Draymond Green Expresses Worries Over Bob Myers’ Potential Departure from the Warriors


The injuries are an enduring subplot in 2017-18, given the absences at various points of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and now Bell. The Warriors enjoyed remarkably good health during their Finals runs the previous three seasons.

“I knew at some point we would be hit with injuries, you just don’t know when or how they’re going to come,” Myers said. “Fortunately, none of them have been season-ending.”

As the Warriors (40-10) roll along, and with the All-Star break approaching, Myers recently sat down with The Chronicle for an extended interview. He talked about, among other things, Bell’s emergence (before his injury), Curry’s ankle issues and how Golden State’s Game 7 loss to Cleveland in the 2016 NBA Finals still fuels the players.

Bell was at Oregon then, a year away from becoming a draft-night steal for the Warriors. Now he’s an intriguing, dynamic part of their future, whether flying to the rim for dunks or deftly defending players at multiple positions.

It didn’t take long for Bell, a 6-foot-9 forward/center, to resonate with Warriors fans. Myers acknowledged he gives the team a “unique look” with his athleticism.

“He does a lot of things we wish we could do,” Myers said. “He plays in a certain way that appeals to non-athletic people like ourselves.”

Reminded that he needed some athletic ability to play at UCLA, Myers chuckled and replied, “I never played like that. That was the guy who blocked my shot off the backboard. I was afraid of those kinds of guys.”

Bell will be evaluated this week, as he recovers from the bone bruise he sustained Jan.17 against Chicago. His injury might worry Warriors fans, but Curry’s recurring ankle problems potentially pose a bigger threat to another championship.

Curry missed 11 games in December and two more this month. His absence was jarring in many ways, given his reliability — at least 78 starts each of the previous five seasons.

Myers became “slightly concerned” when Curry aggravated the ankle injury during a shootaround Jan. 10. Curry’s subsequent return offered reassurance, but Myers vividly recalls the persistent ankle problems that limited Curry to 26 games in 2011-12.

“We all have mental scars from that period, memories you want to keep buried,” Myers said. “But we feel like we’ve all learned a lot from the past with him. We’ve learned the best way for him to brace and tape and stay on top of it.

“This was a gentle reminder, ‘Don’t let this thing go.’”

Myers clearly has not let go of his team’s memorable Finals loss in June 2016. The Warriors squandered a 3-1 series lead against the Cavaliers, of course, including a 93-89 defeat in Game 7.

More than 19 months later, Myers repeatedly referenced the loss in talking about this season’s team. He pointed to the exit meetings he held with every player the next morning, barely 12 hours after LeBron James and Co. celebrated at Oracle Arena.

Myers called that one of his “proudest days” on the job, given how the Warriors responded.

“What I heard was accountability,” he said. “I didn’t hear blame. I didn’t know we were getting Durant (a few weeks later), but I knew whatever came from that day we would be OK because of how we reacted to losing. …

“For me, having that be part of our story and our fabric strengthens us. If you only experience success, you don’t really know who you are in adversity. That part of our history is valuable, even though it’s painful.”

Now, as he peers forward, Myers realizes his mission is to extend this Warriors run as long as possible. That’s no easy chore, but the Warriors are well positioned with their four core players — Curry, Durant, Green and Klay Thompson — in their prime.

Curry is signed through 2022, but Durant is eligible for free agency again this summer, Thompson’s contract expires in the summer of 2019 and Green’s runs out in 2020. As Myers acknowledged, how the Warriors shape their roster in the years ahead depends largely on whether they keep winning championships.

They added valuable players last offseason in Omri Casspi and Nick Young, but they also need to keep finding young bargains such as Bell.

“We try to strike the balance of having one foot in the present and one foot in the future,” Myers said. “You never have two feet in either. You can’t do that.”

Myers touched on several other matters during a wide-ranging, 35-minute conversation, including:

•On where he sees the league headed next, given the emphasis in recent years on spacing, three-point shooting and switching on defense: “I think size will come back. Size is undervalued right now. Basketball is a game where the rim is always going to be 10 feet tall, and it’s always better to be 6-6 than 6-4 or 6-2. That will never change.

“And I think we’ll find players with great size and great skill. Does that mean everybody will be so adept at switching, you have no advantage to set screens anymore? I don’t know.”

•On head coach Steve Kerr’s health: “He seems to be doing better, in my eyes. It seems like he’s finding his own path and heading toward a solution. I don’t think he’s 100 percent there. But having seen him and been around him, he’s in a much better place than he was in the playoffs last year.”

•On the road to a possible fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance: “It’s going to be a hard path for us, but the difficulty is what makes it rewarding. This isn’t supposed to be easy. It may look easy, but I know it hasn’t been easy for Steve and our players.”

•On his team’s dominance the past three-plus seasons: “We have to enjoy this. I grew up here in the 49ers’ era, and witnessing that as a kid it was appreciated more in hindsight than it was in the present. … I don’t want to get used to this success. Take a step back. If I can’t enjoy this, I shouldn’t do the job.”

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