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Warriors hire Mark Jackson as head coach

Jun 6, 2011, 9:42 PM EDT

Mark Jackson Popcorn

The Golden State Warriors have announced that they have hired former player and current television analyst Mark Jackson as their head coach.

The 46-year old Jackson had a long and distinguished career in the NBA as a player, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1988 and being named an All-Star in 1989. He is currently third-leading assist man in NBA history. Since retiring as a player, Jackson has worked as an analyst for the YES network and ESPN, often broadcasting alongside former head coach Jeff Van Gundy.

According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Jackson has a three-year deal with the Warriors, and the Warriors’ new ownership group is willing to spend money to surround Jackson with experienced assistants.

Jackson’s interview must have been extremely impressive, because from an outside perspective, this is not a hire that makes a lot of sense for the Warriors on any conceivable level, especially since highly-regarded assistant and defensive maven Dwane Casey was once again passed over, just like he was last summer when the Clippers hired Vinny Del Negro.

The Warriors desperately need a coach who can instill a sense of discipline. The team is loaded with talented offensive players, but finished 26th in defensive efficiency and dead last in rebounding rate, and haven’t had much of a sense of purpose since the 07-08 season, when they were arguably one of the best teams to ever miss the playoffs.

Jackson, who has never coached a game as a head coach or assistant coach at any legitimate level, does not appear to be the man to instill that sense of discipline. I have enjoyed Jackson’s work as a commentator, but his contributions are generally more amusing than educational on ABC/ESPN’s broadcasts. Jackson provides the Warriors with some name recognition on the sidelines, but who buys tickets or tunes into a game to watch a coach?

I don’t want to call this hire an outright failure, given that Jackson is an unknown quantity as a head coach and we don’t know how he convinced the Warriors’ new owners, who seem very serious about winning, to hire him. For all we know, Jackson will turn the Warriors right around and be the next Red Auerbach by the time his coaching career is over. But given the Warriors’ current situation and Jackson’s total lack of experience as a coach, there are a lot of reasons to be skeptical about this hire.

  1. trbowman - Jun 6, 2011 at 9:47 PM

    Bigger news – Mark Jackson will no longer be commentating games! Celebrate!

    • giveseanpaytonhisjuicyfruit - Jun 6, 2011 at 9:50 PM

      Hand Down Man Down

  2. essfjay - Jun 6, 2011 at 9:55 PM

    mama, there goes that man. lets all just pray that Hubie doesn’t call the finals next year.

    • randommofo - Jun 7, 2011 at 12:03 AM

      Hubie is awesome

      • trueballs - Jun 7, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        Hubie is so annoying. After EVERY PLAY he has to explain what just happened in the most words possible. “he splits the defenders and kicks it out to the wing. great play” Yes, Hubie. we just F****** saw it.

  3. rajbais - Jun 6, 2011 at 10:34 PM


    Just let the Pistons (or anyone else) hire Van Gundy and then we can get these two replaced in the stinking booth!!!!

  4. littlejohn4life - Jun 6, 2011 at 11:42 PM

    Poor Steph Curry is going to learn defense from a man who gets paid by saying “Hands down, Man down”……he may never play D

  5. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 7, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    I wonder if Jerry West had a say in this? Has he started his role officially yet?

  6. norcalraider510 - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:00 AM

    Mark Jackson talking to Monta Ellis (warriors down by 2)- Monta Go make a grown man move!
    Mark Jackson(after monta scores)- Mama there goes that man again!

  7. randysavage4ever - Jun 7, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    Hey Mark – its your time…

    I think he will do just fine…its going to take some time – people should be patient

    but Jackson does seem like a players coach and overall a sharp basketball mind – the man did play point guard for a ton of seasons with some great teams…

    i like the hire – Warriors needed to make a splash in the bay area…Even though the Raiders haven’t been strong since 2002, Oakland is all about Raiders 24/7/365 , Warriors need some excitement…Raiders got McFadden, Warriors got Curry – work with it Golden State!

  8. wiLQ - Jun 7, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    John, here’s a look at other coaches who started without previous head coaching experience:

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