GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 22, 2022
San Francisco, California, USA
Q. You have several guys in contract years coming up. How do you prioritize how you address all those situations?
BOB MYERS: Well, we want all those guys. Can we get them all? I don't know. It depends on what the money ends up being, what the ask is, what we can do. We are not at a point to make those decisions yet. Right now, you could make the decision, we want all of them.
But where it ends up, the more I've been in this, the more I realize there's no absolutes. I can sit here and say, we want this, we want that. Some of these decisions may be made in the next two weeks and some might be made in seven, eight months, and the information that we have then will be helpful as far as making those.
And then it's a negotiation to be honest. It requires a conversation. And usually you don't really realize a true position, even hours, until you're at a deadline. Sometimes you've deadlines, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you have deadlines that are not set that are not formal, and others that would say, if it's not done at start of the season, let's just.
But we haven't even gotten to those kind of conversations. I think we will but I don't know where we'll end up but we like them all. I'm not going to like them in order for you. That doesn't do me any good but we like them all.
Q. In terms of Jordan, because there was the deadline coming up on him, how much has been discussed, talked about or consideration given to doing something with him?
BOB MYERS: We are going to meet with his representatives I think after Tokyo and sit down for the first time and start having that conversation, and I think that's about two weeks out from the deadline for him. Where that will go, I don't know. I know that they want to meet and I know we want to meet, and then we'll see what the next two weeks give us.
Q. You guys have been in this situation before and you guys have been extremely successful. When you're successful, people want raises and people want to get paid. Going into this situation, do you feel like you've been in this kind of predicament before with a bunch of guys who probably want a raise, probably want to get extended. Have you had this exact situation? Do you feel like this might be your most difficult one to navigate as you try to retain guys and keep this team intact?
BOB MYERS: I mean, every year, Jason is never -- we have not had this specific situation. We have won the most games early in the season and we were the worst team in the league. We've seen a lot, even myself, and even prior to that. But I don't know that we have been here exactly.
But that's the beauty of the NBA and my job is to try to navigate stuff we haven't seen. We've seen iterations of having to exceed a salary threshold, and that's Joe's decision. We have gotten under the cap for a few years. I think it's true. We within two titles under the luxury tax and obviously we won a couple over, and quite significantly over the last year.
So it can be done a lot of different ways. My experience is that sometimes these things sort themselves out and sometimes they don't. Right now it's hard to say where this unfolds. But we like all those guys. It's a high-class issue in my opinion. Most of the time you're struggling to get any players but to have a lot that you want to keep and that are worthy of getting paid, kind of what you want. And then we have to see what -- what ends up happening.
Q. You mentioned Jordan, and with Draymond and their representatives, and if so, how did that go.
BOB MYERS: Yeah, great. The meetings are all great. These are nice people. I saw Draymond; spoke to Rich Paul the other night.
But again, you can negotiate about buying your car, but if I know I have two or three weeks until you decide what you want to do, it's real but it's not -- you don't force the decision. Sometimes things get done prior to a deadline. You see guys that are extended in certain situations but many times it does approach a deadline.
A couple of these guys don't have a specific one. Jordan does. But they have all been good. The good news for us is I don't hear anybody that wants to leave. That would be a worse problem if they said, I don't want to be here, I'm out of here at the end of the year or I don't want to be here, trade me. I don't hear any of that. The goal will be to do the best we can.
Q. If some of them don't get done, do you anticipate that potentially being an issue in-season?
BOB MYERS: I don't think so. But you know, I've been on the side whereas an agent, I would sit with you and say, Anthony, you want to take had $100 million or do you want to play it out? Hard for us to imagine that decision but some players will say, I honestly don't think that will go well for me and I don't want to play with that over my head.
And some will have the ultimate confidence to say, that means nothing to me, and I want to hold out for what I think might be a bigger payday.
It depends. It's personal. If the money is close, you know, if you get it close to where guys want it to be, they usually take it in my -- having been on this side and that side.
But if it's a big gap, and a player has a certain kind of mindset, they will go with it and play it out. I can't tell with these guys. They all seem like they are pretty confident, stable and they will take a deal if they like it, and I guess if they don't, they won't, but it's hard to say right now.
Q. As you've had a couple months to reflect on Klay's come back and what he was able to do, how amazing and special is that to watch and just how eager are you to see him going full bore from the beginning this time?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, it's a great story. I mean, there's a lot of great stories but from the time he tore his ACL, you know that, year, and then the -- there's all these kind of defining moments being income bat back when he did that and then he walks out and shoots the free throws.
If I were to remember one thing and being able to walk off the court with him back in the training room, hearing he probably tore his ACL, he shoots his free throws, and then he tries to run back. I could -- I could walk through that whole thing, like this is where I stood, this is where he was, this is where I was yelling at him, don't run back; he's running back.
And then I know exactly where I was. I was sitting right there when I got the call from his agent that his can a kill Lees might be torn and then we walked down there, went to my office. Why is that relevant? I will never forget the night he walked out in Chase to play. Probably the most memorable game, maybe even more memorable than any of the Finals games for me.
So you know, if you're lucky enough to stay somewhere like Steve and I have gotten to and some of these players, you get these stories like that and most of the time you don't stick around long enough for them.
So he came in today and he's just -- you know Klay. He's just got this infectious energy and he just loves basketball. So happy for him and really excited. This is the first time we are healthy in a while going into training camp. I hope we can stay that way but for the last few years we have been a man down or more than one. It's a good feeling for someone in my position to know at least we are healthy at the start.
Q. Steve was saying how Andre still has not made his retirement or coming back decision. How does that impact you and what you're able to do, plan, money-wise, roster-wise, and have you ever been in this situation where training camp starts in two days and there's still someone who has not made that decision if they are returning or not?
BOB MYERS: Well, I've never had someone like Andre. So I guess you've got to have leverage to play this that far out, which he does.
You know, he's earned that right to make his own decision. We want him to make his own decision. We don't want to force him into something and two weeks later he says, I'm not up for this. So we will wait. We have not had something that we have foregone that we really liked. So we have not put pressured him to say: Listen, we have this other thing we really want to do, you have to tell us. We haven't had that.
But you may see it, you may not, people in this room. There's so much that he does that is not on the court and there's a lot he does on the court, too. And it's really hard to find that kind of stability and leadership on a team that he brings. Even for Steve and myself, I can go talk to Andre, he just knows. He's really smart. He knows our team. He's a true professional. He understands the league. He's seen a lot. He's played in, I don't know, how many Finals, it's crazy.
He's someone you want around. If it was up to me, we would keep him around a long time, even if he wasn't playing but we're running out of time. I'll call him when we get out of here, see what he's doing -- he's going to let you know, apparently. Watch his Podcast, I guess.
Q. Could he theoretically wait and not come back, later in camp, early in the season, midseason, would you be comfortable with that?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, depending on the reason, the why of it. Like I said, he's earned latitude. If we put something to him, had an injury or we had something come out in a buyout capacity where we said, Andre, if you don't want to come back, we like this other thing, I don't think he's going to do anything like that, unless there's a real good reason. I think he wants to, if he plays, be a part of it.
But if he came and said listen, I'm not quite ready or I don't want to go to Japan or whatever it might be, we'd probably be fine with that.
Q. With three guys coming up contracts and the looming luxury tax out there, is it just get these guys in and you can deal with the number in a year or are you already thinking about what's coming down as you talk to these guys about their number now?
BOB MYERS: You know, the thing I've learned in -- and this isn't a criticism at all but look at the team down the road. You just don't know, you know, what's going to happen. You have no idea, things flip immediately as far as what you think is going to happen, what everybody thinks is going to happen and what does happen. So our job, my job is to like, let's do all these things in a way where we feel good about it. That may not lineup in the way they feel good about it.
Then even if that's the case and we got something doing, then look forward and see what you do with that. I've got a story I can tell you later about a situation where we were thinking about extending a guy and much was written that if we had done that, we couldn't have signed a free agent. And looking back, that player that we offered an extension to ended up signing a maxed contract. Evening if we had him at the number that we offered, we could have moved that player and gotten something for it. Are you following that at all? Okay. So you know the deal.
It's an example of, like, who knows, right? But it's not necessarily -- there's a lot of variables to these decisions, a lot of variables. So even when we model, the goal is to get players on a deal that obviously they like and we like. And if you can get there, then now you deal with that. But I don't know if that's going to happen. I don't know right now.
Q. You've been saying for the last few years, you know, you just want to see the team, right. Feels like you saw them. Are you still in that mode where there's some things you still need to see? Is that the perennial existence of the general manager where you just see the team before you deal with all these big decisions?
BOB MYERS: Last year, I was sitting somewhere else, but someone asked, what do you think of the team, and it was hard to say. And I thought if Klay comes back, we'd have a shot. Probably feel a little better this year than last year. Doesn't mean we'll do what we did last year but I feel like we know our team a little bit better. Even with the young guys, there's still a lot of uncertainty.
Those three guys have just -- their ability to compete at the level Steph Curry, Draymond. I mean, I got to see it again. It's almost like until they don't, I have to believe they will and they can. Why would I believe anything else?
It's a little unclear. Like I do think Porter, Peyton, Bjelica, we knew a little bit more about them than we might know about JaMychal and Dante. We have an idea of them.
So I don't know what they will be. I don't know as much as you on the young guys, what's Wiseman going to be. He's going to obviously help us. He didn't do anything last year, so I think he'll be helpful.
The league has a lot of guys coming back from injury in the West. I think the West will be really difficult. The east is really hard, too. I think our goal in the front office is can we be labeled as a contender. I don't know where you draw the line there. I think it was easier to say that this year than it was last year for me. Doesn't mean I rank us as a favorite or anything like that.
But last year, if you said, are you a contender, I might say, I think so but I'm not sure. This year, I'd say, yeah, I put us in that category as a contender.
Q. How much have you lost to free agency -- how much of it wanting to keep the path somewhat clear for the young guys who obviously are going to have much more of an opportunity to play this year?
BOB MYERS: I mean, it wasn't as simple as let's not sign guys to clear the path. If those guys wanted to come back, they could have come back. It was more about the financial part to be honest.
And we didn't not say to the free agents who you're referring to, well, you know, we want -- they didn't say -- we didn't say come back at this number; no, we need that space for the young guys. It just happened the way it happened and some of the guys got nice deals, and we couldn't match them, and so it cleared the path that way. But it wasn't a conscious, you know, we would love to have these guys back that were really helpful, but then the young guys wouldn't play. It wasn't that.
Then it became, well, who else can we get on a minimum or some of the tax pyramid level, and are those guys better than the guys wedge we have? And the answer was, let's just roll with our young guys and see what they can do, rather than sign an unknown that we didn't love. That was the thought process.
Q. You said in the past, you wanted to get some guys, right, and they want to come here. Is that different? Was that different this summer after winning the title and after seeing Steph and Klay? Was it easier to get the guys you wanted to get?
BOB MYERS: Well, no. Because we didn't have a lot of money. You need money. But you know, it's funny, when we were with Dante, even when we were trying to get Gary or Otto, our guys are so -- he should just be GM. They are more important than I am.
When Curry calls a player, that's, you know, very important. That's important when he calls a free agent and say, do you want to come and play with us. And he did that. And Draymond I can't stop from doing that. He just does it on his own. Klay, I have know idea if he knows who he signed. He doesn't even know who is on our team. He's down there right now.
So I'm lucky to have guys that free agents want to play with. But we had to work. We had to wait, see if JaMychal got bought out. He had options; chose us. DiVincenzo was fortunately for us was a guy that liked our situation. I think he had a better financial situation in front of, and look, we tried on some guys we didn't get. It's hard to say.
I do think in the end, last year, what those three, including Iguodala, it's very hard to get that kind of output from four minimums. It's kind of unprecedented, in the Finals, Gary was starting in the series, minimum player, Otto, minimum player, huge minutes, Andre, what he gave us, Bjelica. That's -- I don't think we can redo that one. That was pretty good. That's a hard one to do.
Q. NBA off-season drama has affected two contending teams. You mentioned the longevity you guys have. How important is the stability in the leadership positions on this team, front office, you, Steve, in terms of what you have been able to do? Can you draw a direct correlation?
BOB MYERS: When we lost Game 7 in 2016, Steve and I were back in the old arena, and for those of you that were there, probably a lot of you were, you're not in our capacity, but it's a pretty raw time for emotion. There's so many opportunities to just say things that you can't unsay. And I'm lucky to work with a guy like Steve where he's such a decent human being and so kind of humble and selfless, that we -- any of you could work with Steve. You'd love to work with Steve.
So he's a wonderful par and his leadership, because he touches the players more than anybody from our organization, and to guide us through some high-highs. Even when you're in the high-highs at the top, there's a lot of scrutiny on your team. There's a lot of focus.
And when we were talking the other day about what we did last year, he referenced the hard part wasn't last year. It was the year we had the worst record in the league, COVID, keeping the culture together and not fracturing. Because when that happens, somebody gets fired, somebody starts blaming other people. Steve and I get at odds. Players get frustrated. Curry calls me and says: I don't know if I want to be there -- none of this happened by the way, I just want to be clear -- headline: Curry called Meyers.
But that happens, right. Happens all the time. Every day, a star player says I'm not sitting here, where is our team going. My wing man is out for the year, you've got all these young players. Not doing this. I've got four or five good years left. I'm not saying here.
None of that happened. Curry is a huge part of it. Joe allowing us to spend. Steve's leadership.
Stability in sports I think is the hardest thing now. You're going to see teams, whether it's free agency, whether it's players seeking a quick change or people like me or owners getting impatient. It's really hard. I mean, I think something like Steve is the third longest-tenured coach, and I'm the third GM or something. It's crazy.
I guess we've been here a long time but that's the thing that I guess if we were to be proud of something, it's that. Obviously the championships matter but yeah, stability, because in the course of a relationship or if you're in professional sports, you're going to go through these really tough situations which people forget we did. You don't want to be the worst team in the league and we were looking pretty bleak.
Then to come out of that, you just don't get that chance to do it like that because usually when you're that bad, it's all over. So it's people, it's Joe sticking with us, I suppose. And Curry is huge. I mean, that guy, he's not -- I mean, I see him every day but I know you appreciate him but who he is, it's the rarest of rare. It's just so unique to have that kind of temperament, that kind of leadership, be that teammate. When he acts the way he acts, you can't not follow that. Even me. So it's probably for all those reasons, I guess.
Q. When Patrick fell to you guys in the draft, people looked at the fact that he didn't have a good year in college, didn't do well at the combine but in hearing from people around here his work outs and what he's been doing over the past month or two, it's been really pretty positive. What are you seeing and hearing about Patrick?
BOB MYERS: You know, he's good. All we can expect at this point is the guy shows up, does he work hard, is he a good kid. He's doing all those things. We haven't seen him play against the big guns. We are not looking at him like he's going to help us but we are looking at him like he could help us in the future. He has all the attributes that usually lead to success: Skill, size, acumen. He looks healthy now.
I am hesitant to say anybody is great or not early, but he's done a nice job this off-season. And our Dejan (ph) director of player development, obviously got promoted, I have never soon a better and cohesive off-season program ever in my 12 years. I want to give the coaches some credit, too.
Q. Is there a chance he will spend considerable time in the G-League?
BOB MYERS: We talked about it the other day. I think he starts there but I don't want to take away his chance to earn minutes. Steve is probably going to play a lot of guys in the preseason.
After the sixth guy, I think you guys spoke to Steve, after the sixth person, it's kind of who takes it. Is he going to take it? I don't know. But there's opportunity for him if he can grab it.
Q. You're probably starting to look at expansion costs and future expenditures, CBA coming and there's potentially luxury tax and new TV deal. How much are you taking that into account?
BOB MYERS: You know, I think our goal organizationally is just to sign good contracts, and what the rules are, we have to abide by them; we will. What's our budget? Truth is we've probably blown through the budget a few times. Does that mean we will keep doing it? There are limitations to all of it.
We factor into where we think everything is going. You have access to it as far as what the projections are but you don't want to look at it and get too aggressive. It's just projections. There's projections; we make conservative ones, we make aggressive ones when we are in the room. And we say, what if we sign this player for that amount of money; and then we sign this player for amount, and then somebody says, well, if you can do this, that might work.
It's not as if we are looking as far ahead as the new CBA. We were not looking that far because I don't think anybody knows that.
Q. Joe was vocal on believing that tax penalties shouldn't be as stringent for guys you guys drafted. I don't know if you can speak on it --
BOB MYERS: I can't. I can't. I can't.
Q. Do you expect maybe down the line that your tax penalties might be --
BOB MYERS: If you and I want to go get a beer or something, I can talk to you guys.
Q. How is your hip injury? What's your availability?
BOB MYERS: Let's talk about things that people care about. But I appreciate that. Time trying to get back. Thank you for asking.
Q. They missed you in San Quentin.
BOB MYERS: I miss being there. We have an elevator operator that came from San Quentin, Anthony.
I'm glad we are still doing it. I wish I could go. That was actually my anniversary but I couldn't have played, anyway. That's a really nice tradition that our organization has been doing for ten, 12 years now. The inmates get a lot out of it. We get more, I think, than they do. It's been exciting to see Aaron Taylor get out and do the pregame game. I did a Podcast with Aaron.
Forgiveness, it's good for people like ours that haven't had such a tough childhood in many respects to see one mistake go bad for these guys. But it's great. I'm glad we do it. It really shines a lot on a lot of things that these are people that they really benefit. I think the thing that I hear from people who are there or work there, it shows them that they matter. I imagine if you're in San Quentin, you don't feel like you matter much, so it shows that they matter.
I should ask what you think. You can tell me later.
Q. You only played 39 games, a lot of data for you to go off, but entering his this season, fourth-year contract option to decide upon coming up. Where do you view him entering first training camp ever?
BOB MYERS: When we drafted him, we knew he had to play, and he just -- pick your reason: COVID, injury, weird missed training camp. He just never played. He got to play a little bit his rookie year and he started getting some momentum and then it went away. He hurt his wrist. He looked like he was getting somewhere and then obviously his knee.
But the good news is, he's played a lot this summer, and every day, my opinion, he seems to be getting a little bit better every day. And he can't do that if he's not healthy but he's been healthy. We track kind of the pick-up games and he's the only one in the facility that played in every one which is nice.
One that he wants to. A lot of guys are like, I don't want to play today. I'm tired. So it shows work ethic but also a health component that he didn't miss anything. There's no swelling. Happy that he's healthy. Now he can start the work, and we've -- I'm sure you asked Steve but we bet on it. It really about defining his role, putting him in positions to succeed. And imagine you'll see -- I'm hoping as the training camp goes on as the season goes on, he just keeps getting a little bit better, reading coverages and understanding our schemes. Even took Wiggins who was healthy, if we are being honest, a couple years to learn how to play with our guys and looked like it finally clicked last season. It's not a system -- some players can drop right into it but many it takes a little while to figure out.
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