The Warriors have officially announced that they’ve fired coach Mark Jackson. Sam Amick of USA Today was the first to report the news (on Twitter). Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports noted that it was the team’s decision to fire him, meaning Jackson didn’t quit instead (Twitter link). The move was widely expected, and comes on the heels of a meeting between Jackson, co-owner Joe Lacob, and other Warriors executives within the last few hours.
“Mark Jackson has had a big impact on the improvement of our team and the success that we’ve had over the last couple of years,” Lacob said. “Nonetheless, we must make some difficult decisions in our day-to-day operations of the club and this would certainly qualify as one of those examples. We wish Mark the best of luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions over the last three years.”
Reports in recent weeks cast significant doubt about Jackson’s future with the team, and his chances of remaining in Golden State seemed to grow progressively bleaker after a report of dysfunction surrounding Jackson surfaced when the team reassigned former assistant coach Brian Scalabrine. The team also recently fired assistant coach Darren Erman, who was reportedly recording conversations among the coaching staff.
The tension between Jackson and his bosses appeared to be mutual and to extend to issues beyond basketball. The Warriors organization seemed to present a united front against the coach, with the exception of the players, who offered nearly universal support. A key fracture may have been Jackson’s lack of a relationship with assistant GM Kirk Lacob, the son of the co-owner, after the two engaged in a recent spat. Jackson’s attitude, unwillingness to move to the Bay Area and even his religion have drawn mention in various reports as reasons why Warriors management seemed anxious to let the coach go.
Jackson compiled a 121-109 record over three seasons as Warriors head coach, his first experience on an NBA bench after having worked as a broadcaster following his playing career. The Warriors improved their regular season record each of the last two years, but the Warriors still reportedly took issue with coach’s on-court style, which relied heavily on isolations. Golden State failed to reach the second round of the playoffs this season, as it did last year, and that may have sealed the coach’s fate.
Photo Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.