by the man responsible for the care and feeding of the most beloved sports team in America’s entertainment center.
For three, Lacob may be incredibly driven, sometimes maniacally so, but he surely has come to realize Myers’ value to the emotional stability of the franchise. Lacob doesn’t make questionable decisions to save a dollar or two. Or even a $1 million or more.
As the Warriors have gotten bigger and bolder – and, therefore, requiring of maintenance both routine and emergency – it’s incumbent to have someone like Myers. He has been there to guide both Kevin Durant and Draymond Green through various spasms of turbulence. He has been there when coach Steve Kerr was about to blow and has definitely been there when Lacob was on the verge of detonation.
When DeMarcus Cousins was done with the New Orleans Pelicans, he reached out to Myers. No matter how good the Warriors are, Cousins wouldn’t dare make such move unless he had done his research on Myers and concluded the Warriors GM was approachable and worthy of trust.
Every successful franchise has someone who can go into any office in the building and be as comfortable lending an ear as spreading a word. Someone who can talk one guy down from the ledge and another guy onto a task. And a “cooler,” able to chill the boiling blood of any number of individuals from the front office to the coaching staff to the scouting department and, of course, the men on the roster that have made the Warriors what they have become.
When Draymond Green made the famous comment after the championship parade in 2017 – “Can somebody give Bob Myers some (bleeping) credit?" – he was talking less about roster construction than Myers’ knack for rinsing away the potentially toxic issues that inevitably come when surrounded by so many substantial egos.
Does Myers have detractors? Sure. A few folks look at recent drafts and wonder what’s taking so long to find the next great Warrior.
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Myers also knows there will come a day when the Warriors won’t routinely give the rest of the NBA little more than the backs of their hands. Those close to him seem to believe that’s a challenge he relishes.
That day is not yet upon them. Neither is the day when Myers relocates his family to LA, or anyplace else in the NBA. Lacob is smart enough to know if his GM were to leave, his first priority would be to find another Bob Myers.