Warriors cautioned Steve Kerr about working for James Dolan

Steve KerrNew York Knicks owner James Dolan hired Phil Jackson so he could yield to an expert. Jackson has been given total control of New York’s basketball operations department, which means Dolan shouldn’t be stepping on any toes going forward. Steve Kerr may not be convinced of that.

Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that one of the pitches the Golden State Warriors made to Kerr had to do with the difficulty of working under Dolan. A source “familiar with the process” reportedly told Begley that the Warriors reminded Kerr of how established coaches like Larry Brown and Mike D’Antoni fared with the Knicks and that played a role in Kerr’s decision to choose Golden State.

Kerr’s agent Mike Tannenbaum emphasized the importance of Kerr remaining close to his family.

“Both Golden State and the Knicks were terrific to deal with, and they both made very generous offers,” Tannenbaum said. “This wasn’t a decision about money, or trying to get the last dollar. In the end, for Steve, this was based on lifestyle and family. That was a huge, huge factor in choosing Golden State. Now his family is a short flight away, and that was an extremely important thing for Steve.”

As with any major career decision, I’m sure Kerr considered a number of factors. Reports that he wanted to remain on the West Coast to be closer to his daughter obviously were not overblown, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he also wanted to avoid Dolan. At the end of the day, Dolan still owns the Knicks. As long as that’s the case, there’s always a risk of his influence harming the franchise.

Warriors screwed up email announcing Mark Jackson firing

The Golden State Warriors sent out an email to season ticket holders on Tuesday to inform them of the Mark Jackson firing. Only there was one pretty big oversight.

In the subject line for the email, the Warriors screwed up by saying they had beaten the Clippers and were now offering tickets for the second round of the postseason:

Warriors email

They obviously realized the mistake, because they sent out another email 10 minutes later to correct the error. Notice the subject line in this one:

Wishful thinking for the Warriors. They probably just had that email in their cue in case the team won and forgot to make the adjustment after the loss. It happens.

Tip via David B.

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.

Warriors had bold plans to boycott Game 5 against Clippers

Steph Curry WarriorsThe Golden State Warriors had very specific, detailed plans to boycott Game 5 of their playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers if they didn’t feel like the punishment for Donald Sterling matched what they wanted.

According to Bay Area News Group’s Marcus Thompson, the Warriors were planning the kind of boycott that would have caught people by surprise … and been extremely powerful as a statement.

Here’s how Thompson describes it:

The Warriors were going to go through pre-game warm-ups and take part in the national anthem and starting line-up introductions. They were going to take the floor for the jump ball, dapping up the Clippers players as is customary before games.

Then once the ball was in the air, they were just going to walk off. All 15 of them.

The Warriors intended for the boycott to be bold and controversial to truly send a message, but their minds changed when Adam Silver handed down penalty for Sterling, which included a lifetime ban.

Thompson says Stephen Curry, David Lee and Andre Iguodala were behind the plan, which they developed during shootaround on Tuesday.

“It would have been our only chance to make a statement in front of the biggest audience that we weren’t going to accept anything but the maximum punishment,” Curry said. “We would deal with the consequences later but we were not going to play.”

The Warriors would have hoped the Clippers would have joined them for the boycott.

This is the exact kind of action I was hoping to see on Sunday. A bold movement like this that really made a statement. I was frankly disappointed that the teams played and, even though the Clippers made a statement in warmups, they missed an opportunity to do something historic. Instead, it was left up to Silver, who came through with a severe punishment.

Warriors-Clippers fight during and after game (Video)

Warriors ClippersThere is a heated rivalry developing between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors, and that was evident when the teams played on Wednesday night.

Two players were ejected for incidents during the game, and the teams had a scuffle at the end of the game that continued by the locker rooms.

Early in the fourth quarter, Warriors forward Draymond Green was ejected for throwing an elbow at Blake Griffin. Video of that is below:

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Spurs beat Warriors on controversial Thiago Splitter tip-in (Video)

Gregg Popovich did that thing on Thursday night where he infuriates the NBA by resting his superstar players for a nationally televised game, but the San Antonio Spurs came away with a win over the Golden State Warriors anyway. However, the ending of the game has created some controversy.

San Antonio center Tiago Splitter tipped in the game-winning basket with 2.1 seconds remaining. Boras Diaw had attempted a reverse layup that begin falling off the front of the rim, and Splitter was able to tip it in with his left hand. Replay angles from above the basket showed that there was a possibility the ball was still within the cylinder when Splitter touched it.


As SI.com’s The Point Forward noted, goaltending and basket interference plays can be reviewed in the final two minutes of a game only if an official has whistled a violation. Since the officials did not call offensive goaltending, they could not have reviewed the play and reversed the call.

Most importantly, I think that rule needs to be changed. I don’t blame the officials for not calling offensive goaltending, as there’s really no way to tell for certain with a play that close. That’s where replay should come in, and a play like that should be reviewable regardless of what the call was (or wasn’t) on the floor.

Photo via @cjzero

Clippers reportedly refuse to hold chapel with Warriors before game

Doc RiversThere is very little love lost between the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. Both California teams are likely to make the playoffs and may even contend for the Western Conference championship, so you can understand why the players on either side may not be best friends with one another. That being said, bad blood is usually pushed aside when it comes to gathering for prayer.

Most NBA teams gather for chapel and pray together before games. After all, basketball is just a game. But according to Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times, the Clippers refused to hold chapel with the Warriors on Thursday. Instead, the Clippers held their own prayer service.

“Man, they don’t want to have chapel with us?” a team source reportedly said. “I never heard that before, but OK.”

As Thompson pointed out, there were a number of incidents during the four times LA and Golden State faced off last year that fueled what has become a budding rivalry. As you may remember, the Clippers bench clowned Blake Griffin pretty hard during one game after he bricked a three-pointer.

You have to wonder if there is more to this story. For one thing, Doc Rivers wasn’t even with the Clippers last season. He typically has shown the utmost respect for opponents and is considered one of the more classy coaches in basketball. If LA chose not to hold chapel with their opponents, it’d be tough to believe the decision came from Doc.

H/T Eye on Basketball