That the Warriors promoted Bob Myers to general manager Tuesday and reassigned Larry Riley as the director of scouting came as no shock.
The Warriors had planned for Myers to eventually succeed Riley when they lured him from the player-agent side of the business a year ago. The big surprise was the timing. Why now?
Simple. Myers, 37, wowed co-owner Joe Lacob with his performance as assistant general manager over the past 12 months. Heading into a crucial offseason, Lacob said he wanted to get the guy he believes will take the Warriors to the next level in the big chair.
"It just became apparent to me and the other owners who I confide in that Bob was ready for the job," Lacob said. "Working with Bob, he's outstanding. He's got all the capabilities to do this and be really, really good at it.
"We just decided that rather than wait another year or two, which was sort of the original plan ... give him the authority he needs to go forward and do the job."
The promotion comes in time for the Warriors to take advantage of the talents Lacob raved about, starting with player exit meetings at the end of the week. Myers' negotiation skills, ability to communicate with players and relationships around the league figure to be major factors over the next several months.
It also means the front office is streamlined. Lacob said one of the issues was "when you called the Warriors, it's a little confusing. A lot of voices." But elevating
That is especially important considering that draft season soon will kick off in earnest -- and all the negotiations that take place. Plus, come July 1, the free-agency period begins. At that point, Myers will have more than two months under his belt.
Myers immediately illustrated a change in that he refused to make any bold declarations. Clearly emotional about getting to run his favorite childhood franchise, Myers only assured he will put in the work.
"Not going to promise anything," Myers said. "But I read this quote. 'You cannot ensure success, but you can deserve it.' So I'll tell you we're going to work until we deserve to be successful."
Riley, who was initially expected to retire soon, will stay in the organization. He acknowledged he would like to have seen through what he started but expressed appreciation the Warriors decided to keep him around.
Lacob said the Warriors will take advantage of Riley's talent for player evaluation, noting the drafting of Stephen Curry, Ekpe Udoh, Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins.
"Larry had to clean up a lot," Lacob said. "He did a lot of dirty work. He did it with a smile, professionally. ... He's been fantastic. I know it's going to be looked upon by some of you as a demotion. That is not the case."
Myers said he won't be adding to the staff. Assistant general manager Travis Schlenk figures to be the No. 2 guy in the front office.
Lacob's son, Kirk, the director of basketball operations, is presumably No. 3. But he has been given the Warriors' NBA Development League franchise and the duty of facilitating a possible move from Reno to Santa Cruz. Whether he continues in that capacity or gets more responsibility with the NBA squad remains to be seen.
Myers, who confirmed for this newspaper that Mark Jackson will remain the Warriors' coach, will report to Lacob, who still has final say.
"He's a guy that's going to really be able to go out there and get talent for us," Warriors forward Dorell Wright said of Myers, his former agent. "He's a great person. Knowing how to communicate, being a player and knowing the game, I think that's really going to help in our favor."
Myers is a Bay Area native who attended Monte Vista High in Danville. He played college ball at UCLA, winning a national championship in 1995.
After law school, Myers began working for noted sports agent Arn Tellem. Under Tellem's tutelage, Myers grew into a formidable NBA agent. He had nearly two dozen clients and negotiated nearly $600 million in contracts over his career.
But last April, Myers gave up his practice to join the Warriors' front office. Some of his specialties as an agent began translating. He helped the Warriors sign Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan to an offer sheet (though the Clippers matched the offer). Myers also was integral in the trade that landed Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut.
"I think the trading deadline ... you learn a lot about the people," Myers said. "I'm not sitting here saying that I was responsible solely for that. It was a team effort. But he got to see my part that I played in it. I suppose it gave him some confidence."
The Warriors had the ball with the score 81-81. But after two offensive rebounds by Wright, Charles Jenkins' shot was blocked, triggering a Hornets fast break. New Orleans point guard Greivis Vasquez found Marco Belinelli all alone under the basket. His layup bounced off the glass just before Wright swatted it out of bounds. The Warriors maintain a shot at keeping their first-round pick, which goes to Utah if it isn't in the top seven. If they lose their season finale Thursday against San Antonio, they would finish at least in a tie for the seventh-worst record in the league going into the NBA draft lottery May 30.