Listening to his soul: Myers' move is easily understandable originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO – The grind operates at warp speed, exhilarating in the best of times, debilitating in the worst of times, but never slowing. It gnaws at the body and decays the soul of those who have one.
“It's hard,” Myers said Tuesday. “Those guys, you think about what you go through with people, and it's not all great. Most of it's been unbelievable. But I guess on those things, it's easier because I think I'll still talk to those guys. I want to. I think those relationships are real. So, it's not good-bye.
“But it's more like, you know, you guys – they are going to keep going. This is just my stop. The train is powerful. This thing is moving. It's just, I've got to get off.”
After months of considerable reflection of the past and thorough contemplation of the future, Myers decided, after 12 years with the Warriors, the last 11 as GM, it is time to flee the grind and invite the possibility of balance in his life.
Though some will search for ulterior motives – e. g. he’s got another job lined up or he wants more money – the fact is Myers, 48, wants to experience other aspects of life, at least for a while. Can’t do that if consumed by the job, no matter how much you treasure it.
“I wake up at three in the morning,” Myers said. “I've woken up at three in the morning way too many times for a job. But as you all may know, it's more than a job. And that's why I love it. And that's why it's hard to leave it.”
Working directly under Warriors CEO Joe Lacob, whose ambition is set to “extreme” 24/7/365, will test the tolerance of the hardiest individual. Lacob acknowledged Tuesday that he calls Myers “five to 20 times a day.”
Lacob also made it clear that as the front office prepares for the June 22 NBA draft, with free-agent negotiations beginning eight days later, Myers will remain involved. After all, he has another month remaining on his contract.
“I'm going to work him till every last day till June 30th to be involved here whether he knows it not,” Lacob said, semi-facetiously. “So, he'll be here for that.”
Myers placed his hands over his face before responding: “Yeah, that's fine, yeah, I guess that's the way it's going to be.”
This is the life Myers has led 25 percent of his life. Is it so outrageous, really, to imagine he wants to try nourishing his body and soul rather than continue under a relentless assault of obligations?
He is married and the father of three daughters. He has spent his adulthood pedaling furiously up the mountain of upward mobility, from student-athlete at UCLA to law school – he passed the bar 20 years ago – to representing NBA players to becoming an executive with Golden State in 2011.
Myers has undergone multiple hip surgeries since the spring of 2018 and still requires regular maintenance, something for which Myers thanked Dr. Rick Celebrini, Golden State’s vice president of health and performance.
“I've never stopped,” he said. “I've never really stopped going . . . my whole life has been like this; maybe it will be good for me to sit still. I don't know how good I'll be at it, but I've actually never done it, and maybe (I’ll) figure some things out. And I don't know what's coming.”
As Myers scrolled through the years with the Warriors, he lingered on the relationships. Some management types are all about the goal, without taking the time to connect with those along with way. He is, by contrast, someone for whom alliances are to be cherished.
That’s not news to those who know him. It’s why Kevin Durant, who left the Warriors four years ago, interrupted his vacation in Monaco to call Myers. It’s why Myers reached out to Warriors coach Steve Kerr, along with the team’s core trio – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – to inform them of his plans to leave.
“The hardest part is I love the people at my work, and I won't get to see them as much,” Myers said. “I won't get to help them as much as I can. That's a tough thing. But I also know that they deserve the parts of me that I've got to be able to give.”
Things Myers can’t give because his spirit needs a break. Not once did he mention the term “burnout.” He didn’t have to. All the signs suggesting it are there, and usually are when someone leaves an ultra-demanding job for no job at all.
Asked what his immediate plans were, Myers seemed to relish the opportunity to reply.
“Well,” he said, “my wife said we're going to get a drink maybe on the way home.”
Savor it, Bob. You’ve earned it. If your heart tells you it’s time to meet your needs rather than remain chained to the grind, it’s OK to listen.