DANVILLE — Bob Myers was quick to point out their differences from the makeshift stage at his alma mater, Monte Vista High School. He’s from the upscale area about 30 miles east of San Francisco; Draymond Green from Saginaw, Mich., a city known for its grit.
With a Larry O’Brien trophy on each side of them, the Golden State Warriors general manager and vocal leader — recently named Defensive Player of the Year — reminisced on what got them where they are: atop their respective positions.
And on Wednesday, it was the similarities that made the display captivating.
Myers’ high school coach, Jeff Koury, was asked to describe his former player and he didn’t have to search far for a comparison.
“A lot of the stuff Draymond does, that’s what Bob did,” he said. “… He could really rebound, that’s the good news. The bad news is that a lot of the time he was rebounding his own misses.”
When he was still a prep player, Myers’ coach told him the team was better when he didn’t shoot outside of the paint. So it was surprising to Koury when he read the Sports Illustrated feature that raved about Myers’ shooting.
In typical Myers fashion, he batted the compliment aside, saying that wasn’t really true. Rather, he’s improved simply because he doesn’t have a coach in his ear to hurt his confidence.
“Yeah, he’s got that issue, too,” Myers said, pointing across the stage at Green.
That exchange prompted Koury to note that Myers used to yell at his coach just like Green did, presumably referencing the dustup between the DPOY and head coach Steve Kerr during a regular-season game during the 2015-16 season.
Tim Roye, who was the event’s emcee, quickly transitioned from that point because it was about celebration, and about how far they’d come.
For Green, it was another “I told you so” moment for a player who lives for such opportunities.
“One of the reasons I fell in the draft was because, what position would I guard? To be the Defensive Player of the Year, it definitely says a lot,” he said.
This season was the second time that Myers has claimed the mantle of Executive of the Year. He’s been fostering his relationship with Green, a cornerstone to the Warriors’ dynasty, since the forward’s rookie season has developed a friendship that will last a lifetime, according to Myers.
And Draymond didn’t shy away from his shortcomings that Myers has helped minimize just by being a presence in his life.
The trust stems from moments like Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, when Green was suspended and forced to watch the game from a box at the Coliseum while the Oakland Athletics played next door to Oracle Arena. Myers joined him, taking the extra step of showing that Green is supported even during his darker hours.
“He don’t have to do that,” Green said. “It’s small things like that that gives you the love for someone.”
Before this season, Green attracted negative attention by accidentally posting a private picture to his Snapchat followers and getting into a skirmish in his college town.
Myers spoke to his player on the phone to address the transgressions that weren’t “bad by themselves, but all of them in conjunction” was reason for concern.
“I said, ‘Is this it, are we done now? Did you get it out of your system?’” Myers recalled. “We’ve got to put a stop to this. … Best thing about it is he did.”
And it’s that kind of symbiotic relationship between a brash NBA player and a habitually humble executive that led to a partnership — one that’s resulted in a good deal of hardware.
Contact Examiner Sports Editor Jacob C. Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @jacobc_palmer.Bob Myersdefensive player of the yearDraymond Greenexecutive of the yearGolden State WarriorsNBA ChampionsNBA FinalsSteve Kerr