San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York has received a fair share of criticism from both the media and fans during what has been one of the most drama-filled offseasons in franchise history.
And for good reason.
Not only did the team agree to “mutually part ways” with former head coach Jim Harbaugh after he posted 44-19-1 record in four seasons with San Francisco, the organization has seen a mass exodus of veteran players over the past few months.
Not making matters much better, at least in the opinion of some skeptics, the 49ers replaced Harbaugh with a position coach in Jim Tomsula who hasn’t been as much as a coordinator in the NFL.
While it might be a bit too early to draw conclusions about Tomsula’s ability to lead the 49ers, York’s recent comments comparing the first-year head coach to Golden State Warriors head man Steve Kerr is about as ridiculous as it comes:
“Culture is huge. That’s the difference between a championship-caliber team and a championship team,” York told The MMQB. “You look at the Golden State Warriors. They were the dumbest team in the NBA for letting Mark Jackson go, who won the most games in the franchise’s history. How could you be so dumb? They bring in Steve Kerr, who has been around the game for a long period of time but has never coached before. Kerr changes the culture, comes in with a different perspective, and look what happens.”
Not to rain on York’s parade, but there are a few issues with this statement.
First off, Jackson did not lead the Warriors to a franchise-best record when he won 51 games in 2013-14. That distinction goes to Al Attles and the team’s first championship squad in the west coast back in 1974-75. Getting facts straight would be a good start for the much-maligned executive.
Secondly, Jackson didn’t necessarily have the same postseason success as Harbaugh. After taking Golden State to the conference semifinals in 2012-13, the team lost in the first round two years ago. That’s one series win in three attempts. In Harbaugh’s first three seasons with San Francisco, he led the team to the NFC Championship game all three years and won the conference title once.
Finally, Tomsula’s experience doesn’t compare in any way to that of Kerr’s. The former has been an assistant in the professional ranks for well over a decade. Kerr had never even been an assistant coach in the NBA prior to taking the Warriors job last summer.
There are, however, a couple parallels here.
Jackson was fired last summer mainly because of issues the Warriors front office had with him. Whether it was York (my working assumption) or general manager Trent Baalke, San Francisco’s brass had a strained relationship with the ultra-enigmatic Harbaugh. Both Jackson and Harbaugh also have a reputation for rubbing people the wrong way.
That’s about it with the comparisons.
As it relates to York’s specific comments, it’s not a surprise that he’s doubling down on Tomsula. The franchise has held him in high regard since he took over for Mike Singletary on an interim basis for the final game of the 2010 season. The players also seem to be receiving him well—players that were seemingly growing tired of Harbaugh’s act.
However, there’s absolutely no reason for an embattled CEO to compare Tomsula to a head coach in Steve Kerr that’s coming off a historical season that resulted in the Warriors winning their first NBA title in 40 years.
It’s about as ridiculous as critics already claiming Tomsula is out of his league before he’s even coached a single game.
Photo: USA Today Sports