SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors after winning the NBA championship with the fourth-fewest regular season games missed due to injury overhauled and restructured their training and strength and conditioning staff.
The person now overseeing that department is Lachlan Penfold, whose hiring as head of physical performance and sports medicine was announced in July. He previously worked in a variety of sports in the sports science-rich country of Australia.
The Warriors did not renew the contract of head athletic trainer JoHan Wang while director of athletic performance Keke Lyles and strength and conditioning coach Michael Roncariti went to the Atlanta Hawks.
The changes occurred despite the Warriors combining to have players miss only 80 games due to injury and beating the injury-plagued Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
“They did a great job,” Warriors assistant general manager Kirk Lacob said Thursday at the Sports Analytics Innovation Summit of last season’s staff. “Obviously we did a lot of things really, really well. For various reasons, most people aren’t back this year. All of their contracts were up anyways, so it’s not like anyone was fired.
“But we kind of had a vision and Steve (Kerr) had a vision too of the way we wanted to structure that whole department. It was going to be with or without those guys regardless. We were perfectly happy to have them as part of that or not.
“Yeah we did great last year. We’ve got to do better this year.”
The new structure of the staff focuses on improving communication, as according to Lacob, Penfold will collect direct reports from specialists and enable Warriors’ operation to become streamlined.
“He’ll be the one voice who’s going to go to Steve and to Bob (Myers) and say, ‘This is what I recommend,’” Lacob said.
“I think it just allows for a more direct, clear delineated line of communication.”
Lacob said it would be entirely possible the Warriors will have more games missed this coming season than when they won the championship, but that wouldn’t necessarily mean they did a worse job with the staff.
“It’s always process over result,” Lacob said.