THE SANTA CLARA
May 15, 2014
Head coaches get canned all the time, but it is rare one is fired when they seem to be doing a good job.
It looks like a winning record and two playoff appearances in three years weren’t enough to save Mark Jackson, the former head coach of the Golden State Warriors who was fired last Tuesday.
“Obviously (the decision to fire Jackson) was not made exclusively on wins and losses,” said Warriors owner Joe Lacob.
The leader, who has controlled the team since 2010, continued to say that while the decision was not easy, it was “unanimous” among the front office.
Jackson, a 17-year veteran of the NBA and television sports analyst, was hired as head coach in 2011 with no prior coaching experience.
Still, the franchise and fans were excited about what his fresh perspective could bring to a team that wasn’t short on talent, but losing nonetheless.
The Warriors certainly improved under his watch. Golden State went 51-31 this season, their best record since the 1991-1992 season, which was also the last time the team went to the playoffs for two consecutive years.
Jackson is fourth in the franchise’s all-time wins list at 121 regular-season wins.
While the team was improving on the court, drama continued developing off of it. Jackson’s brash, hard-headed way of doing things may have turned the players’ games around but they also caused a clash with the management.
Jackson got rid of two assistant coaches in a two-week period, demoting Brian Scalabrine to a D-League position and firing Darren Erman altogether. Jackson also had beef with executive board member Jerry West, who had initially voiced his opposition to Jackson’s hiring.
The Warriors camp has had mixed reactions to Jackson’s removal. Current players have also voiced discontent on social media outlets in opposition to the announcement.
Most franchises use a trial-and-error approach. Still, it’s important to consider the effect constant coach swapping has on the players and the team’s chemistry. I don’t think it would have hurt to let Jackson finish his contract — he had one year left.
With that being said, the Warriors landed Steve Kerr to replace Jackson. Kerr is a great choice for head coach because he’s going into the position with close ties to the management. After all the drama with Jackson, a coach lacking controversy is just what they need.
The team was in an upward trend under Jackson and it takes time to develop. The team bond he created has to count for something and clearly the team was moving in a positive direction. I hope Kerr is up for the challenge.
Sydney Sanchez is a sophomore accounting major.