By Tom Bequette, Online Sports Editor
// Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic change school as students knew it, but it also changed the world of professional sports. With team practices canceled, seasons suspended, and players stuck at home, Acalanes High School students got the chance to listen to the first-hand account of Golden State Warriors General Manager Bob Myers.
Myers headlined a Zoom call for Acalanes students and faculty yesterday at 1 p.m. as a part of Acalanes’ 2020 Senior Speaker Series.
Myers has been with the Warriors for about eight years, working first as an assistant general manager in 2011 before being promoted to general manager just one year later. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has awarded Myers the Executive of the Year Award twice in his career, and he led the Warriors to three NBA championship titles in the span of five years.
“It was pretty cool to hear someone that high up in the organization come and talk to us. He was really nice and it was very interesting to hear him talk about what goes on there and his experiences,” sophomore Ian Birmingham said.
During the call, Myers advised students to not focus on how others perceive them but rather focus on pursuing their own happiness.
“There’s so much emphasis currently on the brand of yourself, and I know that’s only increased with social media,” Myers said. “Everyone is so concerned about where they are going to school and what they accomplished during their time at high school, but trust me, those sort of things don’t make you happy.”
With many of the current seniors attending college this fall, Myers emphasized the importance of not shying away from failure.
“I was rejected by all the college basketball teams that I had sent my tapes into; no one recruited me, so I just decided to go to the University of California Los Angeles… and even though I knew that I couldn’t make it, I decided to try out for the basketball team, and somehow I was able to walk on there,” Myers said.
Additionally, Myers preached to students about what it takes to be a good leader.
“Leading is not about you; you’re not the one that is important or should take the glory,” Myers said. “I always say that I’m not in charge of [the players], but that I have charge of them, because when you have players that believe that you are there to support them, then you get a much more genuine effort from them as a person.”
For the remainder of the call, Myers answered questions from parents and students. One student asked what it is like enduring the criticism that comes with being under the public eye.
“One thing that I always tell myself is that my job is not who I am. I’m not a bad person just because [the Warriors] have a bad record,” Myers said. “What determines what kind of person you are depends on who you are after your job is done. Some people crave notoriety, but I don’t because at the end of the day, you are the one that is going to have to live with yourself, not everyone who has heard of you.”
Myers concluded the call with one final piece of wisdom for students.
“Don’t care much about what other people believe you to be. Live life, make mistakes, fail, succeed, whatever. They’re all just a part of life and necessary parts at that. Just be happy with who you are as a person because, at the end of the day, that’s what really matters,” Myers said.