By now it’s not a secret that the Golden State Warriors and former head coach Mark Jackson didn’t end their marriage on a high note. Jackson, who led the team to two consecutive playoff appearances and 51 wins a season ago, was fired following the playoffs this past spring.
And despite Jackson’s success in Oakland, the Warriors have taken their performance to an entirely new level this year under first-year head coach Steve Kerr. The team boasts the best record in the NBA at 16-2 and is outscoring its opponents by a ridiculous 10.9 points per game.
Now NBA Championship contenders, the Warriors team has fully moved on from Jackson’s drama-filled tenure.
The same cannot be said for co-owner Joe Lacob, who blasted Jackson by listing off the numerous reasons he was fired. (via insidebayarea.com).
You can’t have a staff underneath you that isn’t that good,” Lacob said. “And if you’re going to get better, you’ve got to have really good assistants. You’ve got to have people that can be there to replace you. We all know this from all of our companies. It’s . . . Management 101. A lot of people on the outside couldn’t understand it when we (fired Jackson).
Not only is Lacob talking about Jackson’s staff here, he’s pointing to multiple scenarios last season in which his staff simply didn’t follow Jackson’s ideology for success on the court. There were numerous spats between the ex-Warriors coach and his former staff.
Part of it was that he (Jackson) couldn’t get along with anybody else in the organization,” Lacob said. “And look, he did a great job, and I’ll always compliment him in many respects, but you can’t have 200 people in the organization not like you.
Okay then. That’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement of his former head coach. Jackson, who had zero NBA coaching experience before taking the Warriors job, simply didn’t fit the model set forth by a relatively new ownership group that wanted to change (and has succeeded in changing) the culture in Oakland.
Rarely do you see an owner speak up with these types of shots against a former head coach in the professional sports world. To say that Lacob still holds some hard feelings regarding Jackson would be a major understatement here. And to be honest, he let that get in the way of professionalism by calling Jackson out in this way.
But unlike other owners around the NBA, Lacob is hands-on. He sits with the fans in the stands during the game, was a huge Warriors fan before joining Peter Guber in the purchase of the team, and has more than a financial investment in the success of the organization.
Photo: USA Today