Apparently Mark Jackson just nailed his interview.
Which he kind of had to, because he has no coaching resume.
But Warriors consultant (and part owner) Jerry West sounded like a man very comfortable with the Warriors choice in an interview with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. That should not be a surprise — West is the ultimate team player and even if he did not like a decision would back it publicly. That’s who he is. But like we said, he sounds good with the decision.
(Jackson) had a tremendous connection with Joe (Lacob, Warriors owner). And he’s a very smart guy, he played in the league for 17 years, for a number of coaches. He’s a player who played in the league a long time in his head. And I think we all have had glowing reports from people who think he’s really good….
He and Joe seemed to really hit it off. I met with Mark myself down here and talked about if he were offered the job what did he need to do, boy he was really focused on what he had to be done.
I look back on Pat Riley, who to me is a pretty good example of somebody who just needed an opportunity, who had a terrific work ethic… I remember at the press conference when I said I’m going to Pat’s assistant, I thought Jerry Buss’ face was going to crack… I remember how awkward maybe that was… Turned out to be the right decision for the Lakers. I’ve watched Pat’s career, watch him today….
I do think he understands that the Warriors have to be better defensively. But he wants to play an aggressive game, he doesn’t want to play a slow-down game. Wants to play in a way that suits their talent.
West also threw a little cold water on the rumored trade of Monta Ellis for Andre Iguodala, saying he doesn’t “see anything like that happening.” He said the team is looking at the draft then will think about trades.
Plenty of people are not sold on Mark Jackson, the new coach of the Golden State Warriors. Apparently the Warriors were not either.
Jackson was not the first choice, Matt Steinmetz reminds us at CSN Bay Area. When owner Joe Lacob and the Warriors started this search, experience was a key. Jackson has none. And while the Warriors had a long and at times contradictory list of things they wanted, just look at their first steps to see their real goals.
But we got a sense where their priorities were when they initially reached out to former Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and former Knicks and Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy. Both of those coaches had experience, a track record of success, a strong personality and a defense-first mentality.
Both Sloan and Van Gundy declined interviews with the Warriors, and so Mike Brown became their No. 1 focus. Brown didn’t have the resume’ history that Sloan and Van Gundy had, but Brown was no doubt the No. 1 available candidate on the market.
He was also said to be the Warriors’ front-runner before he ended up taking the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job.
The market kept squeezing the Warriors, the coaches they wanted they could not get then Toronto and Detroit entered the market looking for coaches. The pool of available coaches was about to shrink more, so the Warriors went with the guy they liked best.
The reaction from fans and front office people has been to question the move, but tweets and comments from players have been very positive. And ultimately that is who Jackson has to impress. If he can reach the players and have good assistants help him through the rough patches, this could go better than many expect.
But this was not the direction the Warriors first wanted to go. This is a gamble.
People who have met with new Warriors owner Joe Lacob have described him as an out of the box thinker. Which is pretty much a cliché statement in and of itself at this point, but we’ll go with it.
Because it sounds like he is close to doing something very out of the box, according to David Aldridge at NBA.com.
At Golden State, ABC/ESPN analyst Mark Jackson is in the lead, according to a league source, having interviewed twice, the second time with owner Joe Lacob. Lacob has also conducted interviews with Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and was believed to have conducted the Malone interview Sunday. Those two trail Jackson at the moment. But former Lakers assistant and Oakland native Brian Shaw and Celtics assistant Lawrence Frank, though trailing the others, are not out of the mix. Shaw has yet to get a first interview set up by Golden State. Normally that would be telling, but Shaw’s camp is allowing for the possibility that the Harvard MBA educated-Lacob, a creature of venture capital and Silicon Valley, may think differently and may have a more unorthodox method to his coaching search madness than the norm.
Will Jackson make a good coach? Who knows, because he has never coached. Anywhere. Not as a head coach, not as an assistant. We could try to figure out what kind of coach he would be from his color commentary (at one point during Game 3 he said the Mavs need to not let Dwyane Wade shoot open jumpers and make him drive, that might be a red flag) but really that’s not fair. Being an announcer and a coach are two very different things.
Which is the point. But Golden State may run an experiment.