Bob Myers

Golden State Warriors: Offseason To-Do List

July 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers addresses the media in a press conference after a sign-and-trade deal for Andre Iguodala (not pictured) at the Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

July 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers addresses the media in a press conference after a sign-and-trade deal for Andre Iguodala (not pictured) at the Warriors Practice Facility. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have a lot of prove entering this upcoming season. They need to prove that they can seriously contend for an NBA title, which is easier said than done. Joe Lacob and Bob Myers have some major decisions to make this offseason in order to give this team a chance at contending.

Read the full story at Golden Gate Sports.

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Golden State Warriors: Why Firing Mark Jackson Was the Wrong Move

Apr 21, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson looks on during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers in game two during the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Golden State Warriors have officially fired Mark Jackson. Some of the criticism about his coaching was justified, and Jackson wasn’t a perfect coach. However, firing him was the wrong decision for this team.

Perhaps the most important reason why firing Jackson was not a smart move was that he received unwavering support from the players. The Warriors’ players have the utmost respect for him, they listened to him, they trusted him fully, and they believed that he would guide them to play their best. Often, motivating a team and getting them to buy into a system and a coach’s methods can be the hardest part of coaching, and this was one of Jackson’s strengths.

Coach Jackson brought out the best in his players, partially because he was very open and honest with them. Jackson’s influence could also be seen in how relaxed the team was in Game 7, how confident they were throughout the season and in the playoffs, and how the players didn’t fear the big moment.

In fact, based on his fine work with the Warriors last season and his impact on the team’s chemistry, both Andre Iguodala and Jermaine O’Neal wanted to sign with the Warriors last offseason. The Warriors could’ve potentially persuaded big-name free agents to sign with them this summer because of Coach Jackson’s reputation around the league and his player-friendly coaching style.

All the players were vocal about their support for Coach Jackson, especially Stephen Curry. He badly wanted Jackson to remain the head coach, and Curry spoke about his love for Coach Jackson to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle after Game 7.

“What Coach has gone through this year has been unlike anything I’ve seen – just the amount of distractions, the circus that has been around him and the decisions he has had to make,” Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said. “I love Coach more than anybody. For him to be in a position where his job is under scrutiny and under questions is totally unfair.

“It would definitely be a shock to me if anything like (a firing) would happen. I’m definitely going to voice my support for Coach to anybody that asks me all summer.

“He deserves to be our coach next year, and we’re going to come back and build off of the momentum we’ve gained over the past three years and continue to grow as a team. I want Coach Jackson to be that guy leading us.”

The Warriors should’ve listened to Curry, because he’s the face of the franchise and a fan favorite. Curry is the ultimate professional and will adjust to a new head coach, but it’s not smart for the Warriors to start to ignore their superstar. It’s unlikely Curry will get so upset that he’ll want to leave the team, but the Warriors definitely need to involve him in the process of hiring a new head coach.

Whoever they hire to be the new head coach will be Curry’s fourth head coach in just six seasons. Curry will play hard for anyone and could succeed in many systems, but it seems slightly unfair to make him adjust to yet another new coach and new system.

Apr 24, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob reacts after a call against the Los Angeles Clippers during the fourth quarter of game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Golden State Warriors 98-96. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to upsetting the players by firing Jackson, the Warriors could potentially hurt themselves in terms of on-the-court production. Jackson certainly could’ve improved on his rotations, play-calling, and decision-making. However, if they don’t find the right replacement, some players might struggle adjusting to a new system or having to play a new system in general.

Joe Lacob has a “win now” mindset, and he wants immediate success, which Jackson apparently didn’t bring. He needs to understand that in the NBA, success is long-term not short-term. Look at Oklahoma City. It takes time to develop a core of players and a coach’s system. Jackson had to improve on some aspects of his coaching, but he wasn’t given the opportunity to build on the success he developed.

It seems as if Jackson’s “strained” relationship with management was one of the main reasons why he was fired, which is just unfair. Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group agreed with this statement in a recent article that he wrote before Jackson was fired.

“Logic says work to fix his weaknesses instead of starting over. It would be a shame if the playoff streak has to end because of office politics.”

Thompson also made a good point in that same article when he said:

“But just as Jackson is responsible for his locker room, management is responsible for the team.”

Lacob and Myers will need to make some changes to the roster in the offseason, so it’s also their duty to make this team better and put them in a better situation to succeed.

For such a risky move, in terms of disappointing players and fans, the Warriors better back up firing Jackson by hiring a fantastic new head coach. Joe Lacob and Bob Myers are incredibly smart people, so they’ll do their best to find the best possible coach out there for this team. They have to hope though that the risks involved with this decision pay off and that ultimately the benefits will outweigh the costs.

Not all personnel moves are going to be liked by everyone in the organization and all of the fans, and that’s fine. Lacob and Myers’ jobs aren’t necessarily about making everyone happy, but they have to make sure they hire not just a good coach but a great coach that they know will fluorish. If not, this situation could get really ugly, really fast.

Firing Mark Jackson won’t completely shatter the organization. The Warriors still have an immense amount of talent, and they can potentially contend for a title next season. It all comes down to if Lacob and Myers hire the right coach though, and if that head coach can lead the Warriors to more wins next season than this season.

One last thought, thanks to Mark Jackson for bringing the Warriors out of irrelevance and making them a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. He instilled an effective defensive system, and he brought a winning mentality to the Warriors. He truly changed the culture, and he should be greatly commended for that.

Golden State Warriors: Is Mark Jackson In Trouble?

March 12, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson watches game action against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

In the past couple weeks, much of the discussion about the Golden State Warriors has been about Mark Jackson. Many Warriors fans want Jackson to be fired, because they believe the Warriors haven’t lived up to expectations. They have classified the 2013-14 season as disappointing, despite the Warriors’ 46-29 record.

Does this mean Jackson’s future with the Warriors is in trouble? Not exactly…

On the court, his allocation of minutes, his play-calling, his rotations, and his decision-making have all been criticized this season, some of it warranted and some of it not.

Off the court though, Coach Jackson is one of the best motivators in the NBA, and often, motivating players can be the hardest task of all for a coach.

Coach Jackson isn’t a Gregg Popovich type of coach. Popovich is a master of both play-calling and motivating his players. However, Coach Jackson is still learning and developing as a coach. This is his third year of coaching in the NBA, and even though he could improve in certain areas, he’s not by any means a bad coach.

Tim Kawakami brings up a good point that Coach Jackson could use another top assistant coach, besides Pete Myers. Last season, Michael Malone, now the head coach of the Sacramento Kings, was Jackson’s top assistant, and many fans have discussed how much his absence this season has affected Jackson.

Despite the rumors that Jackson and Malone would go for weeks at a time without speaking to each other, Malone was known as the X’s and O’s coach for the Warriors. He drew up the plays in timeouts and in close-game situations, and many people believe that’s a skill that Jackson lacks.

Malone was also the “defensive coordinator” of the Warriors. However, in Malone’s absence, the Warriors rank fourth in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage at 43.6 this season after ranking fourth last year too. The Warriors haven’t seen a decline in their defense since Malone left, so Jackson has to be given credit for that.

In addition to the drama associated with the Malone situation, Jackson had trouble with another assistant coach, Brian Scalabrine, this season. About a week or so ago, it was reported that Jackson forced a reassignment of Scalabrine to the Warriors’ D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors. This isn’t huge news because Scalabrine was the fourth assistant coach, but it does further the drama about Jackson’s “strained” relationship with the front office.

Jackson has one year left on his contract, and there hasn’t seemed to be any talks between Jackson and management about a contract extension.

In fact, there have been other rumors that Jackson might leave the Warriors after this season to coach the New York Knicks. Of course, this is all speculative at this point.

Also fueling the rumors of tension between Jackson and the front office, Joe Lacob hasn’t spoken out in support of Jackson since the Scalabrine reassignment.

However, Bob Myers showed support for Jackson yesterday in an interview with KNBR. Here are some quotes from the interview:

 

 

 

Along with Myers, many of the Warriors players have openly supported Jackson. Stephen Curry has been the most vocal about it. He said he loves playing for Jackson and he supports him 100 percent.

The Warriors’ other captain, David Lee, has also supported Jackson. Sam Amick of USA Today Sports spoke to Lee about this:

“We have one of the best locker rooms, in my opinion, in the whole league,” said Lee, the ninth-year pro who played his first five seasons with the Knicks. “I’ve been on teams that had awful chemistry and the coaching staff is constantly arguing with players and vice versa, and there has been none of that here. The word ‘dysfunction’ (which has been used in the media to describe the Warriors) is one that we’ve been laughing about, almost making a joke out of it, like are you serious?

“We trust Coach Jackson. We trust each other as teammates. There’s not a whole lot else you can worry about. Our chemistry is great. I think that we have a chance to do special things this year, so I’m just not going to let this bother me. We believe in Coach.”

Jermaine O’Neal has also been vocal about the situation, and he told Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Gourp that he might even consider coming back for a 19th year in the NBA just so he can play for Coach Jackson again.

“It’s a couple reasons why I will come back,” O’Neal said Saturday. “This fan base, this organization is first class, and obviously my teammates are great, as well.

“But the No. 1 reason that I will come back and play another year is because of Coach Jackson. I’m absolutely, 100 percent positive about that. He makes it easy to come in this gym every day, and there’s not a lot of coaches that do that.”

O’Neal also said that all the criticism of Jackson and the discussion about firing him is “ridiculous.”

Fans set high, yet somewhat unfair expectations for the Warriors this season. The Warriors are currently 17 games above .500, which is nothing to complain about.

Fans expected the Warriors to contend for a championship this season, but they seem to forget that it takes a few years for young teams, like the Oklahoma City Thunder for example, to grow and develop into title contenders. These unfair expectations have unfortunately fallen on the shoulders of Jackson.

Jackson isn’t the best coach in the NBA. However, for both the Warriors and Jackson, becoming an elite team or an elite coach is a long process. Jackson can improve on some of his rotations and play-calling, but he is a significant reason why the Warriors have the impressive record that they have.

Jackson has been the perfect coach to get the Warriors out of the dirty doldrums of dysfunction, but is he the right coach to get the Warriors a championship? Only time will tell. As of now, Jackson shouldn’t be fired, especially since the Warriors’ best player, and face of the franchise, is a diehard supporter.

Golden State Warriors: Should They Re-Sign Jarrett Jack or Carl Landry?

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

Apr 20, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Jarrett Jack (2) warms up before game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have some big decisions to make this offseason. They will have to assess if they can keep both of their key free agents, Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, and, if they can’t afford to keep both, they need to decide which player of the two they should sign. Jack and Landry have both expressed that they want to come back to the Warriors. They will each have to discuss all possible situations though with their families and agents.

Jack averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists in 79 games this season, and he also finished third in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award voting. Jack made a little more than $5 million this season, but his level of play might have increased his value in free agency. He will certainly be a highly sought-after free agent, but he has expressed that he’d love to come back to the Warriors. However, Jack might be searching for a long-term deal, which the Warriors might not want to or be able to offer him.

Jack has been quite the journeyman around the league in his career so far. In his eight NBA seasons, he has played for five different teams. Curry has said that his biggest selling point to Jack to re-sign has been that Jack has found a home with the Warriors, and he could settle in here where he already knows what his role will be.

“As soon as I walked in the locker room, I looked down at my jersey and there just is a sense of pride that I have wearing it that I haven’t had as a professional,” Jack said. “Most of the time in college you go somewhere because you love it and there’s a connection there that’s deeper than basketball.

“I guess in the NBA since it’s such a business you usually don’t get that unless you’re one of those guys, one of the lucky few, that get to stay with one franchise for a long period of time.”

Landry averaged 10.8 points and six rebounds in 81 games this season, and he finished as the Warriors’ fifth-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder. Landry made $4 million this season, and he has a player option for next season for $4 million. It’s not clear if Landry will take that player option though, because it depends on what other offers he receives from other teams. Landry, like Jack, said he’d like to come back to the Warriors, but he also wants to keep his options open as he might also be offered a longer-term deal.

“Right now, I’m just going to try and clear my head and not worry about what’s ahead of me,” Landry said.“Sit down with the coaches and my mom, my family and my agent and see what’s the best for me in the future.”

Feb 22, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry (7) questions the call against the San Antonio Spurs during the third quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeats the San Antonio Spurs 107-101 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors general manager Bob Myers has said that he is willing to go into the luxury tax in order to acquire the right players. Last offseason, Myers and the rest of the Warriors’ front office wanted to acquire Landry and re-sign Brandon Rush, and, in order to do that, the team would have to go into the luxury tax without knowing if they’d be able to get out of it.

According to Myers, the ownership group, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, told them to spend whatever they needed to if they thought Landry and Rush were important to the team. Myers will continue this philosophy when entering into discussions with Jack and Landry.

“That’s a blessing to be able to work in an organization like that where it’s not budget, it’s not cost, it’s not dollars, it’s winning,” Myers said.

Several players on the Warriors have also shown that they want both Landry and Jack to re-sign.

“I want them back,” Stephen Curry said. “They’re great teammates. They’ve added a lot to us as a team and what we’re trying to do.”

Andrew Bogut has expressed the same desire. However, he realizes that it might be a difficult task to bring back both.

“In an ideal world, it’s very important (to bring them back), but being a realist we probably can’t keep both of them,” Bogut said. “I don’t think we’ll have cap room to keep both, even though we’d like to. They’re going to both demand some pretty good money.”

So if the Warriors decide they aren’t fiscally able to re-sign both Jack and Landry, who should they aim to re-sign? Who will be more valuable to the Warriors next season? Both players were important to the Warriors and their playoff run, so which one would be easier to replace in free agency then?

Some point guards who are going to be free agents and would most likely be in the Warriors’ desired price range are Will Bynum, D.J. Augustin, Earl Watson, Jerryd Bayless (who has a player option with the Grizzlies for next season though), Jamaal Tinsley, Sebastian Telfair, etc. None of these players would adequately fill the role that Jack had, and wouldn’t make up for his scoring, passing and leadership.

Some power forwards who are going to be free agents and would most likely be in the Warriors’ desired price range are Elton Brand, Andray Blatche, Jason Maxiell, Antawn Jamison, DeJuan Blair, Jermaine O’Neal, J.J. Hickson, etc.

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Jarrett Jack (2) passes out the ball between San Antonio Spurs point guard Gary Neal (14) and center Boris Diaw (33) during the first quarter of game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Obviously, it’s not guaranteed that the Warriors could persuade any of these players to win, but their playoff run could certainly help attract some of them. This group of power forward free agents seems stronger than the group of available point guards. Because of this, if the Warriors could only afford to re-sign either Jack or Landry, it seems as if the Warriors should aim to re-sign Jack. Of course, the Warriors have the option of acquiring a point guard or power forward via trade, but regardless of the potential trades, Jack had a strong leadership role and presence on this team.

Although it would be ideal to bring Landry back too, it seems as if there are better options to replace Landry, which makes Jack more valuable to the Warriors next season.