Mark Jackson is finishing his first season as head coach of the Warriors, an inauspicious debut due largely to circumstances beyond his control.
The Warriors decided to go into full
tank rebuilding mode at the trade deadline by dealing Monta Ellis for an injured Andrew Bogut, and are playing it safe by shutting down Stephen Curry and his recurring ankle problems for the rest of the season.
Admittedly, it sounds a little ridiculous. Who would fire a coach one year into a three-year contract – after they doomed his chances in his first year by trading away his best player.
But, for a team struggling to get 25 wins, nobody is 100 percent secure. Not to mention a couple headliner head coaches may become available, which might make the Warriors want to nab one while they can.
Nonetheless, I’ve assured by a couple team sources that Mark Jackson is safe – as safe as could be expected anyway. They won’t say that publicly – Joe Lacob, who would play the role of Donald Trump should Jackson be fired, offered only a no comment. Still, it’s understood among management that Jackson will be back and Golden State executives like the job he is doing. Someone high up will say as much at season’s end.
Common sense says Jackson will be back next season, even without this sourced report. Ownership isn’t going to want to pay him for two years to go away, even if a big name like Mike D’Antoni or Nate McMillan were to express interest. Or, if an even bigger name became available in the offseason — like Stan Van Gundy, perhaps — the team still would be hard-pressed to bite.
Watching from afar, it seems like Jackson has been just fine in his first season as an NBA head coach — not definitively good or bad in any situation specific enough to warrant effusive praise or criticism.
Average doesn’t often get it done, and it can sometimes get you fired, depending on expectations. Those, however, are as low as they’ve ever been in the Bay Area to end this lockout-shortened season, which is why we’ll likely see Jackson back for a second chance next year.