Larry Riley Rumors
What was your Draft board that night? Larry Riley: Had we had the No. 1 pick, we would have screwed up and missed on Steph Curry because we would have taken Blake Griffin. I did, however, at the press conference when we brought Steph Curry in and introduced him, I did stand up, and Raymond (Ridder, the team vice president of communication) probably got it on record. I said, “I think Steph Curry’s the second-best player in the Draft and I would have picked him No. 2 and Steph Curry will set out to prove me wrong, that he should have been No. 1.”
What did you think the chances were that Steph would be there at seven? Larry Riley: I really thought he would be gone. Jonny Flynn saved the day when Minnesota picked him. It was hard to read what was going on in Minnesota and therefore I wasn’t quite sure. We had gotten word the day before the Draft that they actually were going to take Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn. I was having trouble believing it, but I did get it from a pretty good source. So the day before the Draft we begin to think, “OK, there is some chance.” Previous to that, I didn’t think so.
Larry Riley was still the GM, he was the initiator of these talks (remember, he used to work in Milwaukee and had strong ties with the front office) and was justly proud of the decision to draft Curry in 2009. “Larry would’ve never traded Steph–that was his guy, his pick,” one NBA source who knows Riley well said recently. I’ve been tough on Riley over the years, but full credit (along with Don Nelson) for the Curry selection; Riley didn’t trade him during the 2009 draft and wasn’t going to trade him later.
From the start, Myers leaned on West for advice, especially once elevated to GM, replacing Larry Riley. The Warriors’ unique collaborative process evolved, with decisions undertaken by a team consisting of Lacob, Myers, West and assistant GMs Travis Schlenk and Lacob’s older son, Kirk (and, later, coach Steve Kerr). Strong opinions were expected. Disagreement was encouraged. One rival coach calls it, “one of the healthiest organizations in the NBA.”
“The day before (the draft), we became convinced that they were actually going to take Jonny Flynn (in addition to Ricky Rubio),” then-general manager and current director of scouting Larry Riley told USA TODAY Sports. “There was a lot of angst before that. Frankly, the next guy taken after that was Jordan Hill, and we would have probably gone in that same direction. “Up until the day before the draft, we were really having a lot of anxiety about it, and we were in a position where there wasn’t much we could do. We also knew that New York valued him, that they would have liked him.”
A prospect walks into a small hotel room, a room that has had the bed removed in favor of a round table and offers Walgreens-purchased water as the only refreshments. The prospect sees two headboards on the wall, but no beds. He sees a table, half glasses of water and eight people (Jerry West, Bob Myers, Travis Schlenk, Kirk Lacob, Mark Jackson, Larry Riley, Larry Harris and Speedy Claxton) ready to interrogate.