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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  • Ronald

    I think this is the first time I’ve ever disagreed with your opinion Larry. I think the Warriors were right to send a coach with questionable commitment to bettering his unbelievably talented team packing. I also am confident the Warriors will be better off without Jackson.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    What makes you think he has a questionable commitment to his team?

  • Ronald

    I said questionable commitment to bettering his team. His reluctance to practice and lack of interest in game preparation in my opinion show he was not fully committed to doing the things necessary to help a team of young talented players progress individually and as a unit.

  • David Hodges

    Marks a class act and we would love to have him in Cleveland. I think its funny that a franchise thats full of losers has the nerve to try to smear a coach who made them a contender. The warriors will be lucky to make the playoffs next year and say goodbye to Mr Curry in the coming years. Im from Cleveland and even I know Golden State SUCKS.

  • Tim Clark

    Ronald, I agree with Larry here. Why do you place more weight on alleged rumors rather than his performance over the past two years? Yes, his team is very talented but I do not think winning a playoff series last year and losing to the Clippers in 7 without Bogut is underachieving.

  • Ronald

    I agree with you that the team has achieve a level of sustained success previously unseen in Golden State, which for me makes it all the more shocking that these rumors are coming out. Rumors like this don’t come out of nowhere when teams are coming off successful seasons. Clearly the Warriors have had a good couple years, but if Jackson is responsible for it, why aren’t his players speaking out on his behalf? I think both you and Larry are attributing this success to Jackson’s coaching without considering the possibility that the team may have achieved it despite these flaws as a coach.

  • Tim Clark

    Fair point that their success could have been achieved despite Jackson. That’s certainly a possibility. But this is very tough to speculate on in my opinion; that is, determining a coach’s role in a team’s success. For example, how much credit do you give Spoelstra for the Heat’s success? (I give him very little) For me, I think GS’s success has closely enough reflected the talent they have for me to be happy with the job Jackson has done. I don’t think a new coach will result in a substantial change in either direction.
    Regarding his players not speaking on his behalf, Curry did in fact back him up publicly a few days ago (link below) which was the main reason for my disappointment in the decision to fire Jackson. Curry said he loved Coach and thought it was completely unfair for his job to be under scrutiny, which speaks volumes to me personally.

    Lastly, to your point on “rumors like this don’t come out of nowhere when teams are coming off successful seasons.” I agree, and suspect there is some truth behind these claims. I was just willing
    to give Jackson the benefit of the doubt on this and assume there was reasoning behind these decisions (as Larry said perhaps practice being counter-productive in his mind/leaving game plan for assistants) as opposed to Mark just being


  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    I think it’s dangerous to fire a coach who is so well liked by his players. They are a very talented team, but sinking morale concerns me.

    Good discussion though, definitely enjoying the opinions.

  • afannaz

    well, obviously you’re not talking about their record…so, what are you talking about? you don’t know anything more about their FO than any of the rest of us. i don’t think your comment has any credibility, and i can’t imagine why anyone would give it any credence. as a diehard Warriors fan, it’s true jackson’s W’s team responded well to his coaching, but i’m not really in agreement regarding his “class”-iness. stick to what you know…i guess that’s cleveland.