After three seasons,one 50 win campaign and a trip to the second round last season, the Golden State Warriors decided to pull the plug on their contentious working relationship with Mark Jackson on Tuesday afternoon.
Despite a successful stint on the Warriors sidelines, that began witb a 23-win season two years ago, and the unwavering support of his players, Jackson’s relationship with the front office was seemingly unsalvageable no matter how the Clippers series ended. Jackson improved the Warriors defense dramatically and flipped one of the worst rebounding teams in the league into one of the best in a span of 36 months.
However, the positive results weren’t enough for Warriors front office to look past his difficult personality. The relationship began deteriorating after the Warriors opted to pick up his option for the 2014-15 season instead of negotiating a long-term exception.
. Things went downhill in a hurry after Jackson fired assistant Brian Scalabrine, who was then reassigned by the Warriors to the Development League affiliate. A few weeks later, assistant Darren Erman was fired for reportedly recording conversations during coaches meetings and discussions, or what’s now known as “pulling a Stiviano”
Steve Kerr, Fred Hoiberg and Stan Van Gundy's names have been floated as potential replacements, but Jackson’s future is up in the air. He’ll likely be a candidate for another vacant position elsewhere, he could return to the broadcasting booth or retreat to the pulpit full-time which he hinted at after the Warriors loss to the Clippers in Game 7.
"I work every single day with a passion and a commitment like it's my last," Jackson said. "I'm trying to be a blessing to people. I'm trying to impact people, and that's the way I live my life. That's the way I coach. I don't get caught up in it. I'm totally confident and have total faith that, no matter what, I'm going to be fine, and that's even if I'm a full-time pastor. It's going to work out."
The decision to fire Jackson was a bold one for sure, but hiring his replacement will be equally as important because Steph Curry was vocal about his disgust about the rumors swirling around Jackson's job security and is set to become a free agent in 2017 if he doesn't sign an extension in 2016.
I'm sorry, Mark Jackson (oh); I am for real
— Pablo S. Torre (@PabloTorre) May 6, 2014
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 6, 2014