WARRIORS' SEASON WRAP-UP
COHN: Warriors' superstar doesn't rebound or shoot
Myers, through draft and trades, had more impact on 2012-13 season than anyone
Published: Monday, May 20, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 8:59 a.m.
If the Warriors have a superstar, who is it?
You probably answered Stephen Curry. It is a reasonable response, and a certain amount of information backs it up. As a point guard, he is coming along real fast. He is a great shooter, flat-out great. And he is exciting and he is the Warriors' best player without a doubt.
But the Spurs managed to shut him down some of the time and contain him some of the time, and when you think superstar, you don't think shut down or containment. This is no knock on Curry. It is stating the facts.
Let's just say Curry is a superstar in the making, and let's just say he's not the Warriors' superstar.
So, who is it?
Bob Myers, that's who. He held his season post-mortem at Warriors headquarters Monday morning. In case you're not Warriors-conversant, Myers, 38, is the general manager. He's quite a general manager, indeed.
He made a bigger imprint than anyone else on this season's wonder team. He made a bigger imprint than Curry, than coach Mark Jackson, than owner Joe Lacob. He is the shining star of the organization.
What's such a big deal about Myers?
Until he showed up April 24, 2012, the Warriors stunk. There is no kind way to put it. They stunk and they had no hope, no vision, no nothing. They were a joke franchise in the NBA.
Myers had been an agent, and he knew all the general managers, and he knew how to sign and not sign players. He knew the whole constellation of what a GM needs to know.
His immediate task was to oversee the draft.
He did a brilliant job. The word “brilliant” is no overstatement. The Warriors had two first-round picks. He took Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli. Great picks.
Barnes was a star in the playoffs. He is the best athlete on the Warriors and he shoots 3s better than most veterans. And Ezeli is a center on the rise who played valuable minutes all season.
In the second round, Myers took Draymond Green, who made important shots in the playoffs and played tough defense on some lethal shooters, and was a significant contributor.
So, Myers drafted for need and he fulfilled needs. He didn't just get projects — guys who participate in practice but sit on the bench during games holding towels and applauding good plays by teammates. You see the applauders on every team in the league. Myers and the Warriors didn't have the luxury to draft applauders.
On July 11, he swung a three-team trade and ended up with Jarrett Jack as his backup point guard. Jack has the most guts of anyone on the Warriors and made critical, dramatic shots in the playoffs when no one else was making critical, dramatic shots. The Warriors don't know if they will be able to keep Jack for next season once he hits the free-agent market.
A comment on the three-team trade: Myers was attractive to the new Warriors' ownership precisely because of trades like this one. He is well connected in the league and his vision of a team is vast — think of his brain as the biggest big-screen TV with HD and all the bells and whistles.
On Aug. 1, Myers signed Carl Landry as a free agent. Very smart signing. Landry is a backup power forward with the sweetest touch on that jumper from just beyond the key. With David Lee hurt in the playoffs, Landry played an important and positive role.
So, that's what Myers did leading up to this season, and no other Bay Area GM did better. You could make a case no one did as well. The Giants didn't do as well, but they didn't have the overwhelming needs the Warriors had. Brian Sabean is the best GM in the Bay Area until further notice. There can be no argument about that. But Myers, in just one year, has forced himself into the conversation.
Myers finished seventh in NBA GM of the Year voting. That renders the voting silly. He is an open, honest man with no pretensions. He is charming with the media and has become the face of the franchise — along with Jackson and Curry. One local GM in particular should study and learn from Myers' style.
Myers admits what he doesn't know. And he says — brags — that he seeks the counsel of Jerry West on a daily basis. He'd be nuts not to. He also talks to other GMs and learns how they do business. And you get the feeling that when he and West and Lacob and director of player personnel Travis Schlenk and assistant GM Kirk Lacob are in a room, that rooms has a high collective IQ, smart people making smart decisions.
Myers is indispensible and he is the superstar.
For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at email@example.com.
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