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. “