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Warriors GM Bob Myers Apologizes for Warriors Handling of Andrew Bogut Situation

Warriors general manager Bob Myers, in the wake of the controversy surrounding Andrew Bogut’s left ankle surgery, fell on the sword Thursday.

In about as close you’ll come to a confession, Myers apologized for how the Warriors handled the situation. In an interview on Chronicle Live, Myers said the Warriors never intended to deceive the fans and took blame for how it all went down.

Was it genuine, or another PR stunt? You be the judge.

Can you see how fans may feel deceived?

“Absolutely. I can absolutely see that and I understand their position and feel terrible about that. If there was blame to be laid on how this was communicated, that blame ultimately rides with me as the general manager of this organization. As the general manager of this organization, I know it’s being perceived that it was mishandled and not handled appropriately. Ultimately that rests on my shoulders. Not (co-owner) Joe Lacob, not anybody in the organization but myself. Again, in these situations, there is a process involved and, ultimately, the last thing I want to do or anybody in the organization wants to do, is deceive the fans. So the fact that some people feel that way, I feel really bad about that. … That rests on my shoulders. It’s something we’ll work through and get the trust of those fans back.

How was the decision made to put an announcement out and avoid term microfracture?

“Fortunately, on this one I have some experience on both sides of the coin. When you make a decision on how to release any medical information, you do it in consultation with the athlete, his representatives and your own doctors and medical staff. It’s a group that decides overall what the best thing to convey is. It’s a group of people. It’s not one person in a room writing a script. Again, in this specific situation, I feel like I could’ve done a better job, personally, as to how it was conveyed. Really, that’s how it comes out. There is no use really offering anything beyond that. There’s a process involved. There’s a group of people that make the determination. At this stage, seeing the frustration of a lot of fans, I think a lot of it touches on the fact that Andrew isn’t playing basketball. That’s really what comes out, the fact that he’s not out on the court. And I know he feels the same level of frustration, and questions will be there from fans until he plays. We’re confident that he will — he will get back out there. So ultimately that’s the most important thing to us as an organization, that he can play basketball for this team and help us win some games.

Going into the surgery in April, was everyone under the assumption it was just a clean up?

(Microfracture surgery) was not something thing that was anticipated, but when the surgery took place, it was discovered. I don’t want to appear defensive at all. I’d rather just take responsibility for how it was conveyed, whether it was appropriate or inappropriate. But it was something that was discovered during the procedure. But we’re working through it and he’s doing everything he can to get back out there and get playing with us.

Will he require any more surgery before he gets back out there?

You know what, I’ve already messed up one message (laughs) … I don’t think so. I’d be very surprised. But again, I’m not sure. I don’t think so. That’s the best I can tell you. I’d be very surprised if it required anything beyond what’s already took place. I hope that answers the question.

If you had it to do all over again, would you have him not play?

Really, to clear the air on that point, any determination as to when he plays, how long he plays, is determined by Andrew and our medical staff —and that’s solely based on what they decide. So as an organization, I know sometimes it looks as if we’re pushing those buttons. But we have to hire people, one, that we trust on the medical side. And the people we’ve hired, we do trust. And then also any responsible organization listens to am athlete and when he feels like he’s ready to go. If he says, ‘I’m ready to go’ and the doctors say, ‘You’re cleared to go,’ we don’t stand in the way of a player. I think that’s how we’ve always operated and do operate today, and continue to operate.

And another footnote to that whole point, we also have another player that has a history of ankle issues and we trusted the process. Certainly, there was some bumps in the road with Stephen Curry, but it’s the same doctor that operated on Andrew Bogut, the same guy that monitored the rehab, the same medical staff and trainers. And he’s doing a great job for us, knock on wood. Again, I understand people getting frustrated because I think our fans are the best fans in the league. The bottom line is they care and they want this guy to play. In some sense, I think some felt misled, and if they did that’s on me and I’ll apologize for that. But he’s doing everything he can and we hope to have him out there.

Are you at all nervous that we won’t see him this season?

I think he’ll play this season. Beyond that, I’ll leave it at when Andrew’s ready and the doctors say he’s ready to go, he’ll play. But my days of prognostication, I’m not sure that anybody wants to even hear what I would speculate on at this point. But, again, the process will be (based on) Andrew and the medical staff — which is how it always has been and will be. When they decide he’s ready to go, he’ll play. I’ll be very excited when that day happens. I can’t tell you how much I want him to be out there. And the good story is … we’re doing pretty well. I like the direction the team’s going and I think he’ll only help us. I really do think he’ll help us as we move forward. It’s unfortunate that I can’t sit here and talk about we’re 8-6 and our rookies are playing great. Like I told somebody, if a mistake was made by myself I apologize. But let this be the mistake rather than maybe not drafting the right guy or making a mistake that affects the performance of what’s going on.

How happy are you, the team is coming?

“I wish I was happier. But I care about this organization. I care about how we’re perceived by the fan base. Dealing with this other situation, it puts a little bit of a cloud over what we’re doing. But you know I was watching shootaround today and I see our players all the time, they feel good. It’s such a nice feeling to be around the type of people that we have out there on the court. And our rookies, going through something like this, I see our rookies and see them working and see guys making a big difference and helping us win games. It’s a real gratifying thing for myself and our basketball operations group. To feel like we’re hopefully moving in the right direction and giving the fans a product to be proud of. It’s a very hardworking group. …. We’re not a team that can play poorly and win, so when we do win, it’s an effort well earned. “

Marcus Thompson

  • daniel

    Meyers is still lying !

    If he wanted to take responsibility, just said I ordered or told Raymond Ridder to remove the word “microfracture”

    That would be the appropriate response and apology.

    A lie is still a lie until the liar sincerely apologizes. In this case, Meyers did not.

  • Niners in 2012

    He’s lucky we’re (9-6). This would be an enormous issue if we were losing.

  • Young

    Agreed. If we were loosing, he’d be loosing his job over this one…

  • slamdunk

    Bob Myers fell on the sword and is taking the fall, but I still blame the owners Lacob and Guber. Impossible to tell me that they did not know about this omission in explaining the surgery, and I still believe that they did intend to deceive the Warrior fans into thinking that Bogut would be ready to play this entire year, just to pump up season ticket sales. Myers has done his job in rebuilding a competitive roster that is actually over-achieving right now without Bogut. It is a shame that he has to take the fall for the cover up and that Lacob does not have the balls to admit he knew about everything. How can anybody trust what Lacob says now is beyond me.

  • GIZZM

    It’s ok. Bogut will be back at some point and the tanking after the Ellis trade got us some real good draft picks. But yeah, all those VC guys are full of snake oil and of course Lacob is used to shining turds, all VC guys do it all day every day.

  • Pingback: Bay Area Sports Guy – Warriors win tough game on national TV without everything going right…weird

  • PJ

    Having trouble relating to the people who are SOOO upset. Seems like way too much drama over very little. The Ellis-Bogut trade was worth the risk. Part of that risk is Bogut was damaged goods and may never play again. Flip side of the coin is he will be an excellent center for years on this roster. Nothing ventured nothing gained. A healthy Bogut is more valuable than Ellis + Udoh. Considering Barnes, Ezeli, and the potential to trade Richard Jefferson’s expiring contract next year were indirect outcomes of the trade, it’s a %*&^%(!@ great trade.

    Warriors did a couple of things right:
    1. The tank worked. They got a moderately high lottery pick. This strategy has eluded Warriors for years – e.g. Jason Caffey et al.

    2. They drafted well. Barnes, Ezeli, Green look good so far. Again very difficult for the Warriors e.g. Foyle, Fuller, O’Bryant, Wright, et al.

    3. They moved a player when his value was highest and got fair value in return. Not a common occurrence in the last 20 years – e.g. Sprewell, Arenas, Stephen Jackson, Jason Richardson, et al.

    considering the trade overall: job very $##&^*&*^ well done by Meyers. Love that the franchise had the balls to take a risky move like this instead of playing it safe. There was no better offers for Ellis out there, no matter what lame scenarios Kawakami writes.

    considering the communication around the spectrum of possible outcomes with relevant medical details to the fans…. pretty bad job by Meyers.

    He apologized. moving on.

  • Derek

    Adding Anderson Varejao makes the Warriors serious Championship contenders over night. A guy like that is the missing link. Move past Bogut. Cleveland is going nowhere, they may be open to taking Beidrens expiring contract

  • Paul

    PJ laid out everything I have wanted to convey for awhile.

    Yes, they rolled the disk on this PR risk and lost.

    But this management team has made just about all the right personnel moves. Very, very encouraged by the direction of the organization, even if more moves need to be eventually made.

  • CK

    Good interview, thanks for this. There still is a bit of dancing around the issue, but at least Myers tried to be as straightforward as a GM can be about taking the blame, whether it was specifically his fault or not. I also agree with PJ that taking chances and trading Monta + Udoh for Bogut was a smart one, injuries and all. I loved/loved Monta, but we couldn’t build a really good team around him. Even with reoccurring ankle injuries, I’d rather have Curry over him. We just need to really hope that Curry doesn’t get injured and Bogut can come back some time this season. I don’t want to put the full blame on the training staff, but is it just me or are multiple members of this Warriors team getting injured on an annual basis? And not just the high-risk ones like Curry and Bogut. Hopefully, the injuries will stop coming.

  • Fire Bob Fitzgerald

    This was a PR move designed to protect Joe Lacob (hence Myers’ express statement that responsibility for this situation was on himself “not Joe Lacob”).

    Myers lied plain and simple and in this non apology, apology he doesn’t actually cop to the fact that he lied: “I know it’s being perceived that it was mishandled and not handled appropriately” What a load of bull. People don’t misperceive this situation. People accurately realize that you have been lying repeatedly for months.

    Unless and until he does so, any rational person will consider Myers’ credibility to be severely damaged. From a practical, realpolitik standpoint, there are many instances where Myers and the Warriors are justified in lying to people including fans (for example on going trade negotiations) but lying to the fans about a material player’s injury status while season tickets are being hawked to the public is not one of them.

    Stern seems willing to wield a heavy gavel nowadays and penalizing the Warriors monetarily for their deception is warranted.

  • jerryb2339

    It’s the same old Warrior abject incompetance. Apparently it has nothing to do with who owns the team….as soon as someone buys this team they become instantly and amazingly stupid. And this group has added deceitful. So when I heard about the trade for a guy who is out with whatever was broken…..all I immediately thought was: here we go again. This has been the most unsuccessful Bay Area sports team ever, and it will never change. Luckily for them their ticket holders love basketball and love watching other good teams play at the arena.

    I mean really..the Warriors are now less successful than the CLIPPERS (!) for god’s sake!!! If Donald Sterling can get it right anybody should be able to get it right……IT WILL NEVER CHANGE. The Warriors are doomed under this GM and this owner, and anyone who thinks Bogut will come back and do well this year is nuts – and he won’t come back next year either. But hey still have Biedrins, though, and Jackson isn’t “guaranteeing” the playoffs! – this whole organization is a JOKE! And Lacob’s partner owns a piece of the Dodgers!!! Ridiculous.

  • Ewok

    Give this organization a break! Nobody lied.. The organization itself was misled, so they ended up giving misleading signals.. Even Bogut himself was giving positive signals that he is progressing ahead of schedule… So when it comes to public statements, Damn if you and damn if you don’t!

    The main thing is.. the future is getting brighter, and we are finally moving towards the right direction.. They’re moving forward and the internal progress is evident..

    If Monta were still around.. The excitement this kid brings is there.. but the W’s are still the same as last years, and most of all, we would never got the chance to acquire Ezeli, Green and Barnes..

    So Grow up critics… This organization is doing the right things.. especially the owner.

  • coltraning

    my one question is this: Was the surgery necessary or optional? Dr. Ferkel called an audible while in there, and I am sure he thought it was necessary, but since by all accounts they did not know until they went in, shouldn’t they have just done what they went in for, and discussed the implications with Bogut beforehand, since he would have been in no condition to make an informed decision while under the knife. “Andrew, if we clean it out, you can get back to regular basketball activity by July, but you will not be able to do everything you could beforehand. If we do the microfracture we think your ankle will be as good as new, but you will probably be out until January.” Maybe that conversation took place but I have a suspicion, based on Bogut’s anger, that it did not.

  • whowhatwhere

    Does Myers expect us to believe him? This is too transparent. Deception is exactly what happened. So what if he would have said ‘microfracture’. The trade was a good gamble. No one blames him for it. The only issue is the ‘mishandling’ (lying/deception) which was totally unnecessary from the get go. It’s basketball, dude, not a National Security issue.

  • BrianJ

    You idiot! I don’t care about “how it was conveyed”. What you should be sorry about is trading the farm for Greg Odin 2. You obviously didn’t do your due diligence and got rid of the Warriors only star in the process.

  • http://sportsbyfraz.blogspot.com Nick

    Like a few others have pointed out, it doesn’t matter with Bogut now and therefore, shouldn’t be a huge story. The team is 9-6 without him, while Landry is playing amazingly, Lee goes on scoring tears, and Biedrins at least resembles a basketball player. Couple Lee with Ezeli and you have a great defensive player and a solid scorer. Landry coming off the bench allows the Warriors to keep scoring efforts alive while their main unit sits.