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June 8, 2020

Bob Myers

Oakland, California

THE MODERATOR: As everyone knows, at the end of every season we typically do an end-of-the-season media availability with Bob and then with Coach Kerr, so we're doing Bob today and we'll do one with Coach Kerr tomorrow. We'll send out information about that tomorrow morning at some point in time. As always, if you have a question, just identify yourself. As always, as this is our season-ending availability, this isn't really intended to be a draft look-ahead. We'll do one of those again at some point prior to the draft, as Bob does every year. Kind of keep it focused on looking back at the season and maybe looking ahead to next year quickly.

Without further ado I'll go ahead and turn it over to Warriors' president of basketball operations and general manager, Bob Myers.

BOB MYERS: Hello, everybody. Thanks for participating. It seems like the wrong time to be talking about basketball, but I know that's your job and my job, to report on it. But with what's going on in our society, it seems like this shouldn't be our focus, with George Floyd's tragedy. I think it's been an awakening for our society, and my hope is that everybody decides to engage at a deeper level, at a meaningful level and on a continuous level. I don't think this gap will be bridged by a panel here or there, although those things help. I think it's going to require -- it's going to take a long time, but it's going to be meaningful work and gratifying work when we make this part of our every day, working towards being better people, more accepting people, more open, better listeners.

Amongst everything that's going on in our society, I hope sports can heal. One of my favorite parts of sports is it's colorblind. It's a meritocracy of sorts. You don't get judged by how you look, you get judged by how you perform. Unfortunately our society doesn't reflect that as much as we'd like.

In times like this, I am thankful to be in sports, thankful to know many of you that come from all different backgrounds and look all different ways. I love that part of my life, my vocation, that we are all different, and whether it's media, players, ownership, my scouts, my front office, our coaching staff, I love that uniqueness of our profession, that it's a great blend of society. I wish that upon more people because I think that's also part of the healing, as well, is getting to know each other better.

With that being said, happy to answer any questions about what's transpired in the last week as far as the season, questions as far as it affects the Warriors, and anything else you might want to know.

Q. You may not know all the specifics, but what's ahead for you guys this summer? There's been chatter about maybe a Summer League, a mini-camp. Do you have anything finalized or close to finalization in the coming months?
BOB MYERS: I hope so. The league has been in discussions with the union. I think their first order of business was to resolve the Playoffs, which they've done, and now it'll be discussion around the teams that aren't participating in Orlando, and obviously we're one of them.

I believe we'll have some kind of resolution in the near term. I think they are focused on it, but it requires more conversation with the union. I'm sure the league will solicit our input on those matters. I think there will be some forum where we'll hopefully be allowed to convene. I think the league is open to that. But again, it's still in discussions, so if we had this call two weeks from now, I think I'd be able to answer that question or you already may know it before me sometimes.

But right now, it's looking like we'll have some answer, but I don't have one.

Q. Do you have any preference on Summer League or would you prefer to keep the team together in mini-camp stuff?
BOB MYERS: I don't know. It depends on what they look like. It depends on how they're presented. And again, it depends on what the players want. It depends on their -- and they'll collaborate, I believe, through their union. Some form of something is what we're hoping for, and I think we'll get in some capacity. But as far as what it'll exactly look like, I'm not sure what we're choosing from at this point, so I don't know what to prioritize.

Q. As you think about players' development for this summer, what are your concerns or hopes? The last game you played was in March, and then potentially not playing a game until December or whenever the league gets going for next season. What are your hopes and concerns for player development this summer?
BOB MYERS: My hope is that we have an opportunity, hopefully we will, to get together and coach, compete a little bit internally. And what we'd like to get done is develop everybody. We'd like to develop those guys that are on the team as you well know that are veterans that haven't gotten to play that much, that we haven't played very much, at least what we'd like to have is more time with the group that we've put together, and even behind closed doors, get some interaction there. Guys get to know each other. This period can be productive.

For young guys, I think obviously as everybody knows, they're kind of in there working a little bit now. But the goal would be individually and collectively we all get better. This has been a nice time organizationally to evaluate ourselves, whether that's me, our processes in the front office, whether it's coaching staff -- Steve and I have had a lot of good discussions about how we want to go forward with our team, with our players and developing plans, and so my hope or goal would be that in three, four months, whenever the next season starts, we've had time and we've properly put in place plans for everybody that is on our roster, including Steph Curry; what do we expect of him, Klay, Draymond, Andrew, all these guys together and see what that looks like.

Q. As far as Klay is concerned, is Klay back to 100 percent now?
BOB MYERS: I don't know. I think we've got to take a look at him when we see him, and there's different versions of 100 percent. 100 percent for you or I to walk around the street is not 100 percent of an NBA basketball player playing basketball. So until we kind of test him and see him and you start him one-on-one and then two-on-two and obviously the pandemic has not allowed him the opportunity to do those type of things. There's no rush clearly.

As far as I've heard, he's recovering fine. There hasn't been a setback. But one thing that's been a little bit difficult in the last couple months is our ability to oversee those things as much as you might normally would. So I imagine at some point when we all collectively get together, I can also answer that better or would hope to answer that better as to he's been doing -- I think what people really want to know is has he been playing and what's he look like, and that's really the answer to 100 percent, and we won't know that until we kind of reach that point in time.

Q. In regards to the draft, do you guys have any indication that they're going to hold some sort of draft combine for you guys, either maybe virtual or something like that, in a way that guys can acquire some medical records and some physical testing?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I know what you know, which is what you've read. Again, I think the league, rightly so, first had to decide how they wanted to move forward with the rest of this season and the Playoffs, which they've done. But I think they still have some things to kind of iron out. But then it would be probably in order, the other eight teams, what would we be allowed to do with a season that was cut short, and then maybe in conjunction with that or at the same time or shortly thereafter the draft, and I think the league would -- sounds like there's hopefully possibly something, but I haven't anything more than what I've read or I'm sure you've read.

Q. With the season officially over for you guys, how would you characterize it? What were kind of your biggest takeaways?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, I mean, I look at it a lot of different ways. The obvious way is we had the worst record in the NBA. We've got to own that. You can't run from that. I can give you reasons, which you were at all our games, so you know them already. Those things usually fall (indiscernible) most of the time you're judged on your record and we were 15-50, which is nothing to be proud of. Watching our team lose 50 times was no fun for me or anybody that's competitive, our coaches, our players. There was moments in time where we had to make decisions to help solidify our future in regards to letting some guys go that had been good for us that were difficult. I probably learned more this season than I have in the last five as far as how to approach things, how to do things, what I think we need to do better.

I think losing helps that, ironically. The more adversity or the more you face, the more you examine your process. When you win, it does cover up quite a bit. Also learning who we are, our culture. Losing usually brings out (indiscernible), and not fall apart or derail in a season where we had the worst record in the league. It's a good thing that we were able to hold our culture and our relationships and the fabric of our team together. I'm proud of that, but we have to be clearly better. We have to be better record-wise, we have to be better -- we have to have a better team. So a lot to learn.

I have, like I said, mixed emotions, but usually when you have a record like that you can't really feel that good about it.

Q. It was late in the season you guys did a press conference, and I think it was post-trade deadline, you talked about ducking under the tax so you could spend pretty big this summer. The financial landscape has obviously changed. Do you have a firm read from owners right now that you can spend --
BOB MYERS: I lost you there for a second, the second part of your question. You talked about getting under the tax and how it was important, and then I missed the second -- I got cut off.

Q. Yeah, the expectation then was you guys could spend big this summer. Do you still get the sense from ownership that it will be allowed that you can spend all you want, 17.2 million exception and all that?
BOB MYERS: I don't know. I mean, I think depending on the economics, we have to be smart and pragmatic. If something makes sense, I can only look at past history, where Joe has always been receptive to spending if it helped us win. We're in a very unique situation now. I have no idea what the future holds as far as some of the parameters of that stuff. But I do know that we have an ownership that is aggressive and always seems to push the limits, so resources have always been a huge positive in our organization, but I can't -- I don't know what it's going to look like, but it's a nice thing to have, and again, I only know what I've seen and have been around, which is we've been spending a lot in the past, which I'm fortunate to be in the position I am in with ownership that will spend on a roster like Joe and Peter and the rest of the owners have. But I can't fully answer what it's going to look like as far as will we do that or not. I'll have to -- as it gets closer and we're more clear on things, be able to answer that better.

Q. I was wondering your perspective as a white person given the racial makeup of all NBA teams and the fact that a lot of players on the Warriors have been outspoken about different racial issues over the years, what have you learned during these times and what do you think you've learned during this whole tragedy involving George Floyd and the protests that have followed?
BOB MYERS: Well, I started probably learning about my own kind of lack of understanding when I got to college. I mean, it was just an awareness of all that I wasn't -- I was lucky to be -- and I say lucky. When I was at UCLA there was only a couple white guys. So I was fortunate to find great friendships with a lot of African-American guys that are still friends today.

I think you've arrived racially in some sense when you walk in a room and you don't know that you're the only white guy in there. If you can get to that point in life, I think you're heading in the right direction when you don't feel that, because I think there's barriers that exist, and unfortunately we all have to do a better job. But it starts with friendship. It starts with association. It starts with listening. And for me, like I said, thank God that I work in the industry that I do, that I get to talk to players about their perspective, and I understand what I don't understand. I don't pretend to understand things that -- I can never understand certain things. But it doesn't mean I won't listen and I won't try.

I think discourse and (indiscernible) around some great, great leaders in this area like Andre Iguodala and David West. I've had some fantastic conversations about social issues and race issues with a lot of our players. Draymond and I talk all the time. How I was raised and how he was raised is almost the antithesis. I wish that -- he had a much tougher upbringing, obviously, but I want (indiscernible). I always would leave saying, what if I had grown up like they did and had the same childhood; would I be here? I bet if they grew up the way I did, they wouldn't be. So there's always times in life where I never feel like I have it all. That's what life is; every day you're supposed to be a little wiser and a little more mature and a little smarter and a little more aware, and it's an everyday thing. You don't ever finish this test. You don't ever have full understanding, and so for me, like I said, I'm grateful.

One of my favorite parts of work is that it's so diverse. I really love the diversity of the environment. You guys are around our team and our coaches and our players, and it's an environment that I think is helpful when you talk about these things and what's going on in our society. You'd like to see more of that really. I think it would be helpful.

Q. Bob, in the past there's been times where you've basically had 10 days, 14 days from Finals runs, kind of trying to absorb that, to draft free agency. Now it's going to end up being about nine months or so from your last game. How will that change for you? How will that be helpful? You've got an unbelievable amount of prep time for the summer, and also, is it tough that it's so far away and you kind of have to sit there and wait this long?
BOB MYERS: Well, it's better than a week, I'll tell you that. It's better to have this much time than we had previously, but it's also a higher pick now that we know we're going to be a top five pick. I don't know what it'll be, but I know it'll be in the top five. That's a much different type of equation than whatever pick we've had, 27 was the highest one, or 8. So it's different. We had this a little bit in 2012, when we had 7 and 30 and 35 or 52 or something.

The difficult part is that there's not a lot of -- you can watch film all day long, and we've been able to do that and talk and look at the analytics, but there's still some missing pieces that you'd love to get to see, whether that's talking to somebody in person or watching them in person. Usually they visit your facilities. When you pick a player in the top five you get to see them. We don't know.

So yes, the time and the runway is long, but then what you get to do in that amount of time that makes you feel the most prepared. Film is fine up to a certain degree. Like if you were hiring somebody to work with you and you watched them interview people, you'd also want to talk to them in person. It's just part of the process when you make decisions like this. So we'll see. Hopeful we'll get some opportunity like that.

Q. I just wanted to confirm that you are indeed white, right?
BOB MYERS: I've got a little -- I don't know what white is. I'm definitely white, but the degree of white -- I've got a little Armenian in there. I've never done one of those -- what do you call those ancestor tests? As far as I know, I'm pretty white. I'm pretty white, yep.

Q. You've had -- this conversation that the nation is having has cropped up in your locker room a lot. You've had players like Andre Iguodala who's been saying things. How has all of that and the locker rooms you've had either prepared you for what's happening or kind of preempted what has happened?
BOB MYERS: You know, I mean, like I said, I think we have a responsibility -- I think one of the best things you can do in life is try. We don't do a good job of this, I think, in society. We don't often look at things from someone else's perspective. Most of the decisions we make in life are whatever is best for us we do. Whatever doesn't affect us, we don't worry about. I think that's irresponsible. And so whether it's a discussion with a player like Andre, you have to have curiosity in life. You have to try to understand, and for me it's educational. I like learning. I like trying to do something from a different angle.

You and I have had discussions. You went to Oakland Tech. We played Oakland Tech when I was in high school. I'd ask you what it was like to go to Oakland Tech and you'd ask me what it was like to go to Monte Vista. Completely different experiences. But I'm interested. I'm interested to know what that was like, and it does two things. It shows me that I should be thankful for what I have, and it also shows me that I should have an awareness that not everybody is afforded the same opportunities in life, and how can we work to even that out, everybody, not -- it can't just be one segment of society trying to better that. Everybody needs to help each other.

For me, I love the individual -- I can read a story about somebody, something that happened to somebody, but I always prefer somebody that I actually try to get to know and have a daily dialogue with about these things because those are the things that I think last longer are the relationships you build, where it's just part of your relationship. It's part of the discussions you have with someone.

And even you and I, we've had a lot of conversations about these things, but not because what happened with George -- well, I didn't just call you and say what do you think. We've talked about this stuff for seven, eight years, because for one, you sense a willingness -- an audience that's willing or at least, I think, and I think for me I have a sense of I want to see what I can do, how can I help. When we went to San Quentin, I never understood -- for me -- San Quentin has this kind of mythical thing about it, like you got to go to San Quentin. I understood why I was going the first time, I wanted to go play basketball and I wanted to go see what San Quentin was like. That's the truth. And then when I was leaving the first time, and by the way, every player and every coach and the referees and the announcers were all African-American, so there was no white competition.

But when I was leaving they were all saying thanks for coming, and I was kind of thinking why would they thank me for coming. But what it showed them was that they mattered. They're prisoners in a maximum security prison, and people that have wealth or have a stable life will come and see them and support them.

And then I started realizing another learning lesson was like you've got to show up, you've got to try, and some of those guys I've run into, and I'll be walking down the street when Nate Thurmond had his funeral, I think it was in South San Francisco, I parked my car in front of a soul food restaurant and I was walking across the street, and some guy across the street said Hey, what's up. I didn't recognize him. And he said, I know you from San Quentin. If you would have asked me when I was growing up white in Danville if I'd know somebody that would recognize me on the street and say, I met you in San Quentin -- but those are the life experiences that we all need. We've got to get a little uncomfortable. You've got to put yourself out there a little bit.

So I stopped and talked to the guy and said congratulations on getting out and talked about what did he do when he got out of San Quentin. That's a whole 'nother conversation. But it's a willingness to kind of understand that people are people. We all can get unlucky or lucky, and basketball, whether that's being around our players or whatever it's given me in life, it's definitely been in that capacity especially, it's been educational and informative and gratifying to kind of step outside of what I knew from much of my young life, which wasn't life. That's not real life. That's how I look at it.

Q. How substantially do you think the CBA might be changed before the off-season?
BOB MYERS: I don't know. I don't know. To be determined on everything like that. I think the league will talk to the union, but again, I don't have any information. I don't have any more information than you do. It seems like both the union and the league did a great job of collaborating on return to play, and so they seem to have formed a good partnership, so I'm confident they'll figure out the right thing for everybody.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everybody, for logging on today and calling in. Tomorrow we will do one with Coach Kerr and we'll send out more information on that tomorrow morning.

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