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Jermaine O’Neal says feeling is ‘no matter what happens, our coach won’t be our coach next year’

May 2, 2014, 9:41 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors - Game Six Getty Images

Mark Jackson has been somewhat embattled as Warriors head coach this season, largely due to the team not living up to preseason expectations, but also because of a series of incidents that’s led to his current standing in the organization.

Golden State owner Joe Lacob tried to put an end to the discussion about Jackson’s alleged lack of job security by saying “There is nothing going on until after the season.”

Not exactly a huge vote of confidence, there, especially when the season can end as soon as Saturday if the Warriors should lose their Game 7 matchup with the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Besides. it’s hard to quell that sentiment when a player on the team expresses that the vibe has permeated the locker room, and the feeling is that nothing will be good enough to save Jackson’s job.

From Sam Amick of USA Today:

“You get the feel that no matter what happens, our coach won’t be our coach next year,” Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal said after the win. “You just get that feel. But we are willing to give all we’ve got for this group, for that coach, and hopefully whatever that will and whatever we’ve given is good enough to take us as far as we should go.”

Much like Jackson before him, O’Neal had a lot to say and – with this one crucial win – a little extra time to say it.

“Winning is hard, and hopefully everybody that supports this organization, that runs this organization, understands just how hard it is to win,” he continued. “And if you get a group that’s a good group that loves each other, that fights for each other, and can get a head coach (where) you see (former Warriors point guard and current Cleveland Cavaliers point guard) Jarrett Jack speaking about now from another situation, don’t take that for granted (because) 51 (wins) can go to 31.”

O’Neal’s right — it feels like Jackson is gone, despite the Warriors winning 51 games and, at the very least, pushing a more talented team to a Game 7 in the first round.

If ti happens, the move would be far from unprecedented. Just last season, was saw George Karl win Coach of the Year in Denver before being ousted, and Lionel Hollins took the Grizzlies further than they’d ever been in the playoffs, before the team decided not to bring him back on a new contract.

Short of winning a title, there are too many other factors that can influence whether or not a franchise wants to continue on its path, with its current head coach remaining in place. The vibe around the Warriors, if O’Neal is to be believed, is that Jackson will be looking for work elsewhere at whatever point the season is finished.

  1. apkyletexas - May 2, 2014 at 9:59 PM

    Constant change is why they haven’t sniffed a championship run since Rick Barry left town 37 years ago.

    One of these days Currey and Thompson will want to leave to pursue their championship dreams. What will the team do?

    • fasteddie2086 - May 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      you can send Klay Thompson anytime you want

      • robsaia - May 3, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        Common, talk Klay up…he is good trade bait

  2. jollyjoker2 - May 2, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    come to the T wolves !! You get 3 years before they punt you and a big contract going in!

    • lloydbonafideut - May 3, 2014 at 11:08 AM

      I have a sick feeling I’m going to be hearing “hand down man down” nonstop on espn again! Wtf does that even mean? Please keep coaching!!! He’s unwatchable as a commentator.

      • turkbox420 - May 3, 2014 at 10:20 PM

        Do you remember him talking about Smush Parker once for an entire Laker game? ” Smoosh Pawka grew up in Noo yuwk, I grew up in Noo Yuwk. ” So funny!!!
        If you have your hand down on defense, the team is a man down on the court basically.

    • robsaia - May 3, 2014 at 10:36 PM

      You think the Wolves would trade Kevin Love for Klay Thompson, knowing that KL can opt out in a year? If I were the Warriors I would take that chance, but would Minnesota?

  3. ddogdaddy - May 2, 2014 at 11:00 PM

    Why do the players hate him?

    • jazynaz - May 3, 2014 at 2:20 AM

      ddogdaddy-why do the players hate who? you shouldn’t read an article at one site and respond to it in the comment section of another! …nowhere in this story (or in real life) does it/anyone remotely say that the Warriors players hate their coach. read and reread. sometimes that helps if you have poor reading comprehension. hope you find my little tip useful!

      • edbrowndesign - May 4, 2014 at 2:18 AM

        people hear what they want. Its allot easeir to respond with bs than to have factual thought.

      • ddogdaddy - May 4, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        Jazynaz- Sorry little guy, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I don’t follow the GSW’s but am a big fan of their coach. I read the article and was in a hurry with my question. I should have asked “what is the problem GS has with Jackson”? Don’t worry about it if people give you grief about not using capital letters when you write. You will get to that in the 3rd grade. Now dry your tears and tell your mom to make me a sandwich when I stop by later this evening.

    • realfootballfan - May 3, 2014 at 2:27 AM

      Players don’t they; they seem to love him. Management seems to have it out for him like the Lionel Hollins situation last year. I never get these broken down franchises who run off the first good coach they have in years. Happened with Mike Woodson in Atlanta, too. Happened with Byron Scott 10 years ago back when they played in Newark.

    • lonnie49 - May 3, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      who said anything about the players hating him? That was your take away from this article? Players love him, owner doesn’t like him.

  4. savvybynature - May 2, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    Despite agreeing that his style comes off as a bit gimmicky, am I the only one that thinks Mark Jackson has actually done a good job coaching this team?
    They played the Spurs tougher than Memphis last season, and look like they would have beat the Clips with a healthy Bogut this season. What’s so bad about that?

    • mytthor - May 3, 2014 at 4:29 AM

      He’s a good motivator but not a great X’s and O’s guy. His play calling is stuck in the era he played – throwing the ball down low to Jermaine O’Neal? Steph Curry should be Steve Nash 2.0. EVERYTHING should run off a pick and roll with Curry. In fact – Mike D is looking for a job…

  5. brookwell2013 - May 2, 2014 at 11:27 PM

    For all of those scratching their heads about Jackson’s situation, just watch a few of his post game press conferences or his interviews….the dude is obnoxious; sarcastic and condescending almost all of the time, and hey, the real deal is simple: the ownership group doesn’t like him. Plus, the staff situation there is bizarre, firngs and demotions all well documented…..bye bye Mark.

    • apkyletexas - May 3, 2014 at 12:21 AM

      Sorry – were you talking about Mark Jackson or Phil Jackson? If obnoxious, sarcastic and condescending press conferences get you fired, then neither Phil nor Pat Riley nor Gregg Popovich would have ever lasted long enough to win their first title. And with them gone, you could wipe 20 of the past 33 NBA titles off the books.

      • realfootballfan - May 3, 2014 at 2:30 AM

        Beat me to it. There was no one with more of those traits than Phil, and he has too many rings to put on his fingers.

    • fasteddie2086 - May 3, 2014 at 12:07 PM

      because he is not a coach, he is a motivator. the man had NO coaching experience and it shows

    • cristren - May 3, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      Nobody, is as obnoxious, and sarcastic, as Coach Pop of the SA Spurs.

  6. realfootballfan - May 3, 2014 at 2:25 AM

    Probably definitely if they lose tomorrow, and probably even if they don’t. I don’t know how thin he’s worn the welcome, but the relationship seems to be broken.

  7. 00millerfortune - May 3, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    How stupid would that be if they canned him. smh

  8. Purpular Ball - May 3, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    GRAMMAR POLICE ALERT! Yes, I mean me. Did anyone proofread before they published this “article”? Let me give you just a few examples: “Besides. it’s hard” and “If ti happens” and “Just last season, was saw” and “before being ousted, and” and “on its path, with it”. Writing has gone so far downhill these days that it is just sad. If anyone wants to hire me, I’d be willing to take on the job. I’m serious, too. I’m not kidding at all. Contact me and let me know if you need someone.

  9. william1939 - May 3, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    Hope this in fact happens. No great loss. He is a fundamentally unsound coach. Evidently has problems related to some coaches. And has split priorities. Lives in L.A. and commutes. His religion is over emphasized as it relates to the team. Is to placid when dealing with officials. You can be a gentleman when dealing with them and still get your point across. There are WAY to many times when he should be confronting the refs. on bad calls and yet he is totally silent. If the W’s go any place in the playoffs it will be in spite of Jackson NOT because of him.

    • fasteddie2086 - May 3, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      yep zero coaching experience prior to coming to the warriors..

  10. omeimontis - May 3, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Mark Jackson is single-handedly responsible for the team’s current success. If the Warriors get rid of him, then they are making a huge mistake. He was able to get the Warriors to play defense. That is a huge accomplishment. Another mistake they will make is to move the team to a site in San Francisco that is miles away from any public transportation. Their current site is next to a BART station. They have got loyal fans, but you wonder how loyal they will be if they have to go through a huge traffic jam driving into San Fran, to watch a team that is no longer a winning team because they got rid of the best coach they have for a couple of decades.

    • imakcds - May 3, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      single handedly????
      not even. a very good coach, for sure, but don’t get carried away.

  11. joneto582014 - May 3, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    This is one of the things a player shouldn’t right before a game 7. Bad move.

  12. imakcds - May 3, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    It seems quite clear to me that this is MANAGEMENT’S issues with Jackson.
    I think he’s done a fabulous job from the get go.
    Guess Mark doesn’t pick cotton properly.

    • longtallsam - May 3, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      That was uncalled for.

    • andreboy1 - May 3, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Millions of dollars to coach a game and you compare him to a slave?

      Our ancestor’s would be disgusted the way that athletes/media are always comparing 1%’s to slaves.

  13. showtime1911 - May 3, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    The rockers will take him.

    • gostlcards5 - May 5, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      I’m not sure he’d be useful tagging with Michaels or Jannetty…

  14. zinnsand21 - May 3, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    Jackson does a good job. The players lay their body down for him. Is he strategically the best coach I’ve ever seen? No.. Does his top player, Curry, make a lot of recurring sloppy mistakes? Yes. Warrior brass have been tight lipped about Jackson. It will be interesting to see what occurs after the season ends..

  15. AZ Dem - May 4, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    Funny, Jermaine O’Neal probably won’t be with Golden State next year either. Thing is, for a veteran like O’Neal to say something like this at this point is a giant red flag. The problems at GSW must be a lot worse than we, the public, know.

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