Golden State Warriors: In the Fire With Bob Meyers

“Greatness lives at the edge of destruction”. Golden State Warriors accomplished general manager Bob Meyers and Warrior fans, received what they wanted, but ultimately did not get what they wanted. Given the enormity of the NBA Finals, Meyers may have succumbed to both the external and internal demands routinely accompanied when you are in an environment, surrounded by people who are not only accustomed to enjoying a substantial amount of success but furthermore who are not quiet when their own self fulfilled expectations are not materializing. Understandably, when such behavior is abundantly clear, even a sound reasonable man may feel like he is not allowed to lose. Especially when you are in custody of arguably the most prized possession savant small/power forward Kevin Durant, who even the casual sports fan like “my momma” heard whispers of Kevin “KD” Durant playing elsewhere.

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This past Monday night during Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto, Canada. It seemed as if the entire world eagerly awaited the return of Golden State Warrior’s superstar small/power forward Kevin Durant. Pre-game and more importantly during the 1st quarter of the actual game, Durant resembled and performed like the distinguished player fans were familiar with and loved. However, Durant’s time on the court was short lived. During a non-contact offensive possession with the ball in Durant’s hand, he tore his Achilles. Despite, Durant’s looming absence, his team the Golden State Warriors prevailed and won the game 106-105.

During the post-game interview, a visibly emotional Warrior’s general manager Bob Meyers said: “I don’t believe that there’s anybody to blame. But I understand this world, and if you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department”. At first glance, it immediately signaled that there existed a close union between Meyers and Durant. Meyer’s touching words embodied so much leadership, sadness, and soul searching. Some critics the following morning lambasted Meyer’s move. They even accused Meyers of crying “dry” tears.  Meanwhile, others deemed Meyer’s move as selfish.

While still emotionally invested, my initial response was in the mind frame of it was irresponsible how Golden State handled Durant’s injury prior to Game 5. Although completely unsubstantiated Golden State must have heard or believed in the relentless chatter that Durant had strong feelings about continuing his professional basketball career in another uniform.

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The old sports adage is “it only takes one play to change a game”. Well on the play Durant went down, not only did the Warrior’s championship hopes dwindle, but also the prospect of a brighter future for the handful of other NBA franchises who were in the running for Kevin Durant’s services. Additionally, that one play changed the complexion of this summer’s free agency potency, but it also abruptly changed the direction for the illustrious Golden State Warrior’s for the foreseeable future. Furthermore, I believe it will change the trajectory and protocols of how teams handle franchise players. Not only in basketball but in the entire sports landscape.

Quite frankly, I admire and fully respect Kevin Durant exhibiting toughness, grit, and willingness. He put it all on the line for his team, organization, and fans. It symbolizes the winning attributes and character that warriors represent. Without question, tough decisions lie ahead for Bob Meyer as well as Kevin Durant.

Durant is 6’9″ 240lbs when evaluating his basketball skill set and abilities on the court are like a Renaissance man. Durant can handle the basketball in all phrases required. He can take the responsibility of bringing the ball up the court. Durant is effectively able to utilize his ball handling talents to create space for his signature pull-up jump shot on the perimeter. He can also abruptly blow by a defender in route to the basket.

The area of Durant’s game that makes it flat unfair to current competitors and forces Hall of Famers to make room for one more, is Durant’s shooting range package. Durant is deadly with any shot from the free throw line to the rim mid-range game. He can take a couple of steps past half-court and bury a 30ft 3-point shot. Even worse, Durant can even make the Ice Cube Big 3 4-point long range ball. I would imagine given his response at the podium, will oblige to any and all Kevin’s wishes. Especially if Durant expresses a desire to remain with his current team.

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After all, Warrior’s team owner Joe Lacob, said following his team’s Game 5 victory “I have experienced a lot since owning this team”. Some lows and many highs. Tonight was incredible pride in the resiliency of our team. And respect for KD coming back with our backs against the wall. But I am also so unbelievably sad about the KD injury”.

“When you win a lot, you lose the ability to lose”. These piercing words along with the philosophical wisdom at the onset of this article were once uttered by Will Smith. Smith possesses brainpower that fuels people’s aspirations and ambitions. He also is a minority stake owner for the NBA franchise Philadelphia 76ers along with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. I am confident Meyers, Lacob, and team leader shooting guard Stephen Curry will find a way to carry on the Warrior’s winning tradition. Just maybe not at the same altitude.

How do you feel about the leadership of Bob Meyers for the Golden State Warriors? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Jamal on Twitter @JamalBurke9.

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