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Warriors’ Bob Myers Owes Job to Ex-Celtics Boss Danny Ainge

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, at left. Bob Myers after winning a championship, right.
Getty/Steve Bulpett Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, at left. Bob Myers after winning a championship, right.

BOSTON — The architect was barefoot. He was wearing gym shorts and a slate gray t-shirt.

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He’d been clad in a well-tailored suit on the podium as his Warriors were accepting their fourth NBA championship trophy in the last eight years, but Bob Myers didn’t get to be Executive of the Year twice without learning to hang that bad boy away before the alcohol showers commenced.

Now here he was as Thursday night rolled into Friday morning, sipping Michelob Ultra from a Moet champagne goblet.

Huh?

“Yeah, I know,” the Golden State general manager told Heavy.com as he relaxed for a moment in a chair on the edge of the Celtics’ famed parquet court. “But they poured all the champagne on each other, so I’m stuck with a beer. Probably better for my long-term health. Yeah, I’m hoping tomorrow morning is a little easier, but however it goes, I’ll take it.”

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Myers was toasting the 103-90 Finals-clinching victory over Boston and the completion of another long NBA journey, but, reminded by the reporter of a conversation the two had in the hallway of Oracle Arena, the Warriors’ former home, years earlier, there was, as well, a sip of thanks to a colleague.

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Danny Ainge Told Warriors Owners to Talk With Myers

He readily acknowledged Danny Ainge’s role in making him this shoeless — and, depending on how much he’d keep drinking, potentially sockless — celebrant. The former Celtic president of basketball operations, now CEO of the Jazz, had gotten Myers’ presumably shod foot in the door at Golden State.

“Oh, yeah,” said Myers, previously a top agent. “Yeah, he did. He did. That’s a fact. Without Danny, I wouldn’t be here. No. One hundred percent.

“He recommended that Joe meet with me, our owner Joe Lacob. And Joe didn’t know me from anybody. And on Danny’s recommendation, he met with me. And then a few months later, Joe asked me if I wanted to work for the team. So I do owe that to Danny. Truly, without him I don’t get hired by the Warriors.”

Ainge had known Lacob from the latter’s years in the Celtic ownership group. Getting Myers this gig thus gave Ainge a hand in both sides of the Finals matchup, having drafted and otherwise acquired most of the Celts’ roster.

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Myers: ‘Every Executive, I Have Empathy For’

But as he’d done during the go-for-it non-reconstruction phases in Boston, he understands what it’s like for Myers to keep building and replenishing while maintaining a championship contender.

“I mean, it’s so hard, whether you’re doing that or not,” said Myers. “Every executive, I have empathy for in any sport. It’s hard, because only one team gets to do this. So when you don’t do this, you’re second guessing decisions you made and what should you have done, and could you have done something different? And so it’s difficult.

“That’s what makes you pour champagne on each other, is because it’s so hard. And keeping the team together, making trades, signing guys — everybody that does it knows. Every decision is pored over and over and over again, and then you hope it comes into fruition and it culminates in something like this. But 99 percent of time it doesn’t.

“We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of things we’ve done work, and then also having a guy like Steph (Curry) and those core guys, they obviously cover up a lot of our mistakes.”

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As Myers and the 29 other practitioners of this inexact front office science prepare for another offseason that is anything but off, the wheel keeps turning — pausing only for a hug from Warriors’ legend and now Bay Area broadcaster Chris Mullin… and another sip.

“What do we do? We got the draft in six days, right?” Myers said as he sat back down amid the game-night party. “Some of our guys are flying to go watch player work out tomorrow. We’re behind schedule. We’ll have a parade, which is awesome. We have a draft workout on Saturday. Free agency starts in a couple of weeks. So that’s the thing that kind of isn’t great is that we don’t we don’t get to stop and enjoy it.”

He may not be stopping, but on this evening that was becoming morning, Bob Myers, in all his sartorial California beach dude splendor, was enjoying the hell out of winning. Mich Ultra optional.

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