Mark Jackson is too successful for the Pistons to ignore, but that doesn’t mean they should hire him

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

Jackson, it seems, contributed to a wildly dysfunctional culture in the Bay.

Late in the season, he fired an assistant coach in front of the team, only to be told that it was too extreme. Jackson settled for demoting him to the D-League.

Shortly after, the Warriors did fire another coach who was secretly recording Jackson and other coaches. Although the assistant’s crime is inexcusable, it apparently was spurred by paranoia that Jackson was working against him.

Jackson also reportedly had rifts with ownership and the front office.

But his players — at least most of them and definitely the most influential of them — supported him. Jackson built a connection with Stephen Curry, the Warriors’ budding superstar, and that filtered down.

And the Warriors hadn’t won so much nor made back-to-back postseasons since the early 1990s. Jackson surely had something to do with that.

He preached defense from the moment he arrived, and the Warriors became elite on that end. The franchise hadn’t been as good defensively since it had Wilt Chamberlain.

Jackson wasn’t perfect as a strategist, though. His firing can’t simply be chalked up to clashing with ownership and management.

The Warriors’ offense regressed under his watch. His hockey-style substitutions led to too many minutes of overmatched lineups. A lot of smart people believe his assistant coaches carried him.

I have doubts about Jackson. Big doubts. Huge doubts. Enormous doubts.

But I can’t get over the success he had in Golden State.

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Tags: Flip Saunders Larry Brown Mark Jackson Rick Carlisle

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