In the last press conference at Warriors headquarters in Oakland before moving to the Chase Center, Bob Myers reflected on the departures of Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala, spoke briefly on Klay Thompson’s injury and addressed sweeping changes to the new-look and suddenly underdog Warriors.
Myers said he connected on a deeper level with Durant and Iguodala – more than just basketball. These two players were heavily sewn into the fabric of the Warriors brand of basketball, Myers said, and to lose both in the same night had Myers looking back:
“What we shared, whether it’s myself or their teammates or anybody in the organization, that doesn’t go away. So that hurts, those things hurt and if they don’t hurt, then I guess you never had a relationship with those guys in the first place … Those guys were tremendous, both of them. For me personally, for our fans and for our community, how they represented themselves.”
Myers went on to praise Durant and what he meant to him, on a personal level. As a Bay Area kid, Myers grew up watching the Warriors and said that with the contributions Durant has bestowed upon the Bay, he is possibly the best athlete to ever suit up in Bay Area sports attire:
“I love basketball and so just to watch him play was a treat for me. Just to watch him practice, to watch him work out, I’ll miss that, I will – just as a basketball fan because guys like him don’t come along too often and his skill set, and his ability is so unique … I view it for me, reconcile it with that I got to see him up close for three years of my life and I’ll always remember that.”
With the Warriors roster looking close to finalized, a sliver of what we can expect was showcased in this year’s Summer League. Myers, as well as the organization, said he is excited to see what they can do in the real NBA:
“Some ups and downs, [Eric] Paschall and [Jordan] Poole, obviously Jacob [Evans III] was playing some point guard for us. Alen Smaillagić, he’s young too, he’s a young player who played in our G-League system all year. So, it’s a new dawn for us but it’s okay. I think we haven’t been in this position for five years, but you know, it’s going to be fun. And it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy, because when you have young players, there’s a learning curve to their growth, to their NBA experience.
Myers also touched briefly on Thompson’s injury, but said he hasn’t yet seen him post-surgery:
“I’m going down to L.A., I haven’t seen him post-surgery … But I’ll go down and see him, I talked to his agent a few times, but no new information on a timeline.
With Durant’s move to the East Coast, the Warriors will rely heavily on the Splash Brothers to put points on the board. But with Thompson out for most of the season due to a torn ACL, the new addition of D’Angelo Russell will certainly help keep the scoring afloat.
Though the addition of another All-Star is exciting for Warriors, it raises questions about their perimeter defense, especially with Iguodala being traded to Memphis with a protected first-round pick for forward Julian Washburn.
The Warriors with their new signees have gotten younger, with Stephen Curry being the oldest on the team at 31. And because of the Russell Westbrook trade to Houston, Curry now stands as the longest-tenured active player with the same team in the league.