Golden State Warriors fire coach Mark Jackson after playoff loss to Clippers

May 6, 2014

In a move many will question, the Golden State Warriors announced today that they have relieved Head Coach Mark Jackson of his duties. Jackson, who recently completed his third season as head coach, guided the Warriors to a 51-31 record this season and a combined 121-109 record (.526) during his tenure in the Bay Area.

“It’s never easy to make a decision of this nature,” said General Manager Bob Myers.  “Mark has accomplished many good things during his three years with the organization, including his role in helping elevate this team into a better position than it was when he arrived nearly 36 months ago.  We’re appreciative of his dedication and commitment since his arrival and are extremely grateful for his contributions.  However, as an organization, we simply feel it’s best to move in a different direction at this time.”

Jackson's squad lost a close Game 7 on the road to the Clippers, as Golden State was very competitive despite losing starting center Andrew Bogut to injury prior to the series.  Bogut's absence forced the Warriors to primarily use a small lineup with forward David Lee playing out of position at center.

The problem with Jackson likely did not not have to do so much with wins and losses, but rather involved a personality clash with the front office.

Jackson had disagreements with two assistant coaches, one of whom -- former USC star Brian Scalabrine -- was sent down eventually to the team's D-League affiliate.  The other assistant was involved in a bizarre dispute regarding the recording of conversations during team meetings.

It also did not help matters when an extramarital affair of Jackson's became public after his mistress tried to extort him.

Still, since taking over the team, Jackson has changed the perception of the Warriors from a perennial lottery-bound loser to a run-and-gun exciting playoff team.  That's no small feat considering the history of the organization.

Jackson, 49, became just the third head coach in franchise history to lead a team to at least 50 wins in a season, joining Don Nelson and Alvin Attles, who both posted 50-win seasons twice with the Warriors.

With 121 regular-season victories overall, Jackson ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time wins list, trailing Attles (557), Nelson (422) and Eddie Gottlieb (263).  Additionally, the 98 regular-season wins posted over the last two seasons (51 in 2013-14 & 47 in 2012-13) represent the Warriors best two-year stretch since the team posted 99 victories combined in the 1990-91 (44) and 1991-92 (55) seasons, which was also the last time Golden State made consecutive postseason appearances.

More importantly, he helped develop the team's young core, as Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green all showed substantial growth under Jackson's watch.

“Mark Jackson has had a big impact on the improvement of our team and the success that we’ve had over the last couple of years,” said Owner & CEO Joe Lacob.  “Nonetheless, we must make some difficult decisions in our day-to-day operations of the club and this would certainly qualify as one of those examples.  We wish Mark the best of luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions over the last three years.”

In addition to the intra-franchise "politricks" between Jackson and management is the additional "Doug Collins" factor. In other words, the team perhaps believed that Jackson might have been the coach capable of taking the Warriors to the playoffs, but not that next championship stage.

Among the rumored potential replacement candidates under consideration are Steve Kerr and Lionel Hollins.

By Staff of and news services

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