Tag: Jermaine O’Neal

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings

Warriors GM: Jermaine O’Neal ‘probably won’t be with us next year’


Jermaine O’Neal gave the Warriors a component of toughness last season, and was even placed into the starting lineup for the team’s first three playoff games against the Los Angeles Clippers.

By the end of that series, however — which saw the Warriors eliminated in seven games — O’Neal had worked himself out of the lineup almost completely. As the team looks to fortify the roster for the upcoming season and improve upon last year’s result, O’Neal appears to be the odd man out heading into training camp next week.

From Bay Area Sports Guy:

Bob Myers said Jermaine O’Neal won’t come to camp and “probably won’t be with us next year.” Said they’re happy w/ Bogut, Ezeli & Kuzmic.

And from Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Bob Myers said the Warriors are going with their centers Bogut, Ezeli, Kuzmic for camp — no Jermaine O’Neal.

Festus Ezeli, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury, would indeed be a fine replacement for O’Neal if he’s able to return to full strength for the upcoming season. He was a regular rotation player the year prior, appearing in 78 regular season games while starting 42 of them, and averaged 14.4 minutes per contest.

As for O’Neal, he doesn’t yet know if he wants to play in what would be his 19th NBA season. While he has plenty of time to make that decision (and could become a late roster addition for a team with championship aspirations), if he does choose to come back, it appears as though it won’t be with the Warriors.

Warriors owner explains rationale for dismissing Jackson

Joe Lacob, Peter Guber

OAKLAND – Hours after meeting with Mark Jackson and dismissing the coach he hired 35 months ago, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob sat in his corner office explaining why the franchise would fire its most successful coach over the past two decades.

Proficiency, Lacob conceded, was not the primary factor behind his decision.

“The decision to not bring Mark back is not willy-nilly; there are reasons,” Lacob said Tuesday. “It’s less based on performance, that is win-loss record, and perhaps slightly more based on overall philosophy.”

The Warriors finished the regular season 51-31, their best record since 1991-92. They were coming off consecutive postseason appearances for the first time ’92. Their season ended with a Game 7 playoff to the Clippers on Saturday in Los Angeles.

When I asked Lacob if the team’s record was unsatisfactory, he said that was not the case.

“I would not say it’s unsatisfactory,” Lacob said. “I would say that it did not meet our goals.”

Lacob described the team’s primary goals as being among the top four teams in the Western Conference. The Warriors, for the second year in a row, finished sixth.

RELATED: Seven names to watch in Golden State coaching search

“We did improve the team, on paper, and we thought that was a reasonable expectation,” he said, referring mostly to the addition of forward Andre Iguodala. “We did not achieve that. We had a good year, but just didn’t excel at the level we had hoped to.”

There were contributing factors, including injuries, which Lacob acknowledged. Starting center Andrew Bogut lost 15 games due to injuries and a suspension and was not available in the postseason. Backup center Jermaine O’Neal missed 38 games with injuries. Another backup center, Festus Ezeli, missed all 82 games after undergoing knee surgery. Iguodala missed 19 games with a hamstring injury and knee tendinitis. Power forward David Lee missed 13 games.

Lacob said the reasons behind Jackson’s termination were broader than the record or even the strategy he employed. He said Jackson’s relationship with the organization was less than “ideal.”

Put another way, Lacob indicated Jackson’s coaching career would be better served if he cultivated relationships beyond those involving his players and staff.

Read more on the Warriors from CSN Bay Area by clicking here.

Indeed, Lacob insisted he did not believe Jackson, in his third season as a coach, was tactically inferior to Clippers coach Doc Rivers, a veteran of 15 seasons on the bench.

Yet the Warriors brain trust – with Lacob and general manager Bob Myers at the top – unanimously decided they would be better off with another head coach.

“There is an element of that probably weighs on my thinking, certainly, and maybe on Bob’s, that there is the right coach for the right time and the right situation,” Lacob said. “And it’s our feeling at this point in time, that he’s probably not the right coach for us, going forward, given all of the circumstances.”

Jermaine O’Neal says feeling is ‘no matter what happens, our coach won’t be our coach next year’

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors - Game Six

Mark Jackson has been somewhat embattled as Warriors head coach this season, largely due to the team not living up to preseason expectations, but also because of a series of incidents that’s led to his current standing in the organization.

Golden State owner Joe Lacob tried to put an end to the discussion about Jackson’s alleged lack of job security by saying “There is nothing going on until after the season.”

Not exactly a huge vote of confidence, there, especially when the season can end as soon as Saturday if the Warriors should lose their Game 7 matchup with the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Besides. it’s hard to quell that sentiment when a player on the team expresses that the vibe has permeated the locker room, and the feeling is that nothing will be good enough to save Jackson’s job.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

“You get the feel that no matter what happens, our coach won’t be our coach next year,” Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal said after the win. “You just get that feel. But we are willing to give all we’ve got for this group, for that coach, and hopefully whatever that will and whatever we’ve given is good enough to take us as far as we should go.”

Much like Jackson before him, O’Neal had a lot to say and – with this one crucial win – a little extra time to say it.

“Winning is hard, and hopefully everybody that supports this organization, that runs this organization, understands just how hard it is to win,” he continued. “And if you get a group that’s a good group that loves each other, that fights for each other, and can get a head coach (where) you see (former Warriors point guard and current Cleveland Cavaliers point guard) Jarrett Jack speaking about now from another situation, don’t take that for granted (because) 51 (wins) can go to 31.”

O’Neal’s right — it feels like Jackson is gone, despite the Warriors winning 51 games and, at the very least, pushing a more talented team to a Game 7 in the first round.

If ti happens, the move would be far from unprecedented. Just last season, was saw George Karl win Coach of the Year in Denver before being ousted, and Lionel Hollins took the Grizzlies further than they’d ever been in the playoffs, before the team decided not to bring him back on a new contract.

Short of winning a title, there are too many other factors that can influence whether or not a franchise wants to continue on its path, with its current head coach remaining in place. The vibe around the Warriors, if O’Neal is to be believed, is that Jackson will be looking for work elsewhere at whatever point the season is finished.

Stephen Curry’s jumper with 0.1 left beats Mavericks in overtime (VIDEO)

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks

Stephen Curry does it again.

With the game tied 120-120 and less than 15 seconds left in overtime, it all started when Jermaine O’Neal blocked/grabbed a Monta Ellis driving floater (it was a borderline goaltend but a good no call) then the Warriors didn’t call a time out, got the ball to Stephen Curry and let him create. Curry probed on the left side and after everyone cleared out he was isolated on Jose Calderon, was able to create a little space going left and all Curry needs to get off his shot is a little space. Bucket with 0.1 seconds left. Ball game.

If I were the Mavericks I would have doubled Curry — yes, the Warriors have other dangerous shooters, but you don’t let Curry get the last shot. This is why no timeout was brilliant for Golden State, the Mavs didn’t have time to set up a defensive plan.

The loss drops Dallas back to the nine seed, half a game behind Memphis and Phoenix. This is a blow to them.

The win helps keep Golden State solidly in the six slot (they had been closing in Portland, who has played better with LaMarcus Aldridge back).

Jermaine O’Neal calls talk of firing Warriors head coach Mark Jackson ‘ridiculous’

Golden State Warriors v Sacramento Kings

Jermaine O’Neal is in his 18th NBA season, and when he hasn’t been busy confronting opponents outside the locker room following games or causing lane violations with the hitch in his free throw stroke, he’s been a pretty decent contributor for the Warriors off the bench this season.

He’s also a big fan of Warriors head coach Mark Jackson, who’s come under fire this season both for his Xs and Os, as well as his latest reassignment of an assistant coach.

O’Neal was upset by the most recent round of criticism, and voiced his support for Jackson while saying he’s the main reason that O’Neal would be willing to come back and play for the Warriors next season.

From Diamond Leung of the San Jose Mercury News:

Warriors veteran big man Jermaine O’Neal called any talk of firing coach Mark Jackson “ridiculous” and “unfair” before offering a vote of confidence unique to his own NBA career. …

“But the No. 1 reason that I will come back and play another year is because of Coach Jackson. I’m absolutely, 100 percent positive about that. He makes it easy to come in this gym every day, and there’s not a lot of coaches that do that.” …

“To me, it’s one of the most unfair things that I’ve seen in a long time,” O’Neal said. “And it truly is a team that’s 18 games over .500. Eighteen. And we’re talking about firing a coach with 10, 11 games left?”

Jackson was widely believed to be the motivator and emotional leader of last year’s team that made it to the second round of the playoffs, but his assistant Mike Malone got most of the credit for the schemes put in from a pure basketball perspective.

Malone is now the coach of the Kings, and things apparently didn’t end well between him and Jackson.

We saw Lionel Hollins and George Karl both lose their positions at the end of last season after guiding their respective teams to more than 56 regular season wins. The same may very well happen to Jackson if the Warriors have a disappointing postseason effort or fail to make the playoffs altogether, and O’Neal’s support, while nice, wouldn’t be nearly enough to save him.