Mark Jackson

GSW: Is Stephen Curry MVP? Mark Jackson, Anthony Davis Wouldn’t Vote for Him

Mar 24, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during national anthem before a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 24, 2015; Portland, OR, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during national anthem before a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Curry is one of the leading candidates in the MVP race. Curry is averaging 23.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 2.1 steals per game on 48.3 percent shooting from the field, 43.4 percent shooting from three-point range, and 91.8 percent free throw shooting. In addition, Curry is the best player on the best team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors.

Click here to read the rest of the story at Golden Gate Sports.

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SF: Is Jim Harbaugh the Mark Jackson of the 49ers?

Aug 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh stands on the sideline during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 28, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh stands on the sideline during the second quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers recently. The 49ers have been criticized for a general lack of discipline this season, and the burden of this accusation most likely falls on the head coach. There have been questions as to whether or not Harbaugh has lost his locker room, in terms of discipline and respect.

Click here to read the rest of the story at Golden Gate Sports.

GSW: Brian Scalabrine Discusses Mark Jackson’s Coaching and Kevin Love

November 20, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine (left) instructs small forward Andre Iguodala (9) during the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Oracle Arena. The Grizzlies defeated the Warriors 88-81 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

November 20, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine (left) instructs small forward Andre Iguodala (9) during the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Oracle Arena. The Grizzlies defeated the Warriors 88-81 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Former Golden State Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine recently went on the The Doug Gottlieb Show and discussed Mark Jackson’s coaching, Stephen Curry’s defense, Harrison Barnes’ potential, and the Warriors’ involvement in trade rumors for Kevin Love.

Click here to read the rest of the story at Golden Gate Sports.

Golden State Warriors: The Start of a New Era, New Culture

Feb 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) and small forward Andre Iguodala (9) after scoring a three point basket against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 22, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with shooting guard Klay Thompson (11) and small forward Andre Iguodala (9) after scoring a three point basket against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Brooklyn Nets 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors have gone through some significant changes already this offseason. Right after their first round loss in the playoffs to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Warriors’ front office decided to fire Mark Jackson.

After his dismissal, passionate discussions ensued among Warriors fans about Mark Jackson’s coaching. Some fans thought that Jackson’s coaching and offensive philosophies weren’t right for the Warriors. Some fans thought that his personality wasn’t a good fit for the Warriors. Some fans thought he deserved to be fired because of his comments about homosexuality in the NBA.

Some fans thought that Jackson might have been fired because of his religious views. Some fans thought that since Jackson helped turn the Warriors franchise around, he deserved to remain as head coach. Some fans thought that it wasn’t smart to fire Jackson after the face of the franchise, Stephen Curry, was very vocal about his support for Jackson and his desire for Jackson to remain head coach.

Read the full story at Golden Gate Sports.

Andre Iguodala: “We Had a Really Good Coach in Mark Jackson”

Nov 6, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson talks to shooting guard Andre Iguodala (9) in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Warriors won 106-93. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 6, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson talks to shooting guard Andre Iguodala (9) in the second half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The Warriors won 106-93. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Iguodala was recently named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team for the 2013-2014 season. Iguodala became the first Golden State Warriors player to receive this honor since Nate Thurmond in 1971.

On Monday, Iguodala went on KNBR to discuss what this honor means to him, his thoughts on Mark Jackson, and his thoughts on the future of the Warriors.

Read the full story at Golden Gate Sports.

Golden State Warriors Head Coach Candidates: Stan Van Gundy

Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy pumps his fist in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. (Source: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy pumps his fist in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. (Source: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Golden State Warriors fired Mark Jackson on Tuesday, and now it’s time for management to find the right coach for this team.

One of the top candidates to become the Warriors’ head coach is Stan Van Gundy. Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported last night that the Warriors have already contacted Van Gundy about taking over as head coach.

As a head coach, Van Gundy has a career record of 579-371, and his teams have reached the playoffs in each of the eight seasons he was a head coach.

In addition to those impressive numbers, in his five seasons as the head coach of the Orlando Magic between 2007-2012, he had a .657 winning percentage, 31 playoff wins, four 50-win seasons, three Southeast Division titles, and one Eastern Conference title.

Van Gundy clearly has had success as a head coach, but he also could be a great fit for the Warriors. He values defense, which is important for the Warriors given the fact that they just recently transformed into an effective defensive team.

According to Eddy Rivera of Magicbasketball.net, Van Gundy has a defense-first mindset, and he always demanded perfection on defense.

“Van Gundy demanded consistent execution, energy, and effort on defense. And he usually got it. Defense was Van Gundy’s currency in all aspects. For the players, it netted them playing time. For the Magic, it netted them wins.”

Offensively, Van Gundy employed a smart, efficient system in Orlando. There’s no guarantee that he would run the same offensive system for the Warriors that he did for the Magic, but if he decided to, it could be a fairly smooth transition for this Warriors team.

The basic principle of his offense was to exploit Dwight Howard’s strength and ability to post-up and surround him with three-point shooters. By having a threat down low, opposing defenses had to pay extra attention to post-ups or they had to double team, which allowed shooters to spread the floor and get more open looks from three.

Now, the Warriors don’t have a Howard-esque player on their team. Andrew Bogut is an elite center defensively, but his offensive talents haven’t been utilized in his time with the Warriors. Van Gundy could decide to integrate Bogut more offensively, which would loosen up the opposing defense more.

Van Gundy would make the proper adjustments to not having a dominant offensive center, and he would certainly get the most out of the Warriors’ ability to shoot threes. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are arguably the best shooting backcourt in the NBA, and Van Gundy would find ways to get them easier looks.

One way he might do this would be to use a stretch four, or a small forward who can shoot threes playing as the power forward. He used this approach in Orlando with Rashard Lewis, and the Magic’s use of a stretch four was one of the reasons why they were so successful in Van Gundy’s tenure.

There are many benefits to starting a stretch four. First of all, it makes the pick-and-roll harder to defend, which would greatly benefit the Warriors because they run so many pick-and-rolls. During a pick-and-roll between a center and a point guard, for example, the stretch four would be able to spread the floor and possibly get more open looks from three if spaced correctly.

Also, having a stretch four on the floor gives the center more room to post up and work in the paint. This puts more pressure on the defense to defend a post-up, which frees up more three-point shots. The Warriors were one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA last season, so they could certainly benefit from using a small ball lineup with a stretch four more, as we saw in the playoffs.

Van Gundy’s use of pick-and-rolls also benefitted players who had trouble creating their own shot, which many of the Warriors’ players struggle with. When the center is setting hard, effective screens and shooters maintain the proper spacing of the floor, the pick-and-roll becomes even more effective and rewards players with more catch-and-shoot opportunities.

Van Gundy knows how to maximize talent, as seen in the adjustments he made for Lewis and Howard. Perhaps he could help bring back Harrison Barnes’ confidence and get the most out of his talent. Van Gundy also might be more open to starting Draymond Green as a stretch four and getting Barnes more minutes as a stretch four than another coach would.

Van Gundy is a fantastic and proven NBA coach. His teams are always well-prepared and well-coached. Although he’s been known to be demanding of his players and relentless at times, he showed a looser, more positive side of himself later on in his time with the Magic.

He expects the best from his players, and often, he gets the best out of them, kind of like Gregg Popovich. His approach is very different from Jackson in that sense, but that could be a good thing. Van Gundy might be the perfect coach for this Warriors team.

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.