clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Charles Barkley praises former Warriors GM for ‘jumping off the Titanic’

Bob Myers was on the defensive about his career moves and draft picks when TNT and ESPN joined forces Thursday

2023 NBA Playoffs - Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Bob Myers and Michael Jordan, but not that Michael Jordan
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors didn’t make it to the knockout round of the NBA’s In-Season Tournament, but they were still a big topic of discussion on the telecast, thanks to Bob Myers and Charles Barkley.

For the two semi-finals in Las Vegas, TNT and ESPN mixed up their broadcast crews. ESPN’s Mike Breen and Doris Burke joined TNT’s Reggie Miller to call the Milwaukee Bucks-Indiana Pacers game, while Doc Rivers joined Kevin Harlan and Candace Parker for TNT’s telecast of Lakers-Pelicans. That also meant Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, and former Warriors team president Bob Myers shared a set with the “Inside The NBA” guys, including Barkley, who praised Myers for leaving the team.

“I want to give you credit for jumping off the Titanic before it sunk,” Barkley needled Myers, who left the Warriors for ESPN after last season. When Myers protested that he still had friends in the organization, Barkley shot back, “You’re going to see them soon!”

Barkley can be savage, especially when there’s a great deal of truth in his ribbing. Myers couldn’t work out a new deal with the team last year, when he was in the last year of his contract. Now, Coach Steve Kerr is also in the final year of his own contract, with no imminent extension in the works. Would it really be a surprise for the floundering Warriors if Kerr went back to his old broadcasting job at TNT after coaching Team USA at the Olympics next summer?

Earlier in the day, sitting on an all-ESPN panel, Myers was asked about passing on Tyrese Haliburton in the 2020 NBA Draft, when the Warriors had the No. 2 pick. The Warriors worked out the future All-Star in Las Vegas, with Kerr, Myers, and owner Joe Lacob all reportedly impressed by Haliburton’s performance - even if he had a “different kind of shot.”

Myers expressed regret about passing on Haliburton. “What bothers me more than anything,” Myers said, “His workout was good. I should have known then, because of who he is as a person, and as a leader...That conversation left a mark.”

Not enough of a mark, apparently, because the Warriors drafted center James Wiseman instead. Allegedly, they were impressed that Wiseman spoke Mandarin, and made his bed every morning. That’s why they ignored Haliburton’s impressive workout and interview, and took a guy who played just 60 games for the team before he was traded to the Detroit Pistons. (Since trading for Wiseman, the Pistons have gone a stunning 4-42.)

According to draft expert Jonathan Givony, Haliburton was very interested in joining the Warriors or Sacramento Kings. His agent went so far as to ask other teams not to draft him once the Warriors passed, sacrificing money for his preferred situation. Haliburton was considered one of the most NBA-ready prospects in that draft class.

Analytics loved Haliburton, after making over 42 percent of his threes with his different kind of shot, as well as putting up impressive numbers of steals and blocks. The advanced metrics did not feel the same about Wiseman.

Obviously, the draft is somewhat of a crapshoot, but Myers had to feel even more regret seeing Haliburton shred the Milwaukee Bucks for 27 points and 15 assists in their semi-final matchup, including a dagger three that iced the game.

Still, it’s possible he simply wouldn’t have fit in with this Warriors team. After all, Haliburton didn’t commit a turnover Thursday night, and that’s simply not Warriors basketball.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Golden State of Mind Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Golden State Warriors news from Golden State of Mind