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I'm really trying to give Mark Jackson a chance as Golden State Warriors head coach. I really am. Despite all the cliches, all the nonsense he spouts as a TV analyst, despite the total lack of managerial experience, I want to see what Jackson can do before I pass judgment on him.
"‘I want Monta Ellis on this basketball team,’ Jackson told reporters at his introductory news conference. ‘This guy is a big-time player. And I think he’s the third best shooting guard in the league. You have Kobe, obviously, and Dwyane Wade. I will match [Ellis] up against anybody else on a given night and feel extremely comfortable about it.’
No doubt Wade and Kobe lead the pecking order, and should do so for at least a few more years. But I must be missing something. Did Manu Ginobili stop playing basketball after the Grizzlies upset? Do people forget the pure producer Ray Allen can be from behind the arc? And people can make fun of Joe Johnson all they want, but his team went two rounds deeper in the playoffs than Ellis's did.
There's no denying Ellis's excellent offensive talents. But saying he's the third best guard in this league when his defense is at best mediocre? That's something an analyst would do--when it's the coach doing it, it places too much burden and creates unfair expectations for him to live up to. Just coach him and leave the arbitrary rankings to everyone else, like us.
Where do you think Monta Ellis ranks among the current shooting guards in the NBA? Who's the best shooting guard in the league right now? Let us know in the comments!
For more discussion of the Warriors, head to Golden State of Mind.
Mark Jackson was introduced as the 24th head coach of the Golden State Warriors on Friday and took a variety of questions in his introductory press conference. It should be no surprise that one of the early questions was about working with Monta Ellis. The NBA trade rumor mill is flying fast and furious when it comes to Monta Ellis with numerous parties expecting him to be dealt at some point in the near future. Given Jackson's past as a guard, his comments on Ellis would seem to be fairly insightful.
He really wasn't asked directly about trade rumors with Monta but rather simply addressed coaching him. You can listen to his answer below. He referred to Ellis as a great scorer and an improved and underrated passer who can operate as a facilitator. While he thought there were unnamed areas in which he could improve, he said he was excited to have him on his team. I'd have loved to see a camera on Jerry West's face at that point to see if he would crack a smile or somehow give up what he was thinking. We were not so fortunate, but given all the talk in recent days, I think many people would be surprised to see Ellis in the East Bay in the fall.
Mark Jackson was formally introduced Friday afternoon as the 24th head coach coach in Golden State Warriors history in a San Francisco-based press conference. Jackson also used the press conference to introduce Mike Malone as the lead assistant on his coaching staff.
Joe Lacob opened the press conference with a quick explanation of the hiring process. Lacob indicated the hiring committee, which included the owners, Larry Riley, and Jerry West, among others, interviewed upwards of a dozen candidates. Jackson was apparently the first candidate interviewed and Lacob came away impressed with how the interview went. He repeatedly referred to him as the most experienced candidate they interviewed, even though Jackson has no coaching experience.
When Jackson spoke after Lacob, he addressed the experience issue. He spoke of how his work as a point guard led to his becoming an extension of the head coach out on the floor. Additionally, in his attempts to form a coaching staff, he indicated he would be looking to hire guys who are prepared to be head coaches. It could be viewed as a Lincoln-esque "Team of Rivals", which would seem necessary for a coach with no traditional coaching experience.
Jackson spoke about his previous coaches and how he learned different things from each coach and he would use all of that to develop as a coach himself. The most interesting point to come out of this was that he viewed Rick Pitino as the best coach he ever played for throughout his college and professional career. The reason for that accolade was the fact that Pitino instilled in Jackson the confidence that he was a great player who could run through walls. Considering Jackson has played for some Hall-of-Fame coaches, that's high praise.
We'll have more on the Mark Jackson introductory press conference, but in the meantime, here is his opening statement.
Following the Golden State Warriors June 6 decision to hire Mark Jackson as their head coach, the team will formally introduce Jackson at a Friday afternoon press conference at 1:30pm pacific time. The press conference will be broadcast live on CSN Bay Area (channel 40/720 on Comcast in the Bay Area) and can be viewed via live online stream at CSNBayArea.com and down below in this embedded video.
Given Mark Jackson's lack of coaching experience, it will be interesting to see what he has to say to the doubters. He's a very confident individual so I have to imagine he'll address the experience issue. The question is will he raise it in his own introductory comments or will he wait for the inevitable question on it from the press? Whatever happens we'll make sure and provide some analysis of what he has to say in what is a big day for the Warriors. Whether it's a step forward remains to be seen but it's certainly a hire that creates buzz.
If you miss the press conference, check back in our Mark Jackson story stream for quotes and analysis from his press conference. Additionally, Jackson will be appearing on CSN Bay Area's Chronicle Live at 5:00pm so make sure and check that out.
New Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is really hammering home the new message for his basketball squad: Defense will rule the day. It'll be a big turnaround for a team renowned for its offensive prowess, but Jackson seems committed to this approach.
"If you're going to win at this level, you've got to do it on the denfesive end so we will be a team that takes tremendous pride in defending on one side of the basketball floor. We will rebound the basketball. We'll make it an exciting game. It's going to be a great brand of basketball."
These are bold words. The Warriors were the worst rebounding team in the NBA last season and one of the five worst defensively efficient squads. David Lee and Andris Biedrins didn't even hit double figures in rebounding. Not one Warrior managed two win shares or more. You'd figure a big change in personnel will be needed to get Golden State to where they need to be, because the team in place just won't be enough to lock anyone down. Biedrins is undersized for a center and Lee might be one of the worst post defenders in NBA history. This is not the frontcourt that will produce an NBA top-caliber defense.
Do you think the Warriors can become a better defensive squad next season with the team in place? Or do they need to make moves? Let us know in the comments! Don't forget to follow Golden State of Mind for more updates.
Mark Jackson might be announcing the NBA Playoffs right now, but he's fairly convinced next season he'll be coaching the Golden State Warriors right into April and May. While early interviews after getting the job tend to stray toward the optimistic side, Jackson might have taken it a little too far when he expects the Warriors to be in the playoffs next season. In an early interview with NBA TV, Jackson believed he wouldn't have taken the job if he didn't think Golden State would be competing for one of the top eight seeds in the West next season.
It certainly doesn't look promising right now. Golden State finished 36-46, 10 games out of the final playoff spot in the always deep Western Conference. The Warriors don't really have that much potential upside with their current roster, particularly with no depth and size in their frontcourt. You have to figure roster changes are on the way, and Jerry West and Larry Riley will do their best to facilitate the movement to a better Warriors squad in 2011-12.
What do you think of the Jackson "Playoffs" sentiments? Is it bold bravado, idle talk, or sheer lunacy? Let us know in the comments!
For more reaction, head over to Golden State of Mind.
One of the people vying for the vacant coaching spot in the Bay Area is joining Mark Jackson on the bench as his assistant. Mike Malone will be heading with Jackson to the Golden State Warriors, and he'll likely add to the type of profile the team ownership and management wants to take over the next few years.
Malone was one of Mike Brown's assistants in Cleveland and helped craft the team's defensive philosophy. Cleveland was constantly one of the best defensive teams in the NBA (although LeBron James had a lot to do with that), and Malone deserves some credit for that. After Brown was not retained, he then went to the New Orleans Hornets and was the head lieutenant of Monty Williams, where the Hornets finished tenth in defensive efficiency according to HoopData (although again, having Chris Paul and David West helps a lot in that regard).
Now in Golden State he'll be asked to mold a similar defensive product. Unfortunately, Malone will need a lot of personnel upgrading for that type of rebranding to occur. No one on this Golden State team can be considered a defensive-minded player, and the Warriors were near the bottom in defensive efficiency last season under Keith Smart (who promised similar defensive upgrades). It'll be hard to say whether Malone can provide that boost unless some guys get moved. Like almost everyone.
For more reaction to the Malone hire, head over to Golden State of Mind to see how Warriors fans feel. What do you think of assistant coach Malone? Let us know in the comments!
Can he play point guard?
That was the question on everyone's mind regarding Stephen Curry's NBA potential in 2009. At Davidson, Curry was a volume shooter, who carried the Wildcats scoring-load on a nightly basis. However, his new head coach Mark Jackson had no doubt at the time that his skills would translate to the league.
From a 2009 ESPN article:
I believe he has an awfully bright future as a point guard in the league because he makes quality decisions and has the ability to flourish in either a movement-based system or a point-guard-dominant system where he would use the pick-and-roll more. That's because of his quickness and amazing ability to shoot.
Jackson made those comments before calling Davidson's game versus Duke in January 2009. The new Warriors head coach was bold enough to declare Curry an NBA "starting point guard right now" following the ESPN broadcast.
Jackson and Curry are no strangers to each other. Jackson knew Curry while playing with his father Dell in Toronto during the 2000-01 NBA season.
Lots of basketball fans, particularly Golden State Warriors fans, are fairly lukewarm on the idea of Jackson coaching a basketball team. He hasn't been very impressive as a television analyst and he'd have to make the jump from being an ex-player to an NBA head coach.
However, we shouldn't dismiss Jackson just like that. As Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated points out, there have been some pretty recent successes concerning former jocks donning the suits and (in the words of Jackson), "just get it done." Here's a brief list.
Jackson has been nomadic through his career, so it wouldn't be surprising if he ends up wandering the basketball landscape. But there are many paths he could take as Warriors head coach.
And yes, there's certainly a list of NBA "player to head coach" failures out there. Just don't judge the man because he hasn't done anything right in the past few years.
Thanks to the power of the Internet, reaction to breaking news comes fast and furious. No longer do fans react after reading the newspaper a day later. Within a few minutes of the announcement that the Golden State Warriors were going to hire Mark Jackson as their new head coach, reaction from the fans at Golden State Of Mind was decidedly mixed. An hour and a half after the news broke, a poll of fan reaction brings sizable votes for everything from expectations of a new championship era to expectations of doom and gloom. Throw in fans that are just happy he’s off television and you’ve got a little bit of everything.
It’s not all that surprising to see such mixed reactions. As previously discussed in this stream, Mark Jackson is a coaching novice with zero years of head coaching experience. He has been mentioned in coaching circles in the past but this is still a significant roll of the dice by the Warriors front office.
Although Jackson has significant playing experience, it remains to be seen how that will translate. The naysayers are likely viewing his lack of experience as incredibly awful, while the more optimistic crowd thinks this will be the second coming of Doc Rivers. Whatever the result, it should be an interesting ride for Ws fans. Jackson’s number has been called, so now we get to find out if he’s ready.
Since we have no background on how good Mark Jackson will be as a head coach, we can only look back at his playing career and try and come up with some conclusions. Unfortunately, what we come up with is still fairly inconclusive.
New York Knicks (1987-92)
Jackson made his mark early, dishing anywhere from six to eleven assists a game in his first five seasons. He was happy to give Patrick Ewing, Gerald Wilkins, Johnny Newman and Charles Oakley the rock and let them produce. He proved to be a solid shooter and finisher at the rim, and decent enough at running the break (although he was fairly slow, forcing him to gamble a lot on defense).
After getting eliminated by the Chicago Bulls in seven games, Pat Riley sent Jackson into virtual exile.
Los Angeles Clippers (1992-94)
Jackson actually had to shoulder a greater scoring load on a crappier team, and his productivity didn't drop off too much. But of course, it's the Clippers. Next stop!
Indiana Pacers (1994-96)
A point guard is never going to look glamorous playing for the notoriously slow-paced Larry Brown, and that's about what happened with Jackson's numbers in Indiana--lower point totals, lower assist totals, lower shooting numbers (although the shooting did get better his second season with the Pacers). Jackson would help out Reggie Miller to finally conquer the Knicks, although they were eliminated by the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Denver Nuggets (1996-97)
Traded for Jalen Rose.
Indiana Pacers (1997-2000)
Traded back for chump change (Vincent Askew, Eddie Johnson, second round picks). And you wonder why Donnie Walsh was forced to resign from the Knicks (no seriously, I'm still wondering why too).
Although Jackson was fine enough as a starting point guard, his shooting numbers declined and he was now glacially slow on both sides of the floor. His three best shots at a title came during this stretch, but they were foiled by the Last Dance Chicago Bulls (particularly Scottie Pippen's hounding ball pressure), the Larry Johnson four point play, and the Big Diesel.
Raptors, then Knicks (2000-02)
Totally forgettable stints. Jackson fed Vince Carter pretty well, but he was traded to the Knicks mid-season...only to lose to the Raptors in the playoffs.
Utah Jazz (2002-03)
Not Jackson's finest hour. He averaged 4.7 points per game and 4.6 assists per game as John Stockton's backup, but it was also long-rumored he tried to push out Stockton entirely (worse of all, Stockton did end up retiring after that season, and you'd have to feel Jackson had something to do with it). You can check out the feature over at Sports Illustrated.
Houston Rockets (2003-04)
NBA on ESPN (2007-present)
Punching bag for Van Gundy's bizarre sense of humor in one of the strangest three man booths in NBA history.
Despite a solid record of productivity in every stint, it has to be worrisome that Jackson ended up getting traded six times and played with seven teams. If he's that solid a leader on the court, why are teams so eager to dispense with his talents?
What does Mark Jackson's playing career tell you about his potential as a head coach? Let us know in the comments!
Well, the Lacob/Guber era has gotten off to a bold and daring transition. With Keith Smart now gone, the Golden State Warriors seemed to desire a coach who would provide a new defensive energy to a team that's lacked it over the years. ESPN analyst Mark Jackson ended up being the hire. Click here to check our original update on the coaching hire by Jonathan Santiago.
Jackson is a relative coaching novice. The number of years he's coached in the NBA is no higher than the number zero, which should give plenty of Warriors fans pause at this new news. Of course, coaching experience is hardly a prerequisite to success in the league. The obvious parallel is current Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, who turned out to be a fine head coach for the Orlando Magic (he was named Coach of the Year in his second season), and went from the broadcast booth (like Jackson) to the Celtics, and eventually won an NBA championship there.
Jackson has hardly impressed NBA geeks with his analysis on ESPN and ABC, instead reverting to dumbed-down cliches and poor man's analysis to try and appeal to the common basketball fan. Jackson has proven he can be a smart guy. That shouldn't disqualify him from being a solid NBA coach.
The fact is, the slate is blank with Jackson. He could succeed, he could fail, or he could end up like every other Warrior coach of the past two decades--a bland batch of "meh". A lot more will depend on the personnel decisions the Warriors make, and the assistant coaching staff the Warriors plan to surround Jackson with.
What do you think of the hire Warriors fans?
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