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Murph: Can the Warriors survive a post-Myers world?



What fresh hell is this: an NBA Finals without Steph Curry and the Warriors?

I know, I know. There were Finals matchups in 2020 (sorta, kinda, not really) and 2021 without Steph and the Warriors, but you know what I’m talking about.

An era of our lives — from June 2015 to now — has been defined by the Dubs in June. Mike Breen, Steph and the last day of school for the kids. Jeff Van Gundy, Klay and graduation day. Mark Jackson, Draymond and Flag Day. All the benchmarks.

Now we enter June in a landscape where Nikola Jokic is about to become the king of the world, and Warriors general manager Bob Myers is not going to be the Warriors GM anymore. 

(At least until June 30, as his boss pointed out. Because the contract runs until June 30, as his boss pointed out. And that’s maybe why Myers is ready to stop being GM after all, because his boss keeps pointing out things.)

Can the Warriors thrive and survive in a post-Myers world? 

We’re about to find out, but the early signs are daunting.

I keep finding myself getting early 1990s 49ers feels from these early 2020s Warriors. 

Back then, a four-time champion 49ers dynasty run began to get the speed wobbles, even as the relentless owner demanded more and more and more. An irreplaceable figure burned out. (Think Bill Walsh in the role of Bob Myers). Iconic, aging players began to be casualties of Father Time and salary demands (think Ronnie Lott and Roger Craig in the roles of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson). And while no one is ready to trade Steph Curry to the Kansas City Chiefs — equally no one is ready to say that Jordan Poole is the Steve Young ready to keep the dynasty going.

So the analogies only work, to a point. Heh heh. But you get the idea.

Lacob lamented in the Myers retirement press conference — when he wasn’t sending Myers out to bring back a fresh set of salary and trade proposals — that nothing lasts forever. It was a rare bit of sober perspective from the owner who usually sees nothing but life’s green light at the end of the Gatsby-ish dock. 

He’s right, of course. While Steph Curry *is* the time line for the Warriors for the next three years, that time line does not come stamped with an ‘eternity’ date line, as we were just saying to our good friends Tom Brady, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.

Mike Dunleavy, Jr. could well be Myers’ successor, and by all indications, already has relationships in the building, has the basketball bloodline, and has a grasp of the task ahead. But what is unknown is if he has Myers’ special Northern California born-and-bred human touch, that Warriors childhood fan passion and that Myers-esque empathy that made roaring lions like Draymond Green turn into a purring pussycat around Myers. 

John Wooden retired, and when he did, UCLA couldn’t find the right person to fill the gigantic, perfectly-laced shoes left behind by Ted Lasso’s favorite coach. I’m not saying Myers is a Wooden-esque figure — though Myers knew the Wizard, and wore the magic four letters across his chest in college — but I am saying replacing key cogs in any business can often fall short.

This is our lot, sports fans. Jokic and the Denver Nuggets have stolen the Warriors’ seat at the table. Bob Myers is at home, looking to take late-morning hot tubs and turn off his phone.

Nothing lasts forever. But Joe Lacob sure is going to try to make it so.