OAKLAND (CBS SF) — After a whirlwind three weeks of NBA free agency, Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers sat down with reporters Monday to reflect on the departures of stalwarts Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.
The Warriors saw several other players depart after their fifth NBA Finals appearance including DeMarcus Cousins, Jordan Bell and Quinn Cook. So like his counterparts around the league, Myers has been scrambling to assemble a squad for the inaugural season at the Chase Center.
“There are lot of thoughts around it,” Myers said of the post-season scramble. “There’s Kevin leaving. Processing it. Missing him just as a person, for what he did for us, for our organization at the highest level. MVP of the Finals twice. A couple championships. He was a great part of our fabric. That’s a loss, you fell that.”
“Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of time. We didn’t have a lot of time to pivot. I think from a holistic level we just got a lot younger. Which is probably something we had to do…I think we went from the second or third oldest (team in the league) to the second or third youngest. It’s hard to do that in this league, to get young players…A lot of change, a lot of new challenges.”
Myers said he had always been a big believer in continuity and “now we have to work to get that back. We got it at some level with some of the core guys (Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney)…It’s a lot of new pieces and that takes time to gel.”
On Durant, Myers said he had no idea what his decision was going to be until he met with him in New York.
“There was a lot of speculation of what Kevin was doing, but I wasn’t aware of any finality until I saw him and talked with him,” Myers said. “From that point on we explored some pretty immediate possibilities and as you all saw, anyone who covers our sport, the rapidity of free agency, I never saw it go so fast. Ever…Never have I seen things move as fast as they did on that first evening. Whether it was our business or anyone’s business.”
Myers characterized the emotions surrounding the departure of Durant and Iguodala as “very difficult.”
“Those are people I like,” he said. “Those memories, relationships don’t change just because they are going to go work for another company, a different team…That hurts. If they don’t hurt I guess you never had a relation with those guys anyway.”
On Durant, Myers called it a blessing to have him on the roster for three amazing seasons.
“To me, it was a blessing that he came (to the Warriors),” Myers said. “That he wanted to be a part of us. This is a guy who can move in any direction he wants because of his talent. He came and he delivered. He represented us on the court, he represented us off the court. He still has a great relationship with a lot of his teammates, our coaching staff, myself. He just wanted to try something new.”
Myers said his meeting in New York with Durant was “more to see how he was doing as a human being.”
“Kevin and I talked all the time during his three years here,” the Warriors GM said. “We talked about a lot of different things. It (the New York meeting) was probably an hour or two. Just life and stuff like that..It wasn’t like slamming the door. To be honest I was kinda sad because I like him…Just to watch him play was a treat for me as a basketball fan.”