One of the most critical moments of the season for the Golden State Warriors almost went unnoticed. In the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans, with the Warriors fighting to put the finishing touches on a 20-point comeback, Draymond Green was whistled for an offensive foul, resulting in a turnover and putting him one foul away from being removed from the game.
Green was incensed at the officials for a call that looked specious at best. And as Steve Kerr stood stoically on the sideline while Green called for a challenge, the four-time All-Star’s anger shifted from being directed at the refs to being directed at his own team’s coaching staff.
While Green was in the midst of excoriating the Warriors coaches for not challenging the play, general manager Bob Myers quietly walked down to the floor level. When Green walked away from the huddle in a huff, Myers was waiting for him.
They spoke for a few brief seconds, then Green returned to the huddle with his anger replaced by motivation.
It’s shocking to see.
Bob Myers walked over to calm down Draymond after the Warriors didn’t review a charge call pic.twitter.com/sD0q29SXH5— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 29, 2023
A GM coming to the bench to talk to a player mid-game is incredibly rare. But doing it while that player is heated, and having them immediately take it to heart? That’s practically unheard of.
All year long, Myers has faced a bizarre amount of scorn from the fanbase of a dynasty he helped architect. Ask 20 people why Golden State is having a disappointing season, and you’ll get 20 different responses — they’re not motivated, they’re too old, they don’t play youngsters enough, they don’t have good enough youngsters, they shouldn’t have drafted James Wiseman, they shouldn’t have traded James Wiseman, they should have made better offseason signings, etc. — and more often than not, those complaints rope in Myers.
Some of them are fair. Most of them are not.
But while we can debate the job that Myers has done constructing this year’s team, we can’t question how important he’s become to the franchise in unique ways.
And Tuesday’s moment with Green — which very well might have saved a must-win game for Golden State — was a stark reminder of that.
In case you’re not convinced, listen to Draymond talk about the incident.
I asked Draymond Green how important Bob Myers’ in-game message to keep him locked in was.— Dalton Johnson (@DaltonJ_Johnson) March 29, 2023
His answer says a WHOLE LOT about how important Bob Myers is and what makes him such a great GM pic.twitter.com/2RxMKrMlLh
That’s such a notable answer that I need to transcribe the whole thing for you, in case you only watched part of it.
It was huge. He came down, he was like, “Listen. Alright. You proved your point and you may have been right, but if you stay that way, guys are gonna follow you. If you turn it around right now and get back in the huddle, guys will follow that.”
And it was huge. I got back in the huddle, I challenged our guys, and we went out and boosted the lead even more. I think that’s when you see ... y’all don’t always get to see Bob’s worth other than putting the team together. But he’s so important to everything that we do.
I can’t imagine — and I know, I watch this league — GMs don’t keep a pulse of the team like Bob keeps a pulse of this team. And maybe two other GMs in the league right there would come down to the bench and say something.
And then that’s also someone that I have the utmost respect for. If Bob comes and tells me something, that’s bible to me. I’m gonna listen to that. But that’s a relationship that has been built over the course of the last 11 years, and that is a relationship that’ll continue to grow over the next 40 years. So for him to come down in that moment and say something to me, you gotta honor that. And it was huge.
I’m not sure I’ve heard Green speak so glowingly about anyone other than Steph Curry. And speaking of Curry, he had some pretty notable quotes on the interaction as well, calling it “just another example” of how important Myers is to the team, pointing to the “trust in his perspective.”
"You don't see him come down that often ... That's something that Draymond responds to."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 29, 2023
Steph shares his perspective on Bob Myers walking over to talk to Draymond pic.twitter.com/nSOd4CRoqY
Myers’ contract is set to expire at the end of the year, and it’s unclear if he might look at a new challenge or even just a break. It’s an exhausting job and all.
But one thing is abundantly clear: when you talk about the core of the dynastic Warriors, and the people who have been utterly essential to their success, Myers needs to be mentioned with Curry, Green, Kerr, and Klay Thompson.