Bob Myers lived every Warriors fan’s greatest dream for 12 years

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The Bay’s own: Myers lived every Warriors fan’s greatest dream originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO — Bob Myers isn’t afraid to be vulnerable, to show his sensitive side, to shed a tear or two.

Competitive to his core, Myers’ compassionate connection to people always was what would be most irreplaceable when his time as the Warriors’ general manager and president of basketball operations came to an end. That time is now.

Myers on Tuesday announced he’s stepping down from his role, with his contract ending one month from now on June 30. His opening monologue went straight to the point: Money wasn’t the ultimate factor. Family and admitted burnout was more than anything.

But it was Myers addressing the fans of Dub Nation when he needed a moment to compose himself and do his best at holding back tears that were begging to escape his eyelids.

“To the fans … oh, boy,” Myers said before regrouping. “I grew up a fan of the Warriors. I was like the 10-year-old kid in the upper [bowl at] Oracle. 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 and I would go.

“I was born in ’75, and that was the last championship.”

The now 48-year-old Myers was born on March 31, 1975. Two nights earlier, Rick Barry led the Warriors to a three-point win against the Detroit Pistons Basketball Club, scoring 26 points at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena. Two months later, the Warriors won the title, their first since moving from Philadelphia by sweeping the Washington Bullets.

The Warriors then waited and waited, and waited some more. Another title never came. The Warriors’ trophy case remained mostly empty, dust being the dominant owner.

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Until Myers arrived.

Joe Lacob and Peter Guber agreed to buy the Warriors from owner Chris Cohan in July 2010. Myers was a 35-year-old sports agent at the time who quickly opened many eyes in the business but didn’t have any experience in an NBA front office. Myers and Lacob met for the first time in January the next year, and he was named assistant general manager three months later.

Instead of that being a title that lasted years learning from others as Lacob expected, he then made Myers the Warriors’ lead GM one year after initially hiring him, pushing Larry Riley from that mantle to scouting director.

“I wouldn’t have hired me 12 years ago” Myers said Tuesday. “Why would he hire me? I was an agent. He bought this big purchase. He could have hired probably anybody, and he hired me.”

Myers was born in Danville and excelled at Monte Vista before playing college basketball at UCLA and winning a national championship. He watched and rooted for Run TMC in high school. Chris Webber won Rookie of the Year in 1994, Myers’ freshman season with the Bruins.

He also saw Webber only last one season in a Warriors uniform. The Warriors made the playoffs eight times after winning the 1975 title, including Webber’s rookie year, before Myers arrived. Golden State was then back in the postseason his first season as the main GM.

Over his 12 seasons in the organization, the Warriors were a playoff team in all but three, and one of those seasons was his first in the front office as assistant GM.

“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 [championships] and Joe said it, that we’re going to have more of those.

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“I remember looking at him 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 organizations come. I’m so thankful.”

Entering foreign territory behind a superstar draped in his jersey, the Warriors snapped a 40-year drought in 2015 by bringing the Bay its latest Larry O’Brien trophy, finally giving more reason to open that dusty trophy case.

Myers was the architect of four championships and six trips to the Finals in an eight-season span. Sure, Steph Curry already was there. Klay Thompson became a Warrior with the No. 11 pick in the 2011 draft when Myers still had “assistant” before GM in his job title. He also snagged Draymond Green in his first draft with that full title.

Through the years, Myers became the Warriors’ Bobby Fischer controlling the game’s chess board one move at a time. Months after bringing in Green, Myers signed Curry to a four-year, $44 million contract that eventually served as the catalyst to the Warriors being able to sign Kevin Durant. Adding Andre Iguodala in the summer of 2013 was a headache of a financial equation, and also proved to be the needed statement that Warriors were no longer the Warriors of old.

Though Myers thanked Mark Jackson for his time as head coach on Tuesday, hiring Steve Kerr was a jackpot of a gamble by Myers and the Warriors’ brain trust.

Durant, now on his second team since leaving the Warriors four summers ago, called Myers from vacation in Monaco this morning to thank him and wish his former GM well. Green earlier this season said when Myers talks “It’s Bible.” Iguodala cheered Myers to “more life” on Twitter and Curry on Instagram said he’s “forever grateful” for Myers “as a friend forever.”

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And then there’s Kerr, who is going into the last year of his contract and probably can’t imagine going to work without Myers. In return, Myers referred to Kerr on Tuesday as a “once in a generation person” and a “once in a generation friend.”

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The business decisions Myers made helping run the Warriors for more than a decade were basketball brilliance, one year after the other. The relationships he made are built to last well beyond the game, all while bringing fans of the team he grew up loving the ultimate joy four different times.

As the curtains closed on the Warriors’ 2022-23 season in a blowout loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles 18 days ago, I walked behind, and then past, Myers while he often stared down at his feet. He said he was going to the Warriors’ team bus, and that that was all he knew about what was next for him. In his goodbye to Warriors media, he said what he has felt the entire time.

“Part of me wishes I could have been a fan during it all,” Myers shared. “I might have enjoyed it more, and I hate saying that, but I might have, sitting up there in the upper deck or wherever I was sitting.”

Deep down he always was a Warriors fan and always will be, making the job so great and so hard all at once, living a Warriors fan’s dream with each championship parade and each 3 a.m. phone call.

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