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Kurtenbach: Bob Myers doesn’t want you to know he’s the NBA’s best general manager

DANVILLE — When Warriors general manager Bob Myers says he’s not a fan of the spotlight, he means it. It’s not false modesty.
Sure, Myers can handle the attention — but that doesn’t mean he inherently enjoys it.
As the architect of two championship teams and perhaps the greatest roster in the NBA’s modern era, Myers can’t be a behind-the-scenes player, like he was when he was an agent, anymore. But nothing — not NBA TV panels, not a million people cheering for him at a Warriors’ championship parade, not the recognition he receives from joyous fans when he walks down the block — could prepare him for what happened Tuesday.
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Myers’ alma mater, Monte Vista High, declared Tuesday “Bob Myers Day”. And while Myers took the banners in the library and autographs and Q&A sessions with students that went along with the event in stride, he couldn’t handle the t-shirts.
The t-shirts were a step too far.
“The t-shirt thing has me all screwed up… I don’t know what to make of that.” Myers said. “What kind of look is that?”

Myers isn’t the kind of guy who aspired to be on a t-shirt, but it was the cotton cartoon of him and the Larry O’Brien trophy, handed out to students Tuesday, that confirmed it: Myers’ days of anonymity — however much you can have of it at 6-foot-7 — are long gone, a byproduct of the Warriors’ success and the cultural phenomenon Myers was so integral in creating.
“When I took the job, my wife asked me ‘will there be any media?’” Myers said. “I said ‘it’s the Warriors — nobody cares.”
“Am I getting more comfortable with [the attention]? Probably not… I don’t really know what to make of that. Anonymity is a good thing.”
This homecoming was a bit more intimate than the last time Myers was at Monte Vista in June — a ceremony in the gym celebrating his second Executive of the Year award — and that allowed him to share a more intimate message.
The Warriors general manager didn’t talk about Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, or Kevin Durant much in his forums with current Monte Vista students — the tone was more contemplative and mentoring. Myers detailed his path and the lessons he learned along the way. He discussed going from Alamo to UCLA, where he surprised even himself by making the basketball team as a walk-on and eventually earning a scholarship and winning a National Championship. He talked about going to law school at night for four years, working a sports agency internship for $2,000 a month, and then, after success as an agent, trying something completely new by joining the team he rooted for as a kid, eventually taking over as GM and President of Basketball Operations and winning two of what could be many titles.
Over the course of two Q&A sessions and an impromptu lecture, Myers kept coming back to a word: “lucky.”

Looking around at the school’s new library, with Mercedes in the parking lots and mountains and mansions behind floor-to-ceiling windows, the term seemed appropriate.
Myers certainly worked hard for his success — and the unwanted attention that comes with it — but it’s not lost on him how enviable his path was.
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“I want these people to help other people out — to take advantage of this opportunity,” Myers said. “Because going to school here, you’ve got a leg up on a lot of places.”
That’s not to say that Myers doesn’t understand hardship, though.
Golden State Warriors General Manager Bob Myers speaks with the news media from the team’s practice facility in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, July 7, 2017. Myers was available to discuss the on-going free agency period. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) 
Last week, Myers and the Warriors’ front-office staff took their annual trip to play basketball with the inmates at San Quentin — that’s an experience that will force some perspective on you.
Last week was also the first anniversary of his brother-in-law and close friend Scott Dinsmore’s death. Though the “fog” that came in the immediate aftermath of Dinsmore’s shocking death on Mt. Kilimanjaro has subsided, the loss still clearly affects Myers in a deep way.
So add in Tuesday’s recognition at his high school — a place he admits he didn’t enjoy all that much when he was there — and it’s easy to see why Myers found himself in an introspective mood.
“What happened with my wife’s brother, that was my ‘this isn’t all what it seems’ [moment],” Myers said. “Nobody gets to roll through life unaffected, whether it happens early, happens late, in the middle — and by the way, some people get it a lot more. What I admire is the people who persevere through obstacle after obstacle — after not having two parents, not having the most opportunity in their school, not having great mentors, growing up in a tough community, and persevering and making it.”
“I didn’t have to wade through all that… Those are the people who should have shirts made for them, not me.”
The t-shirts really had the big man frazzled.
“Sometimes you feel like you don’t deserve it — you feel like you’ve been too blessed with things,” Myers said. “I don’t know if I deal with that well.”
Still, you couldn’t help but sense that there was some catharsis for Myers in Tuesday’s events. It’s been an impressive run for the Warriors’ general manager and while he probably would have opted for something more low-key, it’s a run that deserves to be celebrated.
As Green told the crowd at the Warriors’ last championship parade: “Can somebody give Bob some f******* credit?”
Myers told KNBR this summer that he made the quote his ringtone.

Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers speaks to the media at the Grand American Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sunday, May 7, 2017. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
Myers has a few days to get over the t-shirts that were handed out Tuesday. The new Warriors’ season will officially open up at the end of the week and Myers’ attentions will naturally shift to his role in helping Golden State win back-to-back titles. Before they can do that, though, the team has a preseason trip to China.
Myers is already bracing himself for the attention coming the Warriors’ way.
“Yeeeeeah, we’ll see,” Myers said with a nervous laugh. “That’s a good atmosphere.”
A silver lining, though: over there, no one will be wearing a Bob Myers Day t-shirt.

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