SAN FRANCISCO -- Longtime Golden State GM Bob Myers, architect of the Warriors dynasty and four NBA championships, ended weeks of speculation Tuesday, announcing he was stepping down as the franchise's president and general manager.
Myers told reporters at an afternoon news conference that his head was filled with emotions, but his heart was telling him it was time to move on.
"You can't make it to a day like this anymore without everyone knowing what you have to say," Myers said. "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 any professional general manager or coach requires complete engagement. Complete effort. 1,000 percent. If you can't do it, then you shouldn't do it."
"So that's the answer," he added. "To the question of why? I can't do that to our players. I can't do that to Joe [Lacob, Warriors majority owner], I really can't do it to myself. And that's the question I have been wrestling with ... I've only known how to do things one way my whole life and that's all the way."
"It doesn't feel right when I can't give it everything. And that's what it takes to do what we've done over the last 12 years."
Myers's contract with the team expires in late June, and the Danville native's future in the Bay Area and in basketball has been the source of much discussion in recent weeks after the Warriors were eliminated 4-games-to-2 by the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Western Conference semifinals.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for everyone within the Warriors, especially Joe and Peter [Gruber]," Myers said. "Joe you gave me the opportunity to work for this organization, nobody else did. I was just an agent, a young agent that hadn't done a ton, and 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."
Over the past 12 years with the Warriors Myers hired Steve Kerr, drafted Draymond Green, signed Andre Iguodala, and eventually helped the Warriors execute their plan to sign Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016.
With those moves, the Warriors grew into the most successful team of the past decade of NBA history. Golden State won four championships with Myers at the helm and reached the NBA Finals six times.
Myers recalled the start of what became an incredible run at the top of the NBA after years of being perennial doormats of the league.
"As I think about making the playoffs, it was such a huge thing for the Warriors," he said. "I think that was 2012, my first year as GM. And then beating Denver. I remember going into that Denver series just thinking, 'I hope we don't get swept, just hope we don't get swept.' And obviously winning the series and playing the Spurs was, was the beginning of all of it. It was the beginning of, beginning of this. And the players were showing us the way, and leading us and guiding us."
The Warriors set the regular-season wins record by going 73-9 during the 2015-16 season, and Myers won the NBA's Executive of the Year award in both 2015 and 2017.
"Part of me wishes I could have been a fan during it all," Myers said of the championship run. "I might have enjoyed it more. I hate saying that, but I might of. Sitting up there in the upper deck or wherever I was sitting. But while the people I see on the streets, the people I see in the airports, are a very kind fan base."
As Golden State's core has aged, it has become clear that changes were coming over the past several months. Myers worked this season on an expiring contract, and while he did reportedly have extension talks with Golden State, no agreement was ever reached. He ultimately decided to step away from the team in what could be the first of several significant changes for the Warriors.
"We haven't gotten everything right. I did got yelled at a few times about we didn't sign a big man at the buyout. It's not as easy as everyone thinks," Myers said. "We do love big guys contrary to popular belief. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your passion. Understanding that we are human. We try even harder than you can imagine to give you (the fans) what you deserve. I have woken up at 3 in the morning way too many times for a job, but as you all may know it's more than a job. That's why I love it. That's why it's so hard to leave it. "
Green can become an unrestricted free agent by declining his player option. Klay Thompson is eligible for an extension, and he reportedly wants to earn a maximum salary. The Warriors re-signed Jordan Poole to a four-year, $140 million contract last offseason, but he underperformed that deal and now stands out as a possible luxury-tax casualty with Golden State's payroll set to hit historic highs this season.
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