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Why Mark Jackson as coach might work: Players love it

Jun 7, 2011, 4:50 PM EDT

Joe Lacob, Peter Guber

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.

  1. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Hopefully in Jackson’s and the Warriors case it works, but how many other coaches have been respected by the players and accomplished nothing?

  2. chargerdillon - Jun 7, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Let’s just be honest, being drafted by the warrios, being signed as their coach, buying the franchise, any role you get in the organization of the Golden State Warriors, the bar is only set so high

  3. savvybynature - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    If you are going to repeatedly ridicule Jackson for saying that the Mavs should force Wade to the rim rather than let him shoot open jumpers, then it might behoove you, in the interest of fairness, to mention that Jackson said this specifically in response to Jason Kidd letting Wade take an open 3 (that he made) while the shot clock was dwindling.

    At every level of bball high school and up coaches instruct players to be conscious of the clock, and to get up on a player if the clock is under 5.

    What he said was not “foolish” at all. It’s fundamental basketball.

  4. aherna - Jun 7, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    after listening to mr. jackson during Game 4 of the finals, i wish to extend my condolences to all warriors fans everywhere. he’ll be as clueless as isiah thomas.

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