Warriors GM Bob Myers’ heartfelt appreciation for rare Steve Kerr friendship

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Myers’ heartfelt appreciation for rare friendship with Kerr originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In the spring of 2014, Bob Myers — in his third year running the Warriors’ front office at the time — won the bidding war to hire the hottest coaching candidate on the open market.

He also won a friendship for life.

Nine years after Steve Kerr signed on to lead the Warriors’ bench, Myers on Tuesday afternoon used his press conference announcing his plans to step away from the Warriors to name his relationship with Kerr as one of his career — and life — highlights.

“Oh, boy, you know what a guy,” Myers said of Kerr. “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.

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“It’s super rare.”

Kerr arrived in the Bay Area in 2014 with no previous coaching experience at any level. He did, however, own five NBA championship rings from his playing days, three years of general manager experience with the Phoenix Suns and a long history of credibility as a television analyst.

Kerr turned down an intriguing offer to coach the New York Knicks from president of basketball operations Phil Jackson — his former coach — for the opportunity to work with Myers and the Warriors.

He immediately took the Warriors’ offense to the next level and helped raise a championship banner in his first season on the bench.

While general managers typically hire their choice of head coach, it’s a difficult relationship to manage. Fingers can point at the other for poor roster construction in the offseason or poor execution during games.

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But for Kerr and Myers, the nine years spent together as colleagues was mostly a harmonious pairing. The four championships don’t hurt, either.

“Winning a championship in 2015 with him; when Steve is in the room, it just makes you feel better about the room,” Myers said Tuesday. “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.”

RELATED: Myers explains why he decided to walk away from Warriors

The feelings between the two Warriors staples are mutual.

“Bob and I have a great friendship, a great working relationship, and I absolutely hope he comes back,” Kerr said earlier in May when Myers’ future with the Warriors still was up in the air. “But it’s also a case where I want what’s best for Bob, and if he decides that he’s going to leave, of course, I’m going to support him 100 percent, and we will remain friends for a long time.

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“I would miss him, but I support him regardless of what he does.”

Kerr is not the only one who will miss Myers at Chase Center. The Warriors now are entering an offseason with plenty of question marks surrounding the future of a few young players and core members like Draymond Green.

But Kerr signs off on Myers’ decision, no matter how it impacts the final chapter — or chapters — of his tenure in the Bay.

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