The Woj bomb: an art that can only be replicated by Adrian Wojnarowski, the NBA’s best reporter. Major NBA news doesn’t come often in the NBA, but Woj has a knack for dropping the biggest news, hence the word bomb, as he often shakes up the NBA community, creating a conversation that’ll remain for hours.
This time Wojnarowski’s news revolves around Mark Jackson, head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
Jackson, in his third year at the helm of the Warriors, has one year left on his contract, but has come under increased scrutiny within the organization for how he has run the team and worked on the job. There have been no conversations about an extension for Jackson – nor are they expected to take place, sources said.
Jackson has tried and failed to get involved with several head coaching openings over the past several months, including the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets, league sources said. (via Warriors coach Mark Jackson forces reassignment of assistant Brian Scalabrine)
Let’s rewind here.
When the Clippers made it official that Vinny Del Negro would not be returning in the 2013-14 season, Mark Jackson was still under contract with the Golden State Warriors. Same goes for the Brooklyn Nets coaching search as Jackson was looking to involve himself in both. I’m not well versed on the rules that have to do with NBA coaches bolting for another team while under contract, but I’d assume their perspective club would have to buy out the coach before he could move on.
Yet throughout the Clippers search for a head coach, Jackson’s name never came up as a possible candidate. Due to the nature in which he pursued the job you could see how that happens, but in today’s world little flies under the radar. With the involvement of sources and social media, anything done in the dark comes to light as soon as it is found out about, usually with a Wojnarowski or Marc Stein catching wind of the situation.
The entire Mark Jackson era has been something of a sitcom, one you’d want to keep an eye on throughout the season. He was pegged with tanking on purpose during the lockout season. George Karl accused Jackson of tampering with Andre Iguodala during the playoffs last season. Jackson openly spoke on the way the Nuggets defended his prized star in Stephen Curry, noting their tactics as “dirty plays” and Nuggets being “hit men”. He’s yet to waver away from his religious beliefs, frequently mentioning God in post-game conferences. Fans have been calling for his firing since the Warriors have underwhelmed the fan base this season and apparently the front office isn’t too impressed with Jackson’s work over the last few years as little talk of an extension has arisen as Jackson’s contract is close to an end.
Had Jackson been available it’s unlikely the Clippers would have chosen him over Doc Rivers. Rivers brought a pedigree to this team that was needed and Jackson hasn’t proven that he has the coaching ability to take a team like Los Angeles and put them over the top.
Regardless, the Mark Jackson situation is something to keep an eye on going forward. Currently at the six seed, the Warriors would face the Clippers in the first round of the NBA playoffs if it started today. With all the information included in Wojnarowski’s piece, along with the “underwhelming” season the Warriors have had, the notion that a first-round victory could save Jackson’s job becomes a bit more questionable.