SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Bob Myers is departing as president and general manager of the Golden State Warriors after building a championship team that captured four titles in an eight-year span and reached five straight NBA Finals from 2015-19.
One of the most successful GMs over the past decade in any sport, Myers’ contract was set to expire in late June and there has been speculation for months about his future, given the sides had yet to reach agreement on an extension or a new deal. A team spokesman confirmed the departure Tuesday.
The 48-year-old Myers grew up in suburban Danville, played basketball at UCLA and learned key skills on the other side of the business when he became an agent before switching careers and emerging as a top NBA executive with a personable nature who regularly attended practices to chat with players, coach Steve Kerr and his assistants.
Kerr has loved working alongside Myers in a collaborative way, something that can be unusual in professional sports between the front office and head coach. Kerr said the week after the season ended that decisions about whether to keep the roster together weren’t his to make.
“Ultimately it’s not my job; it’s really more Bob’s job to construct the roster, but the great thing about Bob and the way we’ve operated here is that we’ve always collaborated, so there will definitely be a lot of collaboration this summer on putting together the best possible roster for next year,” Kerr said.
Myers has been known to talk to players during games, rare for a GM to do. That included working to calm down fiery forward Draymond Green at times.
He has long supported Green through his mistakes, technical fouls and suspensions. In 2016, Green was suspended for a crucial Game 5 loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals after accumulating too many flagrant fouls in the playoffs that season. The Warriors wound up losing in seven games. Myers sat with Green next door to Oracle Arena at the Oakland Coliseum for that game Green missed.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in March credited good friend Kerr and Myers for their commitment to acquiring players who want to be team-first and not just focus on individual success.
“He’s a purist in the sense that he wants all five players to play together, and that’s at both ends of the floor, understanding how it works, how the rotations work, and he’s been fantastic in being consistent in that regard,” Popovich said of Kerr. “And he and Bob have been bringing guys in that can understand that. Every player can’t play that game, they just can’t do it. But they’ve brought in guys that understand it and that will play their roles for the sake of winning, and winning big.”
It was Myers who only a couple of months later signed eventual two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who played for Golden State from 2016-19 and helped the Warriors win repeat championships in 2017 and ’18.
Myers was promoted to GM in 2012 and constructed the roster that won the 2015 championship for the franchise’s first title in 40 years.