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Scott Howard-Cooper

The upcoming draft will be the first big test for Warriors rookie general manager Bob Myers.
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Pressure is on Warriors' Myers to make good first impression

Posted Jun 22 2012 11:16AM

OAKLAND -- We were talking about public credibility. About how Bob Myers does not have any.

Around the NBA, with 14 years of work as a prominent agent before jumping the fence in 2011 to work for a team? There's credibility there. Within the Warriors, where the owners gave him the promotion and advisor Jerry West praises him in the ultimate nod of approval? Of course. In these most-important of areas, Myers is known and well-regarded.

Public credibility is different, though, and it is important with this team, in this market, in this year and especially in this draft. Golden State has the No. 7 pick, the possibility of no ideal option in front of it, a frustrated a fan base, and the certainty that the general manager charged with the Draft-day decision has one year of front-office experience as a talent evaluator.

Not one year with the organization. One year period. Myers played at UCLA, has impeccable connections after his work as a chief lieutenant to mega-agent Arn Tellem and has input from West. Nothing changes the reality, though, that he is 37 years old, a rookie as a personnel boss and has no track record of standing in the middle of one of the busy intersections of the Draft.

So, yeah. Public credibility remains in question.

There is extra pressure because Myers needs a draft win to prove he deserved his quick ascension from assistant general manager to GM. He needs a good first impression because it may be the only impression he makes until the 2012-13 season starts.

He agrees, to a point.

"It's a fair question," Myers said, before going into the answer that fits most every situation, how "the pressure that exists externally will never outweigh the pressure I'll put on myself. I'm one of those people that is more self-critical than is probably necessary." But this is not most every situation.

In a draft with one player on the top tier (Anthony Davis) and five, by rough consensus, on the second level (Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Thomas Robinson), the Warriors fall outside that range. That they have a very good (yet very frustrated) fan base is also part of it.

There have been playoff promises followed by more lottery appearances, new owners and more lottery appearances, packed houses at Oracle Arena and more lottery appearances. Now there is a new general manager on the clock with no experience, even though owner Joe Lacob will be very much involved in the decision.

"I would think there will be a segment that will judge me immediately," Myers said. "And then there will be a segment that will judge me on an overall period of time. I do think that this fan base is the best in the league. I say that unequivocally. I've been to all the arenas. I feel like this is a deserving fan base. I said this in another interview. I said, 'You cannot ensure success, but you can deserve it.'

"If we're doing everything right to deserve success, then I think it'll ultimately come. But I can't in this interview or say to anybody, 'I promise we're going to get this right.' Nobody can. But I can tell you our effort will be there and ultimately by going through the right processes we're going to deserve to be successful and ultimately the outcome will be success."

This could go so many different ways June 28. With small forward as the primary need, No. 7 is too late for Kidd-Gilchrist (for sure) and Barnes (probably) and too early for combo forward Terrence Jones.

Maybe the Warriors trade out of the spot and acquire a veteran. Maybe they decide Dion Waiters has a clear path to stardom and take him even with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the backcourt. Maybe -- and this is where it gets really good -- they do Drummond in a risk-reward gamble and figure he can help with the rebounding woes and create valuable future trade options.

The Bay Area native, the guy who saw his first NBA game was at Oakland Coliseum Arena, the Warriors fan decades before he became a Warriors employee, down to the memories of fans wearing the Larry Smith yellow tribute hard hats, has to prove himself to the Bay Area. Maybe not to his bosses. Maybe not to a lot of people around the league. We're talking public credibility.

Scott Howard-Cooper has covered the NBA since 1988. You can e-mail him here and follow him on twitter.

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