Warriors New GM Bob Myers Talked About What He’ll Do at SF, What He Needs from Curry and the Prospect of Losing Michael Malone
By Marcus Thompson
Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at 4:04 pm in Uncategorized.
It’s a couple days late, but here are the transcripts from new GM Bob Myers’ end-of-season presser. He covered a lot of topics, so it should be some good fodder for those who want a look into his insight.
Overall impressions of 2011-12
“It’s hard to lose. If you like to compete and win, on that level its been tough to lose this many games. But big picture we made some changes that will help us going forward. So moving ahead, I like where are. But going through the process of getting there has been tough.”
What do you need to get done this offseason?
“I think we’re positioned pretty well talent wise at some of the starting spots. But we’ve got to get deeper. I think we need more size. You’ve watched us struggle rebounding the ball. Bogut would help with that. But we still need off the bench a 4 that can rebound consistently. Maybe some veterans – we’re pretty young. So there’s some needs that have to be addressed for us to get to the place where we want to go.”
Are you comfortable with Curry and Klay as your starting backcourt?
Yeah, I’m comfortable because I think its got a great shot at working. I think both Curry and Klay, what they both do well is they’re very smart and they’re very skilled. So you put two guys out there that know the game and have a tremendous skill in shooting the basketball, even when they don’t have the ball in their hands – and this goes for either of them – you have to respect their shot. So you really can’t leave either one of them alone, which should create a lot of space for the other players. But like anything it has to work. We haven’t seen it yet really. We’ve seen a little of it, but not enough to really gauge it. But if the question is do we believe it can work, yeah I believe it can work.
How much time should Mark Jackson and Steph spend together this summer?
While he can’t play, you’d hope that they would just talk, watch film, talk about things Mark experienced that helped him as a decision maker. One of the things I think mark, speaking of our coach, was very good at as a player was managing the game. He didn’t have the skill set that Steph Curry has. But he had this ability to know when to push the ball, when to slow down, when to get the ball to the hot shooter. One similarity is that Mark played with a great shooter, a guy that Klay Thompson has been compared to in Reggie Miller. So he may be able to impart to Steph how to get a guy like that in the game, how to utilize a guy like that. But that’s while he can’t play. When he’s back and healthy, I think Mark, just getting him out on the floor, working on some one-on-one stuff with him would be great, talking to him. And maybe most importantly, I think is teaching him some leadership skills. I think you guys have gotten to know mark a little bit. That may be his strongest asset is his leadership ability. And as a point guard, and from our side on the front office, you’d love to see the point guard have a leadership role on your team. And that’s something mark embodies and hopefully can pass some of that along to Steph.
Can Jenkins be your backup point guard or Jeremy Tyler can be your first big off the bench?
Well we’ve seen more than we expected to see, which we can look at two ways. But I think you have to look at players like that, that have gotten the opportunities that they have, and then also discount a little bit of it because they’ve been given a lot of freedom. Uh, we’ve been the underdog as far as talent goes most nights on the floor. So its hard to gage players when they don’t have the pressure on them to win, when they don’t have the pressure on them to make the right decisions. Right now, they’re out there and it’s great. It’s great to get experience like this. But we haven’t seen those two players when were in a game and it’s a game we should win and were in a playoff race, what kind of player are they then? Most players it takes more than a year to evaluate. We’ve had the luxury of seeing more of them than we thought we would. We’ll have the luxury of seeing more of them in the summer league. And I would tell you if the draft happened again, I think both would be drafted higher than they were – which is a positive. But, and this goes with a lot of our players, there’s still an evaluation period that needs to occur.
Does the same go for McGuire and Rush?
Yes, they both did a great job for us and showed us things in their minutes that we liked a lot. But I anticipate with a healthy roster, a lot of the players that have been getting a lot of these minutes may not get the same opportunities. You have two see how do they fit in to what we anticipate being our starting lineup, to what we anticipate being bigger minutes for players that have been injured. So you do have two view it through one lens and say they had great individual years in some respects, but you also have to then look forward and say how do they fit in to what were trying to do next year. And its an art more than a science but that’s what you have to try and figure out. I will tell you with all the players that I’ve discussed, we’re pleased with what they’ve shown us. It’s a question of how do they fit in going forward. And that’s a decision we’ll make with the coaches and talk about probably throughout the next two, three months.
Do you have a starting SF on your roster or do you need to go get one?
I think he’s there now. I think we have a starter, the question is who’s going to – one of them is a starter – whose going to embrace that role and who’s going to own it. The question is does that also fit with the other players on the floor. We haven’t played one game with Andrew Bogut. Steph curry and Andrew Bogut haven’t played one second together. Andrew Bogut and David lee haven’t played one second together. So a lot of what we do at the small forward may be contingent upon how that small forward plays with those guys. The thing is when you take a step back from our roster, we’re excited about it. I think we’re right to feel excited about it. But there’s going to be a curve that will take place, hopefully in training camp, where they all get to play together. If you play basketball, one of the biggest strengths you have is knowing your personnel. Knowing that Bogut likes the ball on the left block vs. the right block. Knowing David Lee knows that when Bogut catches the ball, he likes to see him (David lee) cutting from this angle. And we haven’t had a chance to do those. So there’s going to be a learning curve that hopefully takes place quickly but everything has to gel together, so there may be a player on our roster now at the small forward that fits better with that group, but we haven’t had a chance to see it
McGuire and Rush said they want to be back. Do you want them back?
I love that they want to be back. … A lot of these players went through a tough year for us. A lot of losing. And the fact that they will tell you in a tough environment night in and night out, going against some pretty good competition, that they want to come back, if that’s truthful, that’s a good thing for us. To answer your question about do we want them back – certainly we want them back. Again, there’s a price to be paid for every player. The price has to work for us, has to work for them. I’ll tell you what, from the management side, you wish every player was a minimum player. From the agent side, you think they’re all worth more than probably a lot of other people do. So it’s a balancing act and you try to come to a happy medium. Usually neither side is thrilled with the result. But if you have a player that wants to come back and you have a team that wants the player back, you’re already ahead of the game.
What would say to a fan about inexperience at the ownership, front office and head coach level?
Fans of this organization have every right to question whatever they want. They’ve been tremendous. Fans are going to question the decisions the Warriors make until we win. To answer that question – we have to be successful. Whether it’s that question, or a question about a trade or a question about a draft pick, everything gets answered with winning. Until we win, they’re going to keep asking questions. You guys are going to keep asking questions. And that’s fine. You should. Because you’re not winning, something’s not happening correctly. Whatever it is, it’s not going the right direction. So when you do win, questions are a lot different. So we hope that by winning, people aren’t going to ask those questions. Until we do, it’s a fair point.
How would you assess Mark Jackson’s performance?
I like what he’s done. I like our locker room. You guys are in our locker room and you’ve probably been in the locker room of other Warrior steams. This team believes in its coach and has continued to believe in its coach when things got rough – and they have been rough. He never lost the team. Never came upstairs and said, ‘What are you guys doing to me. I’ll tell you what, a lot of coaches would do that. A lot of coaches would say, ‘Hey, you’re hanging me out to dry here.’ He coached the team that he had and that’s what he’s done the whole season. And I respect that. I think if you’ve watched our games, certainly we lost a lot of games, but we’ve been in a lot of games mostly due to this team playing for our coach. Next ear, we’re going to have a talented team so there will be a level of accountability that he expects and we expect. And I believe with a team that’s talented that plays hard every night, that’s a great start to a successful team.
Is Michael Malone someone you feel like you have to keep at all costs?
When we interviewed Michael Malone, we knew he was then a hot commodity. As it’s been reported, he will be a hot commodity. We have him under contract, but again if mike gets an opportunity to coach and be a head coach in this league, that’s something he’s going to do and you don’t hold him back from. But we’ll do everything we can and we do everything we can to hope that he stays. I think he’s enjoyed it. I think it’ll be a tough decision for Michael Malone if he gets offered a job – even if it’s a head coach job. I think he’s enjoyed this process. Even through the losing I think he’s embraced our team. I think the staff gets a long real well. So we’d love to keep him. He’s under contract but obviously if he’s a head coach we can’t stop him.
You feel comfortable with Biedrins as your back up center?
What I feel comfortable with is Andris competing with somebody for the backup center spot. I think he has the talent and he’s shown he has the talent. But I’d love to see somebody pushing him. And then also, I think, that’s a position that’s a question right now, to be honest. We don’t want that position to be a question. So I’d love to see a battle in training camp for that spot. Usually when players are faced with competition, you find out who’s deserving.
You have a different plan for Biedrins this summer?
You know, this goes for any player, you just have to keep working until you get the results you want. So we’ll try anything and everything to get him to play the way he’s played. As long as you have any player under contract, you do that as long as you can. Really, I think a player has to believe in the player. … We can draw out, coach can draw out, the best plan imaginable for a player. But if he doesn’t buy into it, it’s not worth anything. So we need to get him to engage and take ownership of it and hope that by buying in the results are good.”
What do you think you’re going to need, given the other four starters, from the small forward?
“Well if you look at the two guards, they can score. You look at David Lee, he can score. Bogut, he can score. It’s not his greatest strength but he’s certainly capable. If you leave bogut alone with a guy guarding him five feet from the basket, that’s a problem for the other team. So we have four people that can score. Love to have a 3 that can shoot, which is fantastic because the three guys we have now can all do that. So if you have a guy that can shoot, (that’s) one. Secondly, defending is important because that position, I think, if you can get a guy that can defend and rebound, it just makes you that much better. If you have length at that position. So ideally it’s a guy that doesn’t need the ball to be effective because we have four guys on the floor that are going to get a lot of time touching the ball. A guy that doesn’t need the ball, can play off the ball, can defend his position, can rebound his position, can pass his position. And I think the three we have are all capable of those things. If you grabbed a great scorer at small forward, it might take away from the other things you have. You love to have people at every position that you know night in and night out are not at a disadvantage defensively.
You need a ball handler, playmaker at small forward?
Yeah, that would be great because the strengths of our two guards. You saw Klay. Klay’s doing it more. He’s a pick and roll player, he’s become a pick and roll player I think over the last X amount of games. But anybody that can get in the paint is a great addition. Points in the paint is something we have to do a better job of. Bogut will help with that. I think Lee gets more touches around the basket by playing with Bogut. But a penetrating small forward. Some of the things Rush has done have been positive, getting in the key and finishing.
How important is Curry developing his ability to get in the paint?
It’s important. I mean that to me is the next step in his game. I think a great point guard can cause a lot of problems for the opposing team if he can just get in there. Not even shoot a lot of times, just get in there. If you watched Steph this year, you guys may not have seen him in camp, I think the time he was actually most confident in his health was in training camp. He was moving better, he was planting firmer. He was playing with more confidence. I honestly can tell you I don’t think this entire season he felt confident with just slamming off that ankle. Maybe if you’re a big guy you can get away with maybe having a little gimpy ankle. But for a point guard, with who you’re facing every night. Not only offensively, what you have to do defensively in keeping the other player out of the paint, that requires being able to move. So health is first with him and the hope is that with health, with the confidence that his ankle’s fine, then he’ll get in the key. It’s the next step for his career, being able to do that. He’s great around the 3-point line and he’s actually a great passer with the guy coming off the curl. But getting into the paint, that’s the next step.
Still going to wait until Steph is healthy to talk extension?
I was an agent. So I’ll tell you what, I did a lot of rookie extensions. They’re all different. I mean Brandon Roy was a max player and it took about 40 days. I did some of them on October 31, Halloween. (Mike) Dunleavy’s was Oct. 30 or something. So they all take on a life of their own. It all comes down to what we’ll pay and what they’ll accept. We haven’t started anything. For his sake, we’re going to want to know he’s healthy. For our sake, we’re going to want to know he’s healthy. But if you took a step back and looked at all the rookie extensions, they’re all different. Until you start, you really don’t know where they’re going to end up. For them or us.
Will you need to see him healthy before you even consider an extension?
You can do a deal anytime you want after July 1 but it may not be a deal they like. It’s just a question of any time you do any contract negotiation, the more information you have can be beneficial for both sides. So seeing him healthy helps them – his agent, himself, when they negotiate – and it helps us. So I think the more time that passes, and the more information both sides have, leads to a more real negotiation. But most of the time, those things have a lot of conversations and it comes down to a point in time when they’re comfortable, the player and the agent, and the team’s comfortable. Or you’re not. Like anything, it’s just a negotiation. Until you start it, you really don’t know.
Are you happy where your salary cap is now after taking on some big contracts the next two years?
We’ll explore every angle. Clearly, you’d love to be $15 million under the cap but that’s not where we are. I’ll tell you what, what we do like is at some major positions, we like what we have. You look at Steph and Klay on rookie deals, Lee and Bogut on larger deals – at different points in their career. Under the new CBA, you have to be even more aware of spending. I think that’s going to be across the league. You have to really be careful with the decisions you make. We’ll have the ability to look at the MLE, potentially the bi-annual. But when you’re up against it a little bit and you’re not $10 million under, you make decisions and you may not be able to get off those decisions as quickly if they don’t work out for you.
What do you need from a backup PG and can Nate Robinson give it?
There’s no good thing about losing. But one silver lining is you get to see a lot of players that may not be starters going forward for us play big minutes and in big situations. Nate was great for us. Charles has been great for us. A lot of that evaluation will come down to sitting down with mark and his staff and saying ‘are you comfortable?’ again, they have to buy into the decisions you make to a certain point. So you don’t sit down with Mark and his staff and say to him and his staff ‘what are your thoughts going into next season with these players. Are you comfortable with this player in this role?’ And the nice thing about, at least Charles, is we get to see him for the whole summer, evaluate him, at least for summer league, meet with the coaches, look at our options. Nate, we got a great look at Nate. We got a great look at what he can do for us and it’s a question of what the staff, along with the front office, feels is the right thing to do. To be determined.
You guys made a decision on whether Klay will participate in summer league?
Almost. I think it cuts both ways. A loot of times rookies after their first year play in the summer league because they didn’t get a great chance to play during the season. Obviously we’ve seen him play a ton. I think its important he’s around the team, so he’ll go and well discuss whether he plays all of the games or one or two. He’ll be there, which to me is more important than playing the games. And also we’d love to have Jeremy Tyler get 20 shots instead of Klay Thompson. We’d love to have Charles Jenkins put up the ball or whoever we get in the draft rather than see Klay. We kind of have a sense of what he does.
What did you think of Mark Jackson’s development as a coach from the strategic side?
I think the way he set it up, and obviously, you hire a head coach and he fills out his staff. So he has to be comfortable with it and he’s accountable for it. So his job is to win. So he has to put together a staff that helps him do that to the best of his ability. As I see, Mike is great in his role as far as giving mark choices as far as this is what I recommend. Ultimately, mark has to make the decision on what play is called and what play is run. I’ll answer the question: I think they’re a great complement for each other. I think they really help each other be better than they are individually. So I like how they’ve interacted. I think Mark’s learned a ton from Michael Malone. I think Mike Malone’s learned a ton from Mark. And if Mike Malone becomes a head coach, whenever that is, he’ll have been able to spend some good time with Mark. If Mike Malone moves on, Mark will have been able to see a lot of what Mike Malone does and benefit from it. So I think its been a great team for this season.