Back in early February -- the night before the NBA trade deadline -- the Warriors traded Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for three second-round draft picks.
Golden State general manager Bob Myers initially didn't understand why Burks and Robinson III were disappointed about being shipped to a legitimate title contender.
"It was first a point of confusion," Myers told the Bay Area News Group's Dieter Kurtenbach with a chuckle. "I didn't understand what they were upset about (laughter)."
At the time of the transaction, the Warriors were 12-40 after having just lost to the Brooklyn Nets by 41 points.
But Burks and Robinson III -- who will be free agents this summer after signing one-year contracts with the Dubs last summer -- really enjoyed the franchise's culture and playing for coach Steve Kerr.
"That’s a hard thing to do for Steve to create an environment where people like coming to work every day in the midst of such losing," Myers said. "And so I tip my hat to him and his group, and everybody that interacts with the players.
"It’s hard to create and cultivate a healthy environment in our league. It’s not easy. It’s not as easy as people think. There are so many different layers to making a player feel like he’s part of something bigger than himself -- feel like he’s in an environment that he can flourish in. It’s a challenge.
"It takes a lot of work, takes a lot of effort, it takes a lot of communication. And so to see two veterans -- who’ve been around the league -- feel like it’s something that they wanted to see through ... is nice. It really is. And it means we’re doing something right."
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And remember, Robinson III was having the best season of his career. The 26-year-old was averaging career highs in points (12.9), rebounds (4.7), assists (1.8), steals (0.9) and field-goal percentage (48.1). He also shot 40 percent from deep on 3.5 attempts per game.
As for Burks -- he scored 30 points in his last game in a Warriors uniform, and averaged 16.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists over 48 games. He was thriving in his role.
So while it's fair for Myers to have assumed they would have been thrilled about going to Philly, the two-time NBA Executive of the Year also fully grasps it's not that simple. There are many variables in play and the human element cannot be overlooked.
"At minimum, those players felt like they were improving, and they were getting an opportunity, and they were feeling good about going to work," he said. "That does benefit you usually in the end. Clearly this year, it didn’t show itself in the record.
"But if you can create a place where people feel good, you do usually get the best out of them."