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Brian Scalabrine calls out Mark Jackson’s coaching style. Again.

Aug 8, 2014, 1:35 PM EDT

Mark Jackson, Stephen Curry AP

Golden State won 51 games last season and pushed a very good, deep Clippers team to seven games in the first round. That locker room, led by Stephen Curry, played hard for Mark Jackson and believed what he sold in the locker room. Notice that when Steve Kerr got hired there were not tweets about how Curry or other players about how they looked forward to working with Kerr — that was out of respect to Jackson. Also, we should note up front midway through the season Jackson demoted coach Brian Scalabrine to the D-League.

Scalabrine, back on the media side of the table now, has taken a few shots at Jackson and his coaching style the past few days, saying he didn’t know how to push a team.

The latest came on ESPN Radio’s Doug Gottlieb Show on Thursday. Here are some of his quotes, as transcribed by Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.

“I don’t think championships are given out. I think championships are earned, and I just felt like along the way we thought…something was going to happen. Like it’s OK to be average. It’s OK to be .500. It’s OK to be an eighth seed, ninth seed, or move our way up to a sixth seed. I mean, that’s just not the right mentality if you’re trying to win with a team with a lot of young players.

“Generally, as a staff we really didn’t prepare our team to be championship-caliber nor did we prepare our team to eventually be championship-caliber….

“Taking the easy way out, right?” Scalabrine said. “Like putting (Curry) on not the best player, and that wasn’t his decision. That’s not Steph Curry’s responsibility. Steph wanted to guard Chris Paul. He wanted to guard Tony Parker. I can guarantee you. Everyone that knows Steph Curry knows that he’s like an elite competitor.”

What Curry wants and what is best for the team can two different things. Curry is the focal point of the Golden State offense and a lot of teams with elite coaches take their best offensive guy and don’t give him the toughest defensive job as well, to let the guy rest. Plus, Klay Thompson is just flat out a better defender, so put him on CP3 (or whoever) and let Curry work off the ball. You can give Curry some spot duty on Paul, but you need to keep Curry fresh for the end where he has to be elite.

And again, Curry was one of Jackson’s biggest and most vocal supporters.

Scalabrine’s point through all of this was Jackson treated this too much like a veteran team that already knew how to win and didn’t lean on guys as hard as he needed to. Scalabrine compared him to Doc Rivers (Scalabrine the player won a ring in Boston with him) and the hard-driving Tom Thibodeau. Good role models in some way, but you can lift guys up as a coach with different styles and personalities.

The real question now in Golden State: Can Steve Kerr do better? Another untested coach straight out of the broadcast booth, he has got to get more out of the talent on hand (because apparently this team doesn’t need Kevin Love). If he doesn’t this falls less on Kerr and more on the owners.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Scal a rat AND a snake.

    • duhwighthoward - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:53 PM


      • mogogo1 - Aug 8, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        They won over 50 games and lost in 7 games in the playoffs to a team that had a better regular season record than they did. That’s a very successful season. This is roughly the equivalent of getting laid off by Apple and then complaining their sales would have been a tiny bit better if they’d taken your advice and introduced a two-toned iPod instead of just going with the solid colors.

    • urodaddy07 - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:08 PM

      I thought he was going to give solid examples as to how Jackson was less than an adequate coach but all I’m seeing is generalities and differences of opinion regarding style. I figure Jacskon did something wrong, I just haven’t heard what specifically, that warranted him being fired

      • spursareold - Aug 9, 2014 at 4:10 PM

        He didn’t get along with the front office or ownership, his bosses. That’ll get you fired anywhere, anytime.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Aug 11, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      The Warriors took a VERY good Clipper team to a game 7 on the road that could have gone either way. If anything they shouldn’t have been a 6 seed, then they wouldn’t face the Clips in the first round. In other word they didn’t exactly overachieve in the regular season.

      People forget they didn’t have Bogut for the whole series and I really think they would have won if they had their (starting) center.

  2. sportsfan18 - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    Well Brian… I supported you the last time you came out and said something as you’ve learned from Doc Rivers, Thibs and have played in the league. So your words and thoughts were based on other good coaches and from experience in the league.

    But, you’ve said that. When you keep doing it, the tide is going to turn against you, even if you’re correct.

    Ever hear of quitting while you’re ahead?

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:27 PM

      Remember all those huge baskets by Scalabrine? I don’t, either.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        well jimee, he played in the league and you and I didn’t.

        he learned from Doc Rivers and Thibs so he has some basis from which to make a comparison

        no, he wasn’t a star but he isn’t some irrelevant internet poster like we are either.

        also, he’s not on the outside making comments either as he worked for Mark Jackson.

        others making comments weren’t THERE and he was.

        I’m simply saying the man is entitled to state his OPINION. his OPINION carries a lot more weight than ours.

      • tved12 - Aug 8, 2014 at 3:33 PM


        Popovich never played in the league, what’s your point?

      • Kevin S. - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Game 5, 2004 Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Nets-Pistons triple-OT game. Scalabrine came up money that game, even if he was a bench warmer most of his career.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:57 PM

        my point isn’t that hard to figure out

        my point is that Scal worked for Mark Jackson. NONE of us did.

        Scal also worked/played under OTHER NBA coaches so he has first hand experience to compare what Mark was like as an NBA coach… you know, from FIRST hand experience. NONE of us did.

        Also, I said he has the right to his opinion. We ALL have a right to our opinion.

        Oh, I said that he needs to be quiet about this too in my first post as even if’s he right, he’s gone to the well one too many times.

        Pop couldn’t talk about what it was like to play for an NBA coach when he was in his 20’s because he hadn’t. TODAY, decades later and with his experience in the league, he could.

        It’s NOT an apples to apples comparison.

        you, me other posters CAN’T say what Mark was like as we weren’t in the locker room, in the coaches meetings with him etc…

        Scal can say that, his opinion anyway and it’s not like he has nothing to compare it to as he’s been around Doc Rivers and Thibs too.

        so easy to understand that one who has experience working under one coach can talk about his opinion of that coach especially with him having worked with/played for other coaches in the same profession.

        this isn’t difficult to comprehend folks.

        pop not having played in the league has NOTHING to do with Scal being able to state his opinion of jackson

  3. pillsbury13 - Aug 8, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    “Like it’s OK to be average. It’s OK to be .500.” I guess this guy doesn’t realize the Warriors were 20 games OVER .500 this past season for the first time in TWENTY-THREE years.

    • dablakdrphil - Aug 8, 2014 at 5:57 PM

      He must’ve quit watching the Warriors play because he would’ve realize the Warriors won 51 games in a deep western conference that could’ve gotten them a 3rd seed in the East

      • bdachan12 - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:23 PM

        Maybe you missed the part where GS had 3 previous all-stars and a previous 3rd team all-nba center in Bogut all on the right side of 30 during the season. The 5th starter being Klay Thompson who Warriors and some of their fans believes walks on water. You telling me that team shouldn’t win 51 games?

      • dablakdrphil - Aug 12, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        Just because you have 3 all stars doesn’t guarantee you winnng. My Lakers had an all star starting line up of Gasol, Howard, Bryant and Nash and well you know how that went. My point is it doesn’t matter what Scalabrine is sayng the players on the Warrirors played HARD for M. Jackson and he guided them to a 50+ win season and M. Jackson was the big reason how that team turned it’s fortunes around so may be just may be you’re the one missing some parts. Also bogut missed the majority of the 2nd half of the season and they still were winning without him

  4. biggredbird76 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:16 PM


  5. zoomy123 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    What is Scalabrine talking about? Jackson got this team to overachieve by leaps and bounds. Taking it to San Antonio last year in the playoffs. Getting them to become a top 4 defensive team. Souping up Klay’s head and making him believe in defense to the point where he sometimes gave CP3 trouble. Battling the Clippers to a game 7 even without Bogut. Plus, GSW was 20 games over .500 for the first time since…forever? Jackson made that team a brotherhood, he made them believe. They all respected and loved him. The worse thing you can possibly say about Jackson is that GSW’s offense was vanilla. If that’s the best you got then…you’re probably just a hater.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Religious people aren’t haters…whadya mean “yes they are”?

      • zoomy123 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:28 PM


    • bdachan12 - Aug 8, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      GS had 3 current or previous all-stars and a previous 3rd team all-nba center in Bogut all on the right side of 30 during the season. The 5th starter being Klay Thompson who Warriors and some of their fans believes walks on water. So how the hell you going to tell me they overachieved by winning 51 games. 51 should have been the floor for a half competent coach. Look at Phx’s roster and they only won 3 game less last season.

      • zoomy123 - Aug 8, 2014 at 10:04 PM

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. Why is it that if a coach does something great with a team with good players, they don’t get credit? Explain how that works. Explain how Jackson gets no credit for GSW’s 4th ranked defense. Let me guess, you predicted GSW would have a top 4 defense before the season started? lol Explain how Jackson gets no credit for beating Denver as a lower seed and taking it to San Antonio with no David Lee. Or taking it to LA with no Bogut. Or gets no credit for developing Klay into a competent defender. Or still getting 20 wins over .500 while missing Iggy for 19 games. Let me guess, you could have been the coach and got the same results? Don’t worry, I believe you.

  6. jimeejohnson - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Brian: God’s gonna get you for this: Mark Jackson’s got religion.

  7. dare9498 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    So I guess I shouldn’t count on a Scalabrine/Jackson combo broadcasting any NBA games anytime soon?

  8. jcrileyesq - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    jackson vs scalabrine

    better player- jackson
    better coach- jackson
    better commentator- jackson
    better towel waver and hi fiver- scalabrine

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 8, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Nice breakdown. I just tweeted it to Brian Scalabrine.

    • gmpunk75 - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      which ones got a ring?

  9. themars211 - Aug 8, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    The rat should go away. We get it your mad and you have a platform to gripe on.

  10. themars211 - Aug 8, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Scalabrine in all his infinite wisdom believes there is only one way to coach….lmao

  11. 5xchamp24 - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Why is he talking all this crap now? Did he question Jackson’s coaching before he got demoted? Why is anybody giving this guy the time of day anyway?

  12. rodyaugu - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    What’s Scal opinions on Israel and Hamas?

  13. rodyaugu - Aug 8, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Scal is the type of dude that reminded the teacher when the teacher forgot a due date.

  14. 24thesho - Aug 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM


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