The Golden State Warriors have decided to part ways with head coach Mark Jackson, ending the franchise’s most successful coaching tenure in the past two decades but also one filled with drama and distractions.
The Warriors later announced the move in a press release:
“It’s never easy to make a decision of this nature,” said General Manager Bob Myers. “Mark has accomplished many good things during his three years with the organization, including his role in helping elevate this team into a better position than it was when he arrived nearly 36 months ago. We’re appreciative of his dedication and commitment since his arrival and are extremely grateful for his contributions. However, as an organization, we simply feel it’s best to move in a different direction at this time.”
“Mark Jackson has had a big impact on the improvement of our team and the success that we’ve had over the last couple of years,” said Owner & CEO Joe Lacob. “Nonetheless, we must make some difficult decisions in our day-to-day operations of the club and this would certainly qualify as one of those examples. We wish Mark the best of luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions over the last three years.”
Marcus Thompson of The Bay Area News Group reports Jackson isn’t the only staff member who has been let go by the team:
It wasn’t just Mark Jackson, by the way. The entire staff was fired. Even the video guy already got a pink slip
— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) May 6, 2014
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported Sunday that Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy would be at the top of Golden State’s search list if Jackson were fired.
Jackson’s three seasons with the Warriors will be remembered for the way he helped turn a perennially losing franchise into a consistent winner and the bold, bombastic way in which he did it.
He guaranteed Golden State would make the playoffs in his first season, but the Warriors finished 23-43 after the NBA labor lockout. They went 47-35 last season and had a memorable run to the second round of the playoffs, and they were 51-31 this season before losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.
The Warriors had not made the playoffs in consecutive years since the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons. They had made the playoffs once in 17 years before Jackson.