Mark Jackson

Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson preaching on a Los Angeles street corner (video)


As a rift grew between Mark Jackson and Warriors ownership, one issue was reportedly his refusal to move to the Bay Area. There were legitimate basketball reasons to fire Jackson, and I’m sure they played a part, but there was also a cultural divide (one I’m skeptical Joe Lacob did enough to overcome).

Jackson is the pastor of a Los Angeles church, and that’s a key reason he wouldn’t move. Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group:

Mark Jackson’s job isn’t just as a preacher. He doesn’t just work for a church. It’s HIS church. He and his wife is the heart of the church. That’s a traditional part of the black Christian experience.There are exceptions, of course. But generally, the preacher is the head (and often the founder) of the church. Just ride around in any inner-city neighborhood and look at the signs. You won’t see the names of the board of governors or the eldership. You’ll see a man, or a woman, because they run the show. It’s been that way for centuries. Most HBCU’s — the best of which is Clark Atlanta University! — are founded by churches and many of them were run the same way.Jackson has that same set up. Asking him to move midstream is not like asking a UPS worker to transfer. It’s not as simple as “You can preach in the Bay.” Lacob is asking him to give up his church. He is telling him to relocate his family to the Bay Area, meaning the lifeblood of that church, Jackson and his wife, are gone. That’s not a matter-of-fact thing.

You can see Jackson’s preaching in action:

And he explains just what he was doing:

I can see why Lacob and Jackson weren’t on the same page. To many, including myself, these street-corner preachers do nothing but block the sidewalk.

To Jackson, his mission is much more personal – and good for him. The slight inconvenience of passersby is no reason to stop if that’s what he believes is right.

The worldview Jackson shows in this video also shouldn’t prevent him from coaching an NBA team. I hope it didn’t.

Watch Kobe Bryant’s entire retirement-announcement press conference (video)

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Kobe Bryant reflected, told stories and showed his emotions.

For nearly 25 minutes, the Lakers star talked about his pending retirement. It was pretty cool.

Report: Wizards signing Ryan Hollins

Blake Griffin, Ryan Hollins
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Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.

Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.

So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.

So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?

Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.

Dwight Howard crushes Kristaps Porzingis with dunk (video)

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Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.