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When the Golden State Warriors fired Mark Jackson in 2014, rumors started to circulate that Jackson didn’t have the best relationship with management and owner Joe Lacob.
Lacob confirmed those rumors when he blasted Jackson while talking at a luncheon in front of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists/National Venture in December of 2014.
“Right now, [Steve Kerr] looks great,” Lacob said. “I think he will be great. And he did the one big thing that I wanted more than anything else from Mark Jackson he just wouldn’t do, in all honesty, which is hire the very best. Carte blanche. Take my wallet. Do whatever it is to get the best assistants there are in the world. Period. End of story. Don’t want to hear it. And [Jackson’s] answer was, ‘Well, I have the best staff.’ No you don’t. And so with Steve, very, very different.
“You can’t have a staff underneath you that isn’t that good. And if you’re going to get better, you’ve got to have really good assistants. You’ve got to have people that can be there to replace you. We all know this from all of our companies. It’s management 101. A lot of people on the outside couldn’t understand it when we [fired Jackson].
“Part of it was that he couldn’t get along with anybody else in the organization. And look, he did a great job, and I’ll always compliment him in many respects, but you can’t have 200 people in the organization not like you.”
Jackson responded to Lacob’s harsh comments, saying, “Lacob put me on blast and said I was good for nothing, an owner that knew me for three years and spent a couple of minutes around me, an owner that had the audacity to say that 200 folks don’t like me in the business.”
Obviously, Jackson and Lacob aren’t on good terms and Jackson hasn’t been able to get another coaching job since. He currently works for ESPN as an NBA commentator.
Jackson is well-respected by players in the game and has been linked to a few openings since getting fired. So why hasn’t he gotten a job? One former Warriors staffer thinks Lacob has something to do with that.
“I think a small circle of ownership, and Lacob made up his mind that Mark was a certain way and it formed a narrative of how the other owners would feel about him,” former Warriors staffer, Otis Hughley told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“It’s just been real hard, but Mark doesn’t worry about that. He’s the kind of guy who lives by a certain standard and he doesn’t let the way folks think or what they say dictate how he feels or how he conducts his life. He still has a job, he would like to coach, but that’s not all and all with him. He’s a man of God and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and this game is really missing out by not having this guy back in, because he impacts a lot of lives.”
The Warriors have won three championships since moving on from Jackson, but Hughley says Jackson was the one who laid down the foundation.
“Mark was in the kitchen,” Hughley says. “Getting those ingredients together, making the orders, finding the places that had the right ingredients. He got them in there when they drafted Klay [Thompson], Draymond [Green], when they signed [Andre] Iguodala. He got all the necessary ingredients together to make a great meal and it started to grow under him. And now, the results of what he did and the foundation that he laid, look what’s happening. It’s unbelievable.”