Nick U’Ren 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.
“I thought a lot during that [Finals] series about my experience as a broadcaster covering Oklahoma City and the Spurs in 2014,” Kerr says. “We play a lot like the Spurs did. And Oklahoma City was able to bottle them up because the Spurs were starting two bigs with Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter. When the Spurs changed things in the series, they won. They went small. It opened up the floor. That series reminded me a lot of our series because we just couldn’t get the spacing we normally get. It was Nick U’Ren’s suggestion to start Andre. We had been considering starting David. The more we thought about it as a staff, we liked the idea of Andre.”
Most Golden State Warriors fans probably have never heard of Nick U’Ren. As the special assistant to the head coach, U’Ren quietly stays behind the scenes doing whatever he can to make Warriors coach Steve Kerr look great. But after U’Ren suggested the drastic lineup change for the Warriors – starting Andre Iguodala in place of center Andrew Bogut – that helped them beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-82 and even the NBA Finals at two games apiece Thursday night, Kerr felt it was only right to give U’Ren a shout-out. “He’s behind the bench, he’s 28 years old, he’s a kid,” Kerr said. “We have a staff that is very cooperative. Whoever has the idea, it doesn’t matter. And he brought me the idea.”
U’Ren and Warriors assistant coach Luke Walton have privately been fans of using a small lineup. U’Ren first brought the idea of the lineup change to Kerr after a team dinner after the Game 3 loss. “I went and brought it up at dinner to mixed reviews, which is fine and totally normal,” U’Ren said.
Kerr debated the lineup change with the Warriors’ coaching staff during a breakfast meeting before deciding to boldly make the move. “I didn’t see the text until this morning,” Kerr said. “I told him I liked it and we debated as a staff what the repercussions would be and what the rotation would look like. It was a great idea.” It also was a gutsy decision by Kerr to go with it. “I don’t think it was that gutsy because they were kicking our ass,” Kerr told Yahoo Sports. “We were running in mud.”