“I loved my time at Golden State. I loved everybody I worked with. But I just felt for my personal career, I think I needed to kind of experience something new.”

Sammy Gelfand

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Welcome to The Edge – our weekly podcast where we dive deep into the world of basketball and talk with the best, brightest and most creative minds across the NBA, college hoops and more.

On this episode, we talk with Sammy Gelfand, who is the Director of Coaching Analytics for the Detroit Pistons. We talked about Sammy, his journey in the basketball world, his time in the NBA G League, working his way up to the Golden State Warriors organization and how he landed with the Detroit Pistons.

We also discussed his relationship with Steve Kerr, from idolizing him as a player to ultimately working for him as a coach with the Warriors, being Shaun Livingston’s favorite rebounder, and why Steph Curry calls him the ‘ultimate hustler.’ We also dove into technology and analytics and how it has evolved over the years within the NBA landscape.

For more on Sammy, you should check out this NY Times profile, or this piece from the Athletic on his move to the Pistons.

Where to Listen

Listen to the episode on Apple PodcastsSpotify or on your favorite podcast platform. Full show transcript available here.

On this Episode

On the golden number of 300 passes per night with the Warriors:

“We had more success when we threw more passes in. And honestly, I give the players, you know, Steph and Klay and Andre, Shaun and all those guys, a lot of the credit. They were the ones who bought in and they’re the ones who really started really asking like coach, how many passes do we have?”

On how to best communicate analytics and data to the head coaches he has worked under:

“I need to take what I’m saying and translate in a way that will, you know, most respond well to them. And obviously each coach is different. Some coaches like visuals, some coaches just like the raw numbers. Some coaches just want you to tell them they don’t want the numbers, just tell them what the numbers are saying.”