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October 8, 2019

Ted Robinson

Bob Myers

San Francisco, California

LARRY SCOTT: It's my pleasure to welcome Bob Myers. We're doing some really cool things with the Warriors and the Chase Center, the Al Attles Classic will take place at the magnificent Chase Center. It's a quadruple-header. Stanford, Cal and Arizona will be playing in that game. And also in 2022, the Chase Center and the Warriors working with us is going to be hosting the western regional of the NCAA Tournament. Big-time college basketball coming to the Bay Area in a spectacular new venue.

Got a great relationship with the Warriors, which has a lot of Pac-12 connections as part of it, and delighted that Bob is here. So without further ado, want to introduce Bob Myers and Ted Robinson who's going to do a Q & A.

TED ROBINSON: It's good to have a Pac-12 student-athlete of success. I heard a story, by the way, about the law office that you worked in while you were still finishing up either law school or UCLA, when you worked for Arn Tellem. You're in there, Rob Pelinka, who played at Michigan with the Fab Five, and Neil Olshey with the Blazers. So three guys became general managers out of the same law office, huh?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I like the fact that I'm close to UCLA over here. I don't know if you planned that. When I was at UCLA, I remember probably the same way now, before practice you'd get there early, and I remember at one point maybe my junior year I decided before practice, I'm just going to instead of getting shots up just kind of read, get caught up on my homework, and some of the other players came over at one point and said, What are you doing, Myers? I said, I'm not playing in the NBA, guys. I need to graduate.

There's many ways that you can be successful, obviously being a Pac-12 athlete academically, many have gone on to play professionally. The best thing I think about the Pac-12 is it offers it all, right. You've got a bunch of avenues for success, a degree from a Pac-12 school or the platform in athletics that it provides is -- I did not take the professional athlete road, but I'm working in professional sports.

TED ROBINSON: So the Al Attles Challenge, four games in one day, it's great, terrific match-ups, bringing in very good programs from other parts of the country, as well. But very first thing is to honor Al Attles. When professional basketball first came to San Francisco, of course USF was fabulous, Cal was great, but professional game Alvin was a huge part of that. To have this event named for him really feels like a special honor.

BOB MYERS: Yeah, it's tremendous, and well deserved. I wasn't as fortunate as even you. We were talking walking over here to interact with Al at that point in time, in my experience being with the Warriors, he was more of an ambassador when I started about 10 years ago, but the lasting impact he left on so many people has stayed that way. The support that he has -- on our practice courts right now in Chase center, it's got "Al Attles" on our practice court. My daughter the other day said, whose name is that? That's what honoring somebody is about, and somebody of his stature, somebody that kind of lived his whole life within our organization, or most of it, 50 years. Great to be honored at kind of an inaugural college event in Chase Center.

TED ROBINSON: And this event seems to be so significant because obviously we know USF has its campus gym. There was a time I was there and I think you were there, too, when Cal had to play games for a year at the Cow Palace, meaning there really wasn't a great venue in San Francisco, and now you have the Chase Center, which we obviously understand is going to be great for the NBA, but to have college basketball be a part of this is huge.

BOB MYERS: Absolutely. For me, it's great to -- growing up here in the Bay Area and seeing some of these other cities get these NCAA regionals, although the Sweet 16 when I was at UCLA we played it in Oakland, but I am hugely excited about the Al Attles Classic, about the NCAA games that will be played there. All the events that come through there, and I think it's a great opportunity for our schools, and who knows what will be next. I think there's just room to grow there, and I know our ownership and business side wants to support the Pac-12, has a great relationship with the Pac-12.

The fact that we have this great venue this close, we're a mile away from here. You could walk. It's about 25 minutes. But it's something that -- it just makes the Pac-12, which is a great place, and the Chase Center unique in that we can do these things together now. I'm excited about it.

TED ROBINSON: What was the arena like for basketball, for those who didn't have a chance to be there for the first game?

BOB MYERS: Well, we lost by 25 points, I think, so it was not --

TED ROBINSON: Doesn't matter.

BOB MYERS: My seat was good. The sound was good. The scoreboard is overwhelmingly big. Where I sat, I probably didn't get to take full advantage of it. These things keep getting bigger and bigger. But in the era, as everybody here knows, of analytics, it's almost like -- depends on what generation you were born in, but there's enough information on that scoreboard alone to please or placate any advanced analytics or somebody that's numerically motivated.

But if you're not, there's just a huge picture to look at, which appeals to everybody. I think that's a great thing that oftentimes now is important within arenas. Maybe not to me but the scoreboard now takes on a life of its own, and so that was nice. The audio in there was good. I think the floor is great. I mean, the baskets are always 10 feet tall with a little iron -- the scene from "Hoosiers."

TED ROBINSON: Isn't it amazing because we've seen and heard this, those of us that are around basketball, ever since Final Fours went to domes. It's the shooting background, and everyone talks about the shooting background, the depth perception. That would seem to me to be something very interesting you'd like to get a read on from players.

BOB MYERS: Well, Steph Curry's first shot was like three or four feet short, but he took it from 27 or 28 feet away, so it probably wasn't the best shot selection. Well, you know, we need to start off shooting well. I don't think we can blame that on the Chase Center, though. I think that's probably the fact it's our first game, and we started practice about a week ago. I find that more for colleges, there is an adjustment of playing in an NBA arena. It's different. The floor is different. The rims are different. And so that is something that you see as the NCAA Tournament comes along, sometimes you see a team struggle to shoot, to make shots. College rims sometimes are a little softer.

But it's great. I remember the first time playing at UCLA, I think we played in Oracle, maybe it was the first -- I think we also played in maybe what was the United Center in Chicago. You always remember -- and the Pac-12 affords us the opportunity to play in some of these venues, Madison Square Garden. You remember that stuff, you really do, because as kids playing any sport you dream of playing at the professional level, and the Chase Center is going to be a place obviously for the local universities and other universities participating in the Al Attles or maybe the NCAA regional a chance to experience that, and I think it's a memory that you don't forget.

TED ROBINSON: As you're saying that, I'm sitting here thinking, Kingdome, Seattle, right? That has to have special memory for you.

BOB MYERS: I'm not sure -- yes, it did. That was the year we won the championship. But man, what a venue to play a basketball game in, though. I mean, walking in there and looking around, I don't know if that was 40,000 -- do you remember?

TED ROBINSON: For basketball, the Sonics played obviously regular-season games, but yeah, they could put that many --

BOB MYERS: I think they did --

TED ROBINSON: You're talking UCLA's National Championship, of course.

BOB MYERS: Yeah, I'm not sure if they kind of curtained off some areas, but it was a lot of people, and I'm not sure they all had a great view, but that was -- you know, they played games in the AT&T in Dallas, Arlington, and it's just -- I think a lot of people watch the scoreboard from some of those seats, but it speaks to the popularity of our game, the college basketball game, that you can play in those places and you can fill it up, and obviously the Final Four attracts every year huge audiences. I don't know what their average attendance is, but they don't play those -- you remember, and they used to play the Final Four in a 20,000 venue arena. They just don't do that anymore.

TED ROBINSON: UCLA leads us to the question you were involved in the process that eventually landed Mick Cronin. Tell us about that, what you found out and discovered in the process that led to that selection.

BOB MYERS: He's in the building here, right?


BOB MYERS: Mick is great. I think what I learned is that one should, as I did and do, have great respect for what they don't know about other people's jobs. And I learned kind of auditing the process with Dan Guerrero and Josh Rebholz, which was an honor to even be asked how challenging all these things are, how challenging everybody here's jobs are, and the arrogance that we sometimes have when we suppose how a process is supposed to go.

So you learn a lot, and that was fascinating for me to learn how it even works, how at a major school you hire a college football or basketball coach, any coach, how you deal with compensation. A lot of these people that you're attracted to have jobs. Most of the time people aren't out of work, so how do you go about it.

Really enlightening, and happy with the result. Gotten to know Mick. Had some people that called originally and said this is the guy you guys need to go get, but not knowing Mick, knowing him a little bit but getting to know him, I'm excited as an alumni. I'm excited about him, excited about what he's done. We have one of his players on the Warriors, Jacob Evans, and I asked him the other day, How is Mick going to be? And he said, Good, he's going to be good. And he knows more than I do, obviously.

But a player speaking on your behalf, that's one of his success stories. But I love his work ethic, and again, working with Dan who has been around, and you've known Dan a long time, learning from his humility, just as a gentleman, watching him navigate the process, he was -- it's just a pleasure to be around him and Josh as the whole thing unfolded.

TED ROBINSON: I'm interested to hear you say you learned a lot of things about the process that were fascinating. Of course the name, UCLA basketball, to those of us of a vintage, is Magic. Did you find it still to be that way?

BOB MYERS: In some cases, sure. I mean, I think UCLA -- it depends on who you're asking. I could poll the room, what does UCLA mean to you? Some people would say nothing. Some people would say, oh, my dad went there or I grew up watching Lew Alcindor, I don't know. But you can't suppose anything. It means something to you, which is great, but you can't go into any situation -- for me as the president of the Warriors, I can't assume everybody wants to play for the Warriors, even though I think it's great and we've won some championships. So you have to go hat in hand.

It does certainly carry a lot of juice in college athletics, the UCLA brand. As it should; it's been earned, as do a lot of Pac-12 schools. But you can't go in with just that. If I want to hire somebody at the Warriors and I'm interviewing them, I can't just say, we're the Warriors, why wouldn't you want to come here. That doesn't work for anything. I don't care what university you're representing or company. It requires more than your name.

But I will say this: The UCLA name, it'll open the door for you. Will it lead to exactly where you want it to go? It depends, but I'm thrilled that we got Mick, and he is somebody that was thrilled about the opportunity and is so happy to have the chance to lead our University with UCLA, and that's what matters. We don't pretend, and whether it's UCLA or Warriors or anything, that we need to please and for everybody to be in love with our University, but our coach better be. I think he is.

TED ROBINSON: Well, Bob, thank you for setting that table, and I know Bob is going to stay up here, and I think we're going to open things up for some questions.

Q. Now that you've gotten a taste of how things go at UCLA, you know they need a new athletic director. Would you either have any interest in that or in helping them in the process of finding that new athletic director?
BOB MYERS: Oh, man. You know, I'm honored that you'd even ask the question. I've got my hands full with the Warriors. It's a full-time job. But I love UCLA. Any time they ask me to help with anything, I would, and I haven't really thought about any of that too much. But I do know that Dan will leave big shoes to fill, was a great guy, is a great guy. It's such a great experience there, and it's a wonderful job for whoever gets it.

Q. UCLA were picked to finish eighth this year, the first time that's ever happened. As an alum, what's that like to see, and how do you think Mick is going to respond to that with this team?
BOB MYERS: Yeah, you know, I don't do -- this isn't me being defensive towards UCLA because I went there. The preseason predictions, I get it. You've got to do it. I work for the Warriors. We were the biggest favorite in maybe the NBA history to win the championship last year, and we didn't win. So it's fine. It's okay, but I don't know that -- if that's a narrative that gets the athletes motivated, but I don't feel one way or the other about it because people will ask me how's your team and I'll say I'll tell you at the end of the year how our team was. I don't know.

But you'd obviously like to improve upon that in the eyes of the media and the fans, to be ranked there, and I think Mick will, and I hope -- he doesn't probably spend too much time looking at that. He's probably focused on the team.

Q. Larry and Teddy and you have already spoken, I just have to -- I spent three really enjoyable years, God knows we didn't win a lot of games, but at Golden State. Literally the best thing about working for the Warriors was stopping in Al Attles' office every day, and in those days he was there literally every day, and for you guys to honor him, there's a lot of people in this room younger than me that forget he wasn't a good, he was an excellent player. He also brought a National Championship, won the championship in the NBA for the Warriors. To honor him, he's always for me the best thing about the Warriors, and it was such a privilege to get to know that man, and for you guys to honor him, I know it's going to cross over. It's going to be good not just for the NBA but for college basketball. Fantastic move. Congratulations.
BOB MYERS: Thank you, yeah. And thanks for saying that. I think unfortunately for me, I didn't get to have that everyday interaction, but there's enough of those anecdotes, not that I need proof, but there's so many of those stories. I was talking to Lorenzo Romar the other day who played for Al briefly, and was asking about him, and you can't go too far within our organization. There's certain people in life that get honored, then you kind of scratch your head and say I don't know about this one. This one is an obvious good thing, and we need those things, and we need to put those people on a platform, and he's one of them.

TED ROBINSON: Can I give PJ a "well said" there?

BOB MYERS: Yeah, of course.

TED ROBINSON: Well said.

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