OAKLAND – The Game 7 loss to the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals drove Warriors general manager Bob Myers to drink, at least in its immediate aftermath.
“My wife and went home after the game and we actually each poured a glass of whiskey, which I never drink whiskey,” Myers said Tuesday. “And she said, ‘What do you want to eat?’ I said, ‘I don’t know.’ And she had an old hamburger and I had a grilled cheese sandwich.
“And you need to take time to feel it. Because I knew after Sunday night, this was going to start.”
“This” is the NBA Draft, which is Thursday, followed by another “this,” free agency, which opens July 1.
It’s all coming fast for the Warriors, so there is little time to absorb, much less dwell on, failing to achieve the goal of back-to-back championships.
With eight upcoming free agents, four of them unrestricted, the Warriors could have a very different look when they take the court next season. Myers is the point man in assessing the current roster and the future needs of the team.
Myers and the rest of the front office conducted exit interviews Monday and now will start evaluating how to proceed.
“I didn’t hear anybody that doesn’t want to come back,” he said. “And I think that’s a testament to the coaches and the players and the camaraderie that they’ve built and the chemistry they have. It’s a very high-functioning environment.
“With the coaches and with the dedication of the players, it was a roster that achieved a tremendous amount. Walked right up to the edge of winning a championship.”
Translation: Adjustments will be carefully measured before being acted upon.
The Warriors have four unrestricted free agents: Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Rush, Marreese Speights and Anderson Varejao. They also have four restricted free agents: Harrison Barnes, Ian Clark, Festus Ezeli and James Michael McAdoo.
Some will return, others most certainly will not.
Asked about CEO Joe Lacob’s vow to be aggressive this summer, Myers did his part to downplay, or at least put into context, what that actually means.
“Joe’s aggressive every single day,” Myers said, breaking into a grin. “He’s always aggressive. He’s aggressive when he wakes up the morning, he’s aggressive when he goes to bed. We were aggressive last year and we didn’t really do anything in free agency. But it doesn’t mean we were not aggressive.
“Aggressive is a mindset that he brought to ownership that trickles down to myself and everything we do. But how someone hears that word, how we all hear that and process it is different.”
Lacob being “aggressive is, for some, code for “making a pitch for Kevin Durant.” The Oklahoma City star will be an unrestricted free agent, and the Warriors most assuredly are interested. He would be a mega-upgrade over Barnes, who was profoundly unproductive in The Finals.
Myers, however, cautioned against the idea of judging Barnes or Festus Ezeli – or anybody else – based solely on a playoff series or the postseason in general, indicating evaluations consider the entire body of work.
One thing the Warriors know is this: They’ve never been a more attractive destination. That’s germane in the pursuit of free agents or when pondering trade options.
“We’ve got great leadership from our coaching staff,” Myers said. “We’ve got an owner that is willing to spend and has shown he’s willing to spend; we’re in the (luxury) tax this year. We have a group that places a high priority on winning. There are a lot of really positive things.
“The only thing we didn’t do, was win a championship.”
That stings. It’s going to sting. Maybe that shot of whiskey helped.