Who better than the Doin Work crew to weigh in on the new hire?…..
MCeezy – It’s too bad that my first reaction to the Golden State Warriors’ announcement of Mark Jackson as their new head coach was, “THANK YOU, now we don’t have to hear that silly catch phrase during every ABC or ESPN NBA game!” It certainly wasn’t the worst announcer’s phrase there ever was, but I’ll be a much happier person without ever having to hear it again. Let’s just hope the good people in the Warriors front office don’t turn it into some marketing campaign. You can’t be too surprised by the hire, since Jackson’s name was openly floated around as a serious candidate for the job. I really thought, however, once the Lakers hired Mike Brown, it was pretty much opening the door for either Brian Shaw or Rick Adelman. The primary knock against Shaw was that he had no head coaching experience, and most believed that the Warriors were set on hiring a guy who had been a head coach before. That had me thinking an Adelman return to the Bay Area was imminent, but then it seems like Jerry West came in and advised the W’s front office that they needed “a young coach to grow with the team.” I’ve got to believe that when you go out and hire Jerry West, you’re going to have to take his advice on your first decision.
So, Jackson it is, and I must admit I’m feeling pretty neutral about it. I think I’ve always assumed an older coach is better, because he’s owed more respect. But I guess these days, even the younger guys are getting pretty old. Anyone who I watched play still seems 40 or younger to me. Although if you’re Stephen Curry, you were born during Mark Jackson’s rookie year, so I guess he seems pretty old. Having said that, I don’t see Jackson having any problems winning over the respect of the team. As a player, he went to the playoffs in all but two of his 17 seasons. He was a leader on every team he played for, even when he was far from the best player. Add to that, his knowledge of the game is pretty highly regarded from every person I’ve heard talk about it. When you compare him to guys like Lawrence Frank and Dwayne Casey, it’s easy to say that Jackson is the last guy I’d worry about players wanting to play for. I wonder if he can bring Jeff Van Gundy with him to be an assistant…..?
By – Although I wouldn’t have minded giving Keith Smart one more crack at turning our franchise around, I totally understand why the new ownership ultimately decided on a coaching change. Once Smart was shown the door, the Rick Adelman and Brian Shaw buzz started circulating. Most Warrior fans I spoke with would have been accepting of either, but upon further discussion and thought, I began to sell on the idea of Adelman returning to Nor Cal. I don’t believe he would fit in with the makeup of our team as it is. I definitely still welcomed Brian Shaw, whom I most notably remembered for being one half of the “Shaw-Shaq Redemption” duo back when “The Big AARP” was still in Orlando. I felt it couldn’t do us any harm to hire someone who got to saturate in Phil Jackson’s winning genius. I assumed the Lakers wouldn’t let him walk though. When Mike Brown arose as a potential Warrior head coach candidate, I nearly collapsed. Thank god the Lakers have given up on winning championships, and snagged him. At this point, I remember speaking to my friend about potential coaching candidates, and I threw out Mark Jackson’s name. I told him the one thing I wanted on our new coach’s resume, was he be a former NBA point guard. And one with little to no athleticism at that. Kevin McHale, Lawrence Frank, Dwayne Casey … all names that came and passed, thankfully. Then tonight, we finally got our man. The man whose name I threw out.
I’ll tell you why this will work. As I mentioned earlier, I truly believe the Warriors needed a former NBA point guard with little to no athleticism to be our coach. These are the type players who depend on court awareness and intelligence to succeed in this league. This is why Magic Johnson was a terrible coach. Not to say he was unintelligent, or had a lack of court awareness, but he relied a lot on athleticism to gain success. Imagine him trying to coach his point guard. “What do you mean you can’t run a full court break, split two defenders on the way, and drop an under-the-legs-behind-the-back pass to your trailer in stride for the dunk!? And why aren’t you 6’8”!?!?” The players who don’t rely on athleticism understand how to be successful through fundamentals, both offensively and defensively and are better suited to teaching it. It’s the key to their survival. Marc Jackson didn’t just survive, he thrived as an NBA point guard. The Mark Jackson’s of the world end up being an extension of their coaches on the court , so whether they knew it or not, they gained some form of coaching experience, just by playing. This is why I believe someone like Chauncey Billups will be roaming the sidelines in the future. Another thing about Jackson is, in my opinion, he’s the perfect age for the job, and Jerry West happens to agree with me. Being that the foundation of our team is built-in our back court, we needed a coach who was young enough to relate to our baby studs, Steph Curry and Monta Ellis, but old enough for them to still respect, and fear him … yet, young enough for them to still remember what a terrific player he once was, and remember the numerous playoff battles and rivalries he was a part of. I think Mark Jackson fits that description. Or at least he’s as close as it get. Ultimately we won’t know how capable he is of leading our team until we see him do it. But hey, at least we didn’t hire Mike Brown.
Chappy – To say I was surprised is an understatement. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention to the coaching search, but for some reason I thought they were going to take longer to pick one. Anyways, I think it’s a decent hire, and agree with everything that both of the guys above me said. I’m happy he won’t be announcing games anymore, and liked the way he played when he was in the league. I am not going to jump to any quick conclusions about a guy that has never had a shot at coaching a team. Off the top of my head when Mark Jackson announced games, he always talks about defense over and over. It’s a concept that our team has been allergic to for many years. We usually give up the most ppg in the league, but atleast we’re among the leaders in points scored as well. Small consolation prize that isn’t that fun after awhile. If Jackson can figure out a way to annoy them to the point that they start playing defense, we know it was a good hire. Random excitement update if this Igluodala-Ellis deal happens to go through. Jackson will really have a team that can defend. So judging Jackson, is going to be solely on the defensive end. If he can’t get them to play some D, then he wasn’t the right hire….