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Friday, October 24, 2014

Mark Jackson reportedly was disinterested in game preparation, reluctant to practice

Mark JacksonWhy would the Golden State Warriors fire Mark Jackson as head coach when he had so much success the last two seasons?

The Dubs went 47-35 last season and won a playoff series. They were 51-31 this season and pushed the Clippers to seven games despite not having Andrew Bogut in the lineup.

The buzz for the past few months was that he was clashing with ownership and that they would likely fire him, and that’s what happened on Tuesday.

So where did things go wrong?

One theory is that the owners had their eye on other coaches who are available whom they feel may be better suited to lead the team. Stan Vun Gundy, Steve Kerr and Fred Hoiberg are coaches who have been mentioned in connection with the job. But Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski says there were other factors at play in the team’d decision to dismiss the first-time coach.

Here’s what Woj reported:

Jackson clashed constantly with management and struggled to manage his coaching staff during his Warriors tenure. Jackson’s disinterest in game preparation and reluctance to practice despite a mostly young and gifted roster played a part in management’s reluctance to commit long term to him, league sources said.

One such example is what happened with assistant coach Brian Scalabrine. Jackson reportedly forced the demotion of Scal after the former Boston Celtic argued with another assistant on the staff. The demotion reportedly occurred against the ownership’s wishes. Additionally, assistant Darren Erman reportedly was instrumental in building the Warriors’ defense, but he was fired late in the season for a tape recording incident. Perhaps these are two examples of Jackson struggling to manage his staff.

As for the other stuff, I can’t imagine that Mark Jackson did not hold practices or work on gameplans. Maybe he felt practicing more would be counterproductive at times. And maybe he left more of the game-planning to his assistants. But these are some of the reasons being given for his firing.

I really don’t care what reasons ownership has at this point; I think Jackson did a very fine job as coach of the Warriors. It’s too bad for him that Phil Jackson was hired as Knicks president, otherwise that head coaching job would have had his name on it. I would be surprised to see the Warriors have more success without Jackson around next season.



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