Jerry West Rumors
Warriors executive Jerry West joined Ray Woodson Wednesday on SportsPhone 680 to recap the team’s championship season and talk about their plans for the offseason. West said the Warriors are still pursuing another shooter to come off the bench but are excited about the potential of their top draft choice Kevon Looney.
West toldRay Woodson Wednesday on SportsPhone 680 he enjoys the Warriors’ style of front office. “People are allowed to express their own opinions. And at the end of the day, (Warriors GM) Bob Myers is going to make the decisions. I think (co-owner) Joe Lacob is kept aware and informed of everything going on, but everyone is allowed to express their opinions. Nobody takes themselves too seriously. Once you start doing that, that’s when dissenting voices become a problem. “This is the most healthy environment I’ve been involved with since I’ve been in the NBA.”
Kerr overhauled a team culture that had grown poisonous, for well-documented reasons, under Jackson and his assistants. In his zeal to motivate players, Jackson fostered resentment among them and toward the front office. He fired two assistants, requested Jerry West stay away from practices, and asked a younger front-office official to stop rebounding for players, sources have said.
Immediately, the Warriors gained credibility. To Lacob and co-owner Peter Guber, West provided them, as they called it, “the cover of darkness.” Explains Lacob: “Our feeling was, even if we made some mistakes, at least if we had Jerry West involved, how much of idiots could we be?” At the same time, Lacob set about building the rest of the franchise foundation. Myers, a personable 36-year-old agent who’d worked under Arn Tellem, was introduced as the GM-in-waiting at the same presser as West. Nearly 10 years earlier, Myers had given West a heads-up before flying to meet clients in Memphis. West, then the Grizzlies GM, not only picked Myers up at the airport—“most of the time your friends don’t even do that,” says Myers—but insisted he stay at his house. (Hospitality is a recurring theme with Jerry).
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.”