The expectation of eventually replacing Bob Myers as general manager of the Warriors was an idea that no one in or out of the building ever wanted, and tried to walk away as it became more realistic.
But for the past few years, a potential replacement has been waiting for one who is well acquainted with the good times, and more so in the bad times, for the Warriors. Team owner Joe Lacob was so confident about who should open up the next chapter of Golden State at the turnaround time that he didn’t feel the need to meet with anyone else. Nor was his son, Kirk, who would remain the Warriors’ executive vice president of basketball operations.
After five years in the front office, Mike Donlevy Jr. was named Myers’ replacement, and Lacob’s job Monday at Donlevy’s introductory press conference was to instill confidence in the decision.
“I always knew we had this guy sitting here on the wings,” Lacob said. “It had to be a conversation with him. We had conversations, of course, to make sure everything I thought was right—everything he was thinking about the job—so we were on the same wavelength.
“Have you interviewed other people? No, not really. We haven’t gone out, if that’s your question. We believe in continuity. We think we have a well-oiled, well-run machine.”
The word of the day was continuity, as it has been with the Warriors for many years now. Lacob believes it. Steve Kerr believes that. Myers believed it. At least Dunleavy says he believes in it.
The Warriors’ continuity is a bit affected right now after their early exit in the second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Myers will leave on June 30, when his contract expires. So will Shaun Livingston.
The four-time NBA champion, three times as a player with the Warriors and one in their front office, will leave his role as director of player affairs and engagement after three seasons to focus on family as he moves permanently to Las Vegas, a source said. NBC Sports Bay Area on Monday.
Gama Mahalela, who has been the face of the improved player development system for the past two seasons and has taken a seat at the front of the bench, recently left the Warriors to take a supporting role on the Toronto Raptors staff. Draymond Green is expected to remain a Warrior, but he turned down his player option worth over $27 million. Trade rumors swirled ahead of the 2023 NBA draft on Thursday, and several moves could be on the table.
All of this comes before Kerr’s final season in his contract as the Warriors’ head coach.
Lacob’s main goal on Monday while sitting next to Dunleavy was to show confidence in the new GM and the franchise’s direction. Before Dunleavy could utter a word, Lacob referred to how he thought Dunleavy fit into the Warriors’ culture four times in his opening statement.
“He’s a family man,” Lacob said. “Four kids. It’s culturally appropriate and culturally appropriate very much in keeping with the way this organization operates and operates.”
Later in Lacob’s speech to members of the media, he said, “It’s really an ‘us’ effort. Mike fits in. The cultural fit was amazing. The cultural fit was amazing with Mike. We’re so excited to have him here today, so we can announce him and set him up.” Function “.
culture. He’s hit the hardest, literally, in the Warriors’ ecosystem this past season. It was funny to imagine a single tournament before Myers arrived. Creating a culture other organizations dream about was an added stretch. This is Dunleavy’s biggest challenge.
The new man in charge knows that’s true, too, and he’s not going to get rid of Myers’ number anytime soon.
“He is someone I have leaned on and will continue to count on, as well as other people in our organization,” said Dunleavy. “Thank you Bob for everything you’ve done for this team. We’ll miss you, but we know you’ll be around.”
Myers’ personal touch and relationship building cannot be replicated. His communication is a warm handshake, making everyone feel important no matter their situation. Much of it is innate and cannot be taught. Part of his personal skill has also been learned over time from his days as an agent to his years leading the Warriors.
The two aren’t new to each other, and their history goes far beyond Myers who has been grooming Dunleavy for the past five years in the Warriors’ front office. Myers was an agent for Dunleavy, and the two are great friends, and Myers has shown his confidence in Dunleavy’s upcoming draft by personally bringing him on as a pro scout for the 2019 season.
“In terms of similarities, we’re really close, so there must be a lot of things that go together,” said Dunleavy. “Maybe I’ll start with humility. We’re very humble guys, family first. I think we’re good listeners. They both like to hear people, hear groups. As leaders, try to make the right decision.”
“Differences? I guess I’m a little better basketball player than he is. But then Bob is out-of-this-world talented at what he can do with people. His numbers speak for him. If I could be anywhere near the world of success as he was here, it would be Cool.”
The Warriors’ new GM is the son of a former player and coach, himself played 15 seasons in the NBA, and climbed the front office ladder. The former man in charge had a playing background, but his greatest gift was making players beg to be Warriors for more reasons than sharing the field with Steve Curry.
Between basketball knowledge and personal involvement, balance is needed to restore the strength of Warriors culture. Nor does Dunlevy shy away from continuing to use perhaps the most important building voice ever made here in the Bay Area.
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