Mark Jackson spent three seasons as the Warriors coach, going 230-121 and building the defensive foundation that won the Warriors three rings under Steve Kerr.
A lot of coaches with far worse records have gotten another chance in the big chair, and Jackson told Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman on ESPN’s “First Take” he wants another chance.
Jackson was asked about the Knicks’ coaching job and said:
“There are 30 NBA jobs. I don’t minimize myself to one. I look forward to one day coaching again, it’s a dream of mine… I had an incredible time in Golden State coaching for three years, developing incredible relationships, and having some success. And I look forward to the challenge of doing it once again somewhere.”
He likely will get a chance. Eventually.
Jackson was not let go because of what happened on the court but off of it. Like many coaches, Jackson created an “us vs. them” mentality on the team, but in this case “them” included ownership, the GM and front office, the business side of the operation, and more (at least from the perspective of ownership). People who should have been on the “us” side of the ledger felt excluded. Plus, Jackson feuded publicly with assistant coaches he hired and didn’t accept ownership’s suggestions on spending money to bring in other veteran assistants. Throw in an outdated offensive system and it was too much. Antagonize and irritate one owner and the others will balk at giving said coach the reins of their team.
With time, that fades a little.
Jackson, depending on his relationship with Leon Rose, could be a good fit in New York, a team that needs to develop a winning culture and defense. Maybe he could coax better defense and cohesion out of James Harden and the Rockets. Would Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving welcome him in Brooklyn? There are expected to be a few other openings, as well.
Jackson may get a shot at one of those. If not he’s back in the comfortable role as ESPN/ABC color analyst. Same with his booth mate Jeff Van Gundy (whose name has come up in New York and Houston).