Sunday 23rd June 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Stephen Curry Defends Coach Mark Jackson

jaxThe Golden State Warriors would follow Mark Jackson anywhere.

Into to an erupting volcano?

Yes.

Into the local mall on Black Friday?

Yup.

Into a movie theater showing only Nicolas Cage movies filmed in the last seven years?

Yes again.

Would the Warriors front office do the same?

Check back after the playoffs.

After reassigning assistant coach and NBA novelty Brian Scalabrine, Jackson took some serious heat, most notably from one of the most respected reporters on the planet, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:

Over the past two years, Jackson’s difficulty with managing his coaching staff and creating a functional work environment has developed into one of the issues that threatens his future on the job, league sources said.

Scalabrine, who joined the staff in July, was Jackson’s choice as an assistant coach. For two straight years, Jackson has had issues with assistant coaches that he hired. Michael Malone and Jackson would go weeks without speaking to each other a year ago, league sources said. Malone left Golden State to become the head coach of the Sacramento Kings.

Jackson has predictably refuted rumors of dysfunction. What’s weird, though, is he mentioned Wojnarowski by name, which you rarely hear coaches do. If and when they do, it’s not Woj on the receiving end of their wrath. The man is connected—more so than Justin Bieber would be at hot dog stands run exclusively by Beliebers.

Truth told, we really don’t know if Jackson’s job is in jeopardy. Golden State’s front office hasn’t exactly been openly supportive of him, especially now. It’s left Jackson’s future tethered to the Warriors’ playoff run this spring.

It’s left imaginations to run wild.

And we all know what happens when imaginations run wild: Negative speculation, mostly.

But at least we know for sure Stephen Curry doesn’t want Jackson going anywhere, per the Bay Area News Group’s Marcus Thompson:

Stephen Curry’s comments may not have been surprising. But I get the feeling they were calculated.

“I love coach and everything he’s about,” Curry told reporters after practice on Wednesday.

This new drama related to Mark Jackson demoting Brian Scalabrine is the latest example of a trend some players have noticed – management may not be so high on Jackson. Curry is clearly one of them, perhaps the most important. And his unabashed support of Jackson is undoubtedly a message.

The message? Curry wants Jackson.

Though his tune could certainly change following a postseason letdown, Curry’s ringing endorsement is beyond important. Most star players are believed to have some control over team decisions. Curry’s progressive rise from injury-prone point guard to undeniable superstar has likely afforded him that kind of veto power.

Other players will factor in too. If Jackson isn’t well-liked across the locker room and in the front office, and Curry is his only supporter, then he shouldn’t get too comfortable. But he has the backing of the player and person most important to Golden State’s success. That’s a start.

How this finishes, though, is anyone’s guess.

Revisit this after the playoffs, when the Warriors know what last summer’s spending actually bought them.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com.


 

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