Bob Myers is one of the more fascinating stories in the NBA. It’s sometimes hard for executives to garner the same type of recognition as the players, or even the head for that matter, but Myers is as responsible for the Warriors’ transformation into an elite franchise as anybody involved with the team.
Myers is entering his 5th season as the team’s General Manager, and has recently been given the extra title “President of Basketball Operations.”
Myers has seen the game from a multitude of angles. He was a member of the 1995 UCLA NCAA championship team.
He was a radio broadcaster for UCLA basketball for a couple years in the early 2000s, but probably made his biggest impact as a sports agent.
A guy with the type of wide-ranging perspective making personnel decisions has really benefitted the Warriors.
It was Myers’ 2012 draft class that laid a lot of the foundation for their championship squad. Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Festus Ezeli all came from that one draft class, which is absolutely remarkable.
A team is lucky to get one solid rotation player per draft, let alone a superstar, a guy with the potential to become a star, and a starter-quality center all in one draft.
Myers has built this team into a winner, and while most of the attention heaped on Myers these days is purely positive, there’s a distinctly melancholy reason he’s in the news, albeit indirectly.
Myers was Swift’s former agent, which makes an already sorrowful fall from grace even more poignant for Myers.
Swift was drafted 12th overall by the SuperSonics in 2004, and he eventually became one of the examples people would use as to why high school players weren’t mature enough to straight from high school to the pros.
To be fair, though, most of the problems didn’t start materializing until after he stopped playing in the NBA. Whether the stressful NBA lifestyle caused the spiral to begin can’t be determined.
He flashed has lot of potential in his early seasons, but injuries ended up derailing his development as a player.
I remember using him in NBA Live, and he was so explosive as a 7’1’’ rim protecter and finisher around the hoop.
Video games tend to strip away all the adversity a player faces, and displays them as how they’re truly supposed to perform on the court. Swift really could have been a great player.
The injuries left Swift with an uncertain future in basketball. The Thunder (previously the Sonics) released him in 2009, and he hasn’t been in the NBA since.
He tried to catch on the the D-League, but he left the Bakersfield Jam after just two games with the team.
He tried out for the Trail Blazers in April of 2011, but wasn’t offered a spot on the team. That’s when the legal problems started occurring.
He got a DUI in June of 2011, and his life spiraled out of control from there. His house was foreclosed on in 2013, and when a new person bought it, Swift became a squatter.
The house was a mess, with garbage littered everywhere. It looked as if it had been abandoned years before.
About a year and a half later, Swift was found living at a house owned by a heroin and meth dealer, completely swallowed up by addiction.
In January of 2015, he was arrested in connection to an armed home invasion attempt, during which he claims he was on drugs.
He’s on the road to recovery now, and perhaps it will eventually lead to a comeback in the NBA.
Myers has been deeply affected by the troubles in Swift’s life, and he wishes his former client the very best.
“Robert Swift? I think about him all the time,” said Myers, who holds out optimistic hopes that Swift can one day make it back to the NBA.
“He’s definitely a guy [D-League teams] would go look at,” said Myers. “It’s hard to find big guys. But you have to earn it.”
It sounds like Myers would be open to the idea of giving Swift a shot if he continues to make progress with his recovery. After all, Swift is only 30 years old.
“It’s hard for me because I’m so biased,” said Myers. “It’s something I’d love to look at. Just for his life, to get back in a good place.”
Myers certainly wouldn’t make a decision detrimental to the Warriors just to help a friend in need, but if Swift does go through the necessary procedures to earn an opportunity, he could very well be on the Warriors someday.
Anybody who’s a fan of redemption and the human spirit should be rooting for Swift. Even if he doesn’t make it back to the NBA, I sincerely hope that he goes on to live a fulfilling life and overcome his demons.