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Warriors promote assistant coach Weems

Kris Weems is moving from player development coach to front-bench assistant

2023 NBA Playoffs- Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
Kris Weems breaks down film with Donte “The Big Ragu” DiVincenzo
Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

When assistant coach Jama Mahlalela returned to the Toronto Raptors, the Golden State Warriors didn’t have to look far for his replacement. Only to the second row of the bench, in fact.

Kris Weems got a promotion to the front bench of head coach Steve Kerr’s staff, after nine years of service with the organization. Weems played basketball for Stanford University from 1995-99, reaching the Final Four with the team in 1998. In 2004, Weems became the head basketball coach at Menlo School, a private school in Atherton, where he coached two brothers named Kirk and Kent Lacob.

The Warriors hired Weems to do scouting and player development in 2011. After a three-year stint as Menlo’s athletic director from 2014-17, Santa Cruz GM Kent Lacob hired Weems for the Sea Dubs coaching staff. After doing solid work with Kent’s favorite player Alen Smailagic, Weems became the Santa Cruz head coach in 2019.

Weems joined the big club’s coaching staff before the 2021-22 season, part of a spate of new hires that included Kenny Atkinson, Dejan Milojević, and Mahlalela, after assistant Jarron Collins departed. Last summer, the Warriors promoted Atkinson to lead assistant and moved Mahlalela to the front of the bench, and now Weems is taking his spot.

That’s also what happened to Mahlalela’s predecessor as Director of Player Development, Chris DeMarco, who is also a front-bench assistant now.

Now that the team has shifted its focus to just one timeline, there’s a less pressing need for development, considering the Warriors will have three players age 21 and under next season, rather than last year’s six. But Weems has been a solid organizational soldier and a contributor to what was very strong player development in 2021-22. Plus, he likely knows embarrassing high school stories about the owner’s sons, which gives him some added job security.

It may be splashier to land a former head coach like Atkinson as an assistant, but the Warriors have done well in the Light Years Era by promoting from within. Weems is on his way to becoming another successful home-grown coach for Golden State.

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