Since his arrival at Golden State, Bob Myers has established himself as one of the best general managers in basketball. But he nearly didn't land the position.
According to Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News, owner Joe Lacob reportedly considered Danny Ferry and "at least one other high-ranking executive" before deciding on Myers.
“I didn’t really like anybody I was meeting,” Lacob said. “And I kept thinking about Bob. But I thought it’d be too much risk. He wasn’t a GM, he had never worked in operations. That’s how I came up with the idea of coming in under Larry and at the time made a somewhat unpopular decision, like a lot of decisions I’ve made, which was to keep Larry.
"I made the decision to bring in Bob as the assistant GM and the deal with Bob was—and I had to convince him of this—let’s see how this goes, let’s get to know each other.”
At the time, Ferry was coming off a largely successful stint as the Cleveland Cavaliers general manager. The Cavs made the playoffs in each of his five seasons at the helm, though they made only one Finals appearance despite having LeBron James. Ferry was fired as part of an organizational cleansing that predated James' departure for Miami.
Ferry would eventually go on to become the Atlanta Hawks general manager but stepped down last year after a racial scandal. While reading a scouting report on Luol Deng during a conference call with team owners, Ferry described the then-free-agent forward as having "a little African in him," per AFP (h/t Yahoo Sports).
Myers, meanwhile, earned Executive of the Year honors last season and has presided over one of the most dominant teams in basketball history. The Warriors are on pace to break the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' record for wins in a season (72). They're 60-6 heading into Wednesday night's game against the New York Knicks and need to go 13-3 the rest of the way.
At the time, Myers said he was "surprised" to be hired, per Kawakami:
I was very surprised to get that call. Because from the outside looking in, most owners that purchase a team like he did for the amount that he did don’t take chances on anything that’s not proven. So I’m on the outside looking in, being in the business…I don’t know if gamble’s the right word, but it was a risky hire, I think, for sure.
Well, the word used to describe Myers' hire doesn't matter. It was a risk, it was a gamble, it was whatever. But it also wound up being the smartest thing Lacob has done since buying the team.
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