Kirk Lacob Rumors
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.”)
Warriors assistant general manager Kirk Lacob’s sock game is on point. Before Game 4 of the Warriors’ series with the Rockets, Lacob was hanging out courtside when USA TODAY Sports photographer Thomas B. Shea noticed this spectacular pair of socks. Yes, “Splash Brothers” socks are real, and they’re awesome.
But don’t underestimate how the Warriors front office also focuses on trying to understand why things happen in a fluid, often chaotic game filled with so many moving parts. “I wouldn’t directly credit our success to analytics,” said Lacob, 27. “But a large portion is due to how we utilize things like analytics. We like information. We make good decisions because we analyze a lot of information. Sure, we could run our team without all of the available data. But why would we?”