Warriors general manager Bob Myers likes to read poetic and insightful quotes to ease his worrisome mind. Thursday, he shared a sonnet by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Basically," he explained after his fidgety recital, "it means don't waste your life in doubts and fears. Spend yourself on the work."
But Myers' latest composition -- a revamped Warriors roster -- is loaded with question marks.
Fans, coach Mark Jackson and several players have raved about the job the front office has done. Myers, on the other hand, is adopting the wait and see approach. With training camp set to start Monday, the unknowns are too plentiful, his desire to win too fierce, to let him bask in the glow of raised expectations.
Myers affirmed his team is better than the 23-43 squad from last season, and that the depth has improved. Those seem to be the only conclusions he'd share.
"We're good on paper. I guess that's better than being bad on paper," Myers said. "There is a lot this team has to prove, a lot individuals have to prove."
Perhaps Myers is sandbagging, saving himself in the event this crew crashes and burns. Perhaps being better than last season isn't enough, not when he's harboring championship dreams.
He admitted to worrying about whether center Andrew Bogut and point guard Stephen Curry, both coming off injuries, can get back to where they were. He qualified his praise of the team's rookies by pointing out they've yet to play. He shied away from calling the back half of the schedule favorable because "the Western Conference is pretty tough."
Myers' hesitation makes sense considering the decisions he has to make. Golden State has a chance to get way under the salary cap two summers from now. That's a two-season window to decide how to use that money.
According to multiple team sources, the club is committed to retaining Curry long term; the question is for how much. Discussions were promising before Curry's camp suspended negotiations until after the preseason games. The expectation is that Curry will sign a contract extension by the Oct. 31 deadline.
But do the Warriors keep Bogut, who will be up for an extension after this season? Is rookie Harrison Barnes the small forward of the future? Is Klay Thompson good enough to be the starting shooting guard on a contender? Which of the Warriors' young players should be traded or kept?
"These players can stay as long as they want if we win," Myers said through a smile. "But if we don't win ... maybe things do get turned over."
None of the pertinent questions for Myers can be answered now. So he speaks in generalities and avoids grandiose statements. It seems his demeanor is rubbing off on the organization, as even the preacher himself, coach Mark Jackson, felt no urge to make playoff predictions again.
Almost apologetically, Myers confesses he believes in the potential of the players and coaching staff. But he's not ready to publicly pronounce them the answer to the franchise's losing ways.
He says part of him will never be satisfied until a championship banner is hoisted. But part of it, obviously, is this team hasn't won him over. Nor can it yet.
"I just want this team to deserve to be successful," Myers said. "Whatever result that means. I think if we put in the time and employ the right process, we'll be happy with the result. But to turn it on its head and say this is what the result is going to be, I don't know that that's productive. ... I'd rather go do it and let the results speak for themselves as opposed to saying it's going to happen."