Jun 7, 2011, 4:50 PM EST
From pundits to Warriors fans to other front offices around the league, there has been a lot of “Mark Jackson? Are you kidding me?” reactions to the hiring of the Warriors new coach.
And during Game 4 of the NBA finals tonight, when Jackson says something foolish — like in Game 3 when he suggested Dallas should stop letting Dwyane Wade shoot so many open jumpers and make one of the best penetrators in the league but the ball on the floor — you can bet twitter will light up with “that’s your coach, Warriors” comments.
But there has been one group very supportive of the hire: players. As Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area points out, that could be the masterstroke of this hire.
You want to know why Jackson is a better coach for the Warriors than Keith Smart in (team owner Joe) Lacob’s eyes? Because Lacob believes Jackson has a better chance to be a lure for players than Smart, plain and simple.
Say what you want about Jackson, he is someone who many NBA players respect — not just for playing 17 seasons in the league but because he has become a strong voice on basketball matters — because of the forum he has on ABC and ESPN.
During his tenure as NBA analyst, Jackson has formed countless relationships with players, and his hiring was embraced by a number of them, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Baron Davis, Dwyane Wade and others.
Steinmetz makes a good point — the Jackson hiring follows in the wake of hiring popular agent Bob Meyers to become the current assistant and future team general manager. Jerry West, the highly respected guy who is the NBA’s logo, is a consultant and part owner.
There’s a pattern there — guys players really respect. Guys who can help lure free agents to the Bay Area.
It’s an interesting strategy, but Lacob’s moves are clearly about players first. We’ll see how that works when it comes time for them to lure free agents.
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