Kirk Lacob Rumors
Before the NBA season, Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Kirk Lacob was named vice president of GSW Sports Ventures and placed in charge of ventures that include continued efforts to develop partnerships for basketball operations and leading investments in sports-related areas. Lacob, the son of the Warriors’ venture capitalist owner, explained Tuesday how GSW Sports Ventures would capitalize on the team’s Silicon Valley proximity and possibly get into investing in technologies. “Being in Silicon Valley, we have a lot of advantages over other sports teams or companies, and GSW Sports Ventures is something new, and we’re still kind of figuring out exactly what it’s going to be in the end,” Lacob said in a webinar in partnership with Zoom Video Communications.
The Golden State Warriors today announced a number of promotions in the team’s Basketball Operations department, highlighted by the promotions of Bob Myers to the role of president of basketball operations/general manager, Travis Schlenk to vice president of basketball operations/assistant general manager, Kirk Lacob to vice president of GSW Sports Ventures/assistant general manager, and Larry Harris to assistant general manager/director of player personnel. Additional promotions include Nick U’Ren as director of coaching operations/special assistant to the head coach, Jonnie West as director of player programs, Nanea McGuigan as director of basketball administration/player programs, Chelsea Lane as head of physical performance and sports medicine, Drew Yoder as head athletic trainer, Roger Sancho as assistant trainer, James Laughlin as video coordinator, and Sammy Gelfand as manager of basketball analytics.
As Warriors GM, Myers is prone to what he calls “work benders”, grinding 18 hours a day for long stretches. The 2013 trade for Andre Iguodala was, “a 12-day bender,” for example. The start of free agency leads to another annual bender, during which Myers lives with his iPhone earpiece in, walking and fretting and talking. He’s fueled by something he can’t quite explain. “It’s the competitive aspect….feeling a responsibility to the organization, to the community. That drives me more than any drug, caffeine, Diet Coke, could.” Says Assistant GM Kirk Lacob: “He has immense focus. As soon as he starts a task, he wants to do the best job possible, and then he has the ability to move on and be diligent about the next task. To me, that’s an elite competitor.”
Few NBA teams have turned technology to their advantage quite like the Warriors. “You can play on the probabilities or just stand pat,” says Kirk Lacob, an assistant general manager who oversees the team’s analytics staff and is the son of co-owner Joe Lacob. “We choose to take the risks.”
But as the team learned to use the data, its winning percentages started to climb. They won 57 percent of their games in 2013, and 62 percent the following season. In 2015, the Warriors won 82 percent of their regular season games (compared with an eyebrow-raising 89 percent in the season just ended), before going on to stun competitors, fans and the league during the playoffs. “They took a strategic gamble that took a while to matriculate, and it is paying off,” says Dean Oliver, who literally wrote the book on basketball analytics. (His book is titled “Basketball on Paper: Rules and Tools for Performance Analysis.”)