Dieter Kurtenbach: Bob Myers went from the upper deck to the Warriors’ front office. His passion for the team showed in his title-winning work.

Tribune Content Agency

SAN FRANCISCO — If you want to know what made Bob Myers such a great shepherd for the Golden State Warriors organization over the last decade-plus, note where he first choked up in his farewell press conference Tuesday.

It wasn’t talking about the titles, the players, or his peers in the front office.

No, it was when he was talking about Warriors fans.

Professional sports are filled with mercenaries — you go where you’re drafted, traded, or where the money is.

But never forget that Myers turned down big money as a superagent and followed his dream to the Warriors, his childhood team.

Returning the Dubs to prominence was the goal. To create an era of dominance was overwhelming in the best possible way. Those emotions broke through Tuesday.

“To feel like I had helped give this fan base and this community [joy],” Myer said “I’m so thankful.”

That level of care was evident throughout the years — amid all the ups and downs.

“Thank you for your support,” Myers said to the fans. “Thank you for the passion; understanding that we are human, we try, we try harder than you can even imagine to give you what you deserve.”

Whoever follows Myers as the Warriors’ top personnel person will push the same narrative. Every GM does. Who knows, they might even mean it.

But they won’t feel it like Myers. They won’t innately understand what the fans deserve. They won’t remember what it was like to get Dubs tickets for your birthday and sit in the upper deck at the Coliseum Arena. They won’t be able to fathom why Myers said: “Part of me wishes I could have been a fan during it all. I might have enjoyed it more, and I hate saying that, but I might have, sitting up there in the upper deck.”

But you get it.

Every fan has said, “If I was running the team,” more than a few times. Perhaps you said it a few times this week.

Well, Myers was one of the lucky ones to live that dream.

Of course, it’s not as if he was plucked out of Section 229 and put in charge. At the same time, when Myers was hired as the Warriors’ assistant general manager, he was wholly unqualified for the gig — Warriors CEO Joe Lacob hired him because he liked him.

A year after being hired, he was put in charge of the Dubs’ roster.

Eleven years and four title banners later, Myers is stepping away. He can’t abide by not giving his all to the Warriors, and he cannot give it all anymore. He’s carried the burden of responsibility (and Joe Lacob calling ‘5-to-20 times a day’) for over a decade. He likely only made it this far because he was a Danville kid running his favorite team.

There’s no question he leaves the Warriors in a much better place than how he found them. Players define winning and losing, and Myers inherited one of the greatest players of all time — Steph Curry — and Klay Thompson.

But Myers hired the right coaches for the Splash Brothers. He put the right players around them, too. Curry is great, but was he inevitable? His success — and the Warriors’ success, in tow — was a combination of the right place, the right time, and the right moves, made by Myers.

Someone else gets to make those moves now. It might be someone for whom the GM job is a birthright. It might be a former player, whose connection to the team is as thin as the contract they sign.

And it’s not to say either won’t do a good job.

It’s only to say they won’t feel success and failure in their bones, like Myers. The job was a vocation for him, and that level of passion — so often overlooked — will be sorely missed in the coming years.

[Basketball is] My first love,” Myers said. “Being this close, watching Curry warm up, being with Steve [Kerr], being with my group, battling it out with Joe [Lacob] on the right, wrong thing, those are just — it’s a constant thing, and I don’t know what I’m going to do.