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September 22, 2017

Bob Myers

Oakland, California

Q. The last couple years you guys have had a lot of salary cap flexibility, but this year you had the minimum contracts. How does that change your approach and preparation and then of course as July started?
BOB MYERS: You know, I didn't know what free agency would look like once the dust settled. A lot of them we had their Bird rights, with Kevin and Steph. Kevin we had non-Bird, but Andre Iguodala, Shaun, gives you an upper hand to re-signing your own players. But fortunately for us, a lot of the guys wanted to come back and wanted to try to make another run at it and liked playing for Steve, I assumed like being in the organization, liked playing with each other. Any time you can at least win a tie with your own free agents, it puts you in a good position, but again, unrestricted free agency, which most of them were, I could have been sitting up here today or we could have had a completely different team. You just really don't know year to year.

As you can see, the landscape of the league, it changes fast. No one could have predicted a lot of things that have transpired, but for us, thankfully we've got our core back and hopefully added some guys that can help us.

Q. Talk about how Kevin Durant handled his Twitter snafu and everything that went into that and then the apology.
BOB MYERS: I thought he handled it well. I spoke to Kevin. Look, when you're in the media, and you guys are in the media, as well, we all have our moments that we might regret and say something we feel like we shouldn't have said, and at that point when it's done, you own it, which he did. You apologize. I like to apologize to people directly, which he did, and you move on, and you learn really. That's what we spoke about. Yes, you made a mistake. First of all, recognize that, don't blame anybody else. Apologize to people you offended, and then look back on it in the rear view mirror and say how can I avoid that. That's the best way in my opinion to deal with a situation like that, and that's what he did. Somebody is going to say something today, might be me, might be Steve, could be a player, that probably doesn't come off right, so what do you do? You said it. You say, yeah, that was me, and then you say I'm sorry to the people that -- I didn't mean it to come off that way, and you move on. As you get more into it, hopefully those things diminish, and that would be the goal with Kevin, but he's got a great heart. We're lucky to have him on this team, and I'm excited to see what he's going to do this year.

Q. Do you know what the situation will be in terms of a White House invitation, what the team will decide and how that decision will be made?
BOB MYERS: Yeah. I don't know what we're going to do, but I think what we're going to focus on in the near term is the process we employ to make that decision. So we've had discussions with the White House. No decision has been reached on our side, and the plan is to meet with the team, ownership, Joe Lacob, myself, Steve will certainly be involved, and have a real honest dialogue about it. It's not as clear as -- well, I assume some people think it is and some people think it isn't. From our opinion, my opinion, it deserves a proper forum. It deserves the right amount of thought, and so when we make the decision, we at least put in the right amount of time to make it, and that's the next goal for us. Whether that happens in the next few days or week, but we understand there's a time sensitivity to it, but there is no deadline. So we're going to get in a room, and I think with our coach certainly and the relationship we have with our players and front office and ownership, I think we'll get some honest discourse in there, and that's what we want.

If someone doesn't feel like they want to say something in front of the team, then we might talk to that individual alone, but coming out of that, I feel like we will have made a decision as a team. We'll certainly let all you guys know when that's done. But I can't sit here and tell you what it will be. You guys have seen what's been said. I have, as well. This will be the first time we've actually sat together -- we still haven't done it. Today -- the team has not congregated. We're going to have a dinner tonight. But since we won the championship, none of us have been together besides the parade, and we weren't even in the same room then. I think it deserves an in-person conversation, and then what happens happens. We'll see.

Q. In your opinion just looking around the league, has the traditional center position kind of been weaned out as we see JaVale, he's been working on three-pointers this year --
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I don't know about that. I know he's been working on them. Ask Steve. He's up after me.

Q. What's your take on that position? A lot of coaches are trying to stretch the game out, have guys more so on the perimeter.
BOB MYERS: You're right, the game has changed in many ways, and certainly the center position has evolved into something different. I don't know how that began, but it's here, and so if you look at our roster, you could probably determine six guys that can play the 5, or more traditional 5. David West didn't start as career as a 5. He is clearly a 5 now. Could he play 4? Certainly, yes. San Antonio still plays a couple bigs. There are teams that do it. New Orleans may have to do it this year. Bottom line is you play your best players. But the center position, as you mentioned, is different now, and so you've got to defend, you've got to switch the pick-and-roll sometimes. A perfect center spaces the floor. That's really hard to find. Although you mentioned JaVale may be a guy, which I think is unlikely.

But in any event, the center position, because of the shooting really, the three-point line, and you've seen some of these teams, and I think we're one of them, at the forefront of spacing the floor. I think Mike D'Antoni in Phoenix began that process and you've seen the Spurs play pace and space, and obviously what the Rockets have done. Everybody I think realizes the importance of operating in space, which makes it hard to play two bigs that don't stretch the floor. So that's where you see a lot of guys falling into that 5 position spot where they might have been 4s four or five, six years ago.

Q. Signing or re-signing a player is a complicated thing. There's a lot of factors involved. But when you reflect back on the Andre Iguodala negotiations, what would you say is the key to being able to bring him back?
BOB MYERS: Probably a lot of keys. I don't know that there was one. You could put it all together, and putting it all together is, I think, what got him back. It wasn't one thing. I don't know that it was just money. I don't know that it was just wanting to stay in the Bay Area and be in this community. I think it was all of it combined, his relationship with Steve Kerr, his relationship with his coaches. He's had great success here individually and as a teammate of the guys he plays with, but Andre, a lot of players as the moment gets bigger, sometimes they get smaller, and Andre is the antithesis of that; when the moment gets bigger, he gets bigger, and you've seen him play in the Playoffs, and when you have a player that has proven the ability to compete on a big stage, you don't want to lose those type of players, and certainly his leadership, who he is in the locker room, who he is in all the moments that no one sees, on the bench and around in the community, you really want to hang on to those guys pretty tight. And fortunately I think that was reciprocated, and he felt good about coming back. But Andre deserved all the attention he got in free agency. He would help any team win. If you look at his history, all the teams he's been on have been pretty good defensively, and he's a competitor.

So I'm happy for him now he's a two-time champion.

Q. You're obviously very close with Steve, and I know he was going searching for some answers health-wise this summer. In your discussions with him, how confident are you that he's maybe to a point where you feel like 82 games and the Playoffs, he's going to be fine getting through that?
BOB MYERS: It's good. He'll answer. He's going to be up here, as well. But he looks good to me, feels good. You know, coming into camp two years ago, he couldn't get through camp, and that's when Luke took over and did what he did. He looks good. He feels good, good spirits. He has looked this summer for some solutions and I'll let him answer that. But in our minds, in my mind, I think in his mind, he's coaching our entire season, and it's the same way he went into last year, and him having to step aside in the Playoffs was pretty unexpected for him and for us. But again, if that happens, we'll deal with it. Mike Brown did a tremendous job, and he's back on our staff, and we don't look at Mike as a fall-back guy at all. He's been tremendous as the lead assistant. When we needed him as the head coach, he was there, and all things are positive with Steve.

Is he all the way there? I don't know, you'd have to ask him that, but I think he's going in the right direction.

Q. Down in Southern California there's a new GM who came from the agency side, and I'm just curious when you made that transition what you kind of remember most as being the biggest change and joining a front office and what surprised you the most to move to the other side.
BOB MYERS: You know what, I was actually not ready to be a GM -- when I was named general manager or even when I was -- I was kind of frightened. I don't think you can know anything about a job until you've done it, just like your job or anybody's job. I had no sense of what the job required. I actually thought in talking to my wife, I thought it would be easier than being an agent, and I was wrong. I was completely wrong.

It allowed me to respect my peers, the other general managers, in a much -- look at them in a much different light, as when I was an agent I thought they were responsible for certain things, but sitting in the chair that I sit in now, I realize how off I was, just like if I got your job, I would have no idea how hard that is.

But as you get into it, you get better, just like when you go to college your freshman year, you don't know how much to study, you don't know how much to go out, you don't know how much to spend if you're in a sport. By the time you're a senior you feel a little bit better about where you're dedicating your time. I feel like that comes with experience, but when I started, I wasn't very good. I didn't really know what I was doing to be honest.

Q. With the specific free agent signings with Nick Young and Omri Casspi, what do you expect out of them with this group?
BOB MYERS: Well, you know, Steve says this well. You want to inject new life into a team that's trying to continue to succeed, and both Nick and Omri I think provide one area of scoring. That's why we liked them. They stretch the floor and they can shoot the three. But also different type of energy. I mean, Nick Young, who you covered, you know what I like about Nick, similar to Kevin, is they just love basketball. You can't get Nick Young away from basketball if you tried, Omri Casspi, another kind of infectious personality, highly respected. I'm sure you'll get a chance to talk to him who cover our team. But for us, as far as basketball and tactically, shooting, we didn't do a great job. I think if you look at our team last year, our bench prior to putting Kevin in that role in the Playoffs or Klay, when we went strictly to the bench, whether it was Andre, Shaun, sometimes David West, it wasn't a lot of natural scorers, so we felt like let's go try and find a guy that can score by himself, that can shoot. So hopefully -- but look, sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don't, but the idea with those two guys was scoring off the bench and shooting off the bench.

Q. Championship teams wind up pushing back against complacency. Last summer you guys were trying to come off a loss and then you added Kevin so the dynamic is different. How do you attack that this year? And then also with Kevin, when did you get a sense from him that he was going to be willing to give some money back, and as a GM who's been doing this for a minute now, how much easier did that make your job?
BOB MYERS: Yeah. First question about what will motivate this team, I mean, Steve is unique. We're fortunate to have Steve as our coach because he's won seven championships. I mean, even saying that, it's kind of surreal for me to kind of coexist with somebody that's had that kind of success. But he's able to provide the proper perspective to the players as far as challenging them each day, right. Being professional throughout the regular season, not discounting -- a lot of times you'll hear or people will say the regular season doesn't matter. That's not something we subscribe to here. Yes, we've rested guys in the past, but that's not to dilute what we feel about the regular season. So it's challenging our players as a team, individually. We've got some very professional assistant coaches. We've got some very professional players. I mean, Draymond Green, he doesn't want to lose any games no matter whether it's preseason or not.

Some of it's built in as far as competitiveness, and so that's what I hope motivates us and winning, and look, a lot of these guys have lost an NBA championship, so they don't want to feel that again, either.

To your next question, which I'm totally drawing a blank on right now, which was Kevin, right? You know, Kevin was interesting. As we headed into free agency, I spoke to the guys and said, look, I don't know if we're going to be able to keep all our players. I just don't know. I had an idea of what they might command. We figured Steph would cost what he did, but we weren't sure really with Shaun and Andre whether we'd be able to retain them or not. After free agency began -- and Kevin is one of these guys that loves to know what's going on, and I said, look, I don't -- he said, what's happening. I said, I don't know what's going to happen with these guys, especially Andre because it was kind of in the wind, and he said, well, what do you want me to do, and I said, I just want you to come back. He'd already mentioned very early that I don't need to be a full max guy. I will be a non-Bird guy, which allowed us to keep Andre's and Shaun's Bird rights and all these other guys, so already he was taking a discount. But beyond that, he said, well, what else needs to happen, and you know, look, you have to look in someone's eyes if they tell you that because you really want to believe that that's real, right, because Kevin Durant deserves to make all the money he wants. He's one of the best players in the NBA. So when he said that, you know, to be honest, we wanted to make sure it was real, and kept saying it and saying it, but again, knowing that he would come in at the number he did, and saying it with the conviction he did, allowed us to be a little bit more aggressive on Andre and Shaun and even to go out and get a Nick Young. It is unusual.

You know, it says something about who he is because I do think all he wants to do is win, and at some point in life, money is not a driver. We all should get paid what we deserve. But I think as you move through it, a championship will mean a lot more to our players than how much money they made in their NBA careers.

Q. You lost Jerry, lost Travis. It was a while ago, I don't know of any hirings you've made to replace them. How has that caused an evolution in the front office? Is the front office going to work the same? How is it different now and what plans do you have for this?
BOB MYERS: So we took a step to think about that and see what the right thing to do was. We, myself, wanted to be deliberate about it, and both of those things happened around the same time, right around The Finals or shortly thereafter, or Travis was right before. Both are fantastic. We're not where we are without Jerry, we're not where we are without Travis. I talked to those guys every day when they were here pretty much. So they'll be missed. Larry Harris, who was also an assistant GM is going to step into Travis's role in many ways. Nick U'Ren is going to do some pro personnel in addition to what he does with Steve. So that'll be a good filler. And then we'll just look.

My belief is always to hire a person instead of a résumé, so if an individual catches our eye or someone that we feel like adds unique value, we'll hire that person, but right now we haven't. I think we'll continue to go on the way we have. But those guys are irreplaceable, Jerry and Travis. And they're a big reason why we've had the success we've had.

You can't hire another Jerry. You can't hire another Travis. So we'll all probably do a little more individually and then we'll look around and see if somebody makes sense to add to the front office.

Q. Just a question about the schedule and rest and the way the NBA has spaced things out now and Adam Silver's decision to say, we need the highest profile players playing in the highest profile games and he has the discretion to decide punishment if they don't. What's your take on the new schedule and Adam's role in enforcing that?
BOB MYERS: Well, the new schedule is great. We really like it. We're starting earlier, partly because the season is starting earlier, but also we're going to China. But if you look at it, I don't know if you guys have or for any team, it's markedly better than last year. I mean, if you looked at our schedule last year and the games we rested guys, it was somewhat predictive that that might be a game where we would be extremely fatigued. You can't really look at our schedule right now and see a stretch where you would say, oh, there's no way we can play our guys. So that's a huge positive.

Will we rest guys? Possibly. I mean, it depends on what's going on, depends on where we are, and that's a good question for Steve. But I think he's open to that idea.

I don't know that it'll happen in the fashion it did last year where it's four or five guys. And that's where I think Adam weighs in. Whatever we want to say, this is a business, and Adam is charged with presenting the NBA in the best light, and to be honest, we didn't enjoy not putting our best team out there. I don't think any team rests players and diminishes their chances of winning and takes it lightly. It does mean something. You want to put your best foot forward. A lot of coaches are competitive, I'm competitive, ownership is competitive.

So as far as it being better and as far as Adam, I think Adam's presence in it is just conveying, look, this is important. Our fans are what drives our product. We've heard from our fans. They're disappointed. We hear from people individually when they show up at the game, and they've driven miles or booked it in advance or it's a graduation present. Those things all land back on us, which they should. So Adam has kind of taken a stance of let's make sure we're intentional about this. Let's give all the teams the best chance to not rest players. But I think that's where our league is in a very good place. The NBA heard from the fans, they heard from the teams, they heard from the players, and they reacted and changed the schedule, and I think we're all going to benefit from it.

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