Mark Jackson, the head coach for the Golden State Warriors, was fired May 6 after spending three season with the Warriors.
The Detroit Pistons are in search for both a new general manager and a new head coach. While many fans would love to see Jackson manning the sidelines in Auburn Hills, the Pistons would be wise to let Jackson coach somewhere else.
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Over the last three seasons, Jackson improved the Warriors’ record each year and finished with a career record of 121-109, making the playoffs in two out of the three seasons.
Jackson won one playoff series against the Denver Nuggets, but failed to beat the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs in his other two opportunities, and finished with a career playoff record of 9-10.
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Why Did Jackson Get Fired?
Jackson improved each season with the Warriors, but he reportedly had several problems with both his staff and management.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo! Sports, Jackson refused to practice with his players, lacked solid game preparation and feuded with his assistant coaches.
Jackson attempted to fire assistant coach Brian Scalabrine in front of his players for no legitimate reason and CBS Sports reported that Jackson did not want NBA legend and Warriors’ front office executive Jerry West to attend practices.
Jackson was unsuccessful in getting Scalabrine fired, but instead he was demoted to the coaching staff of the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.
Jackson also had problems with assistant coach Darren Erman, who many considered to be a defensive guru and a huge asset to the Warriors’ bench. The tension was so high between the two that Erman’s parking spot was moved to a more inconvenient location at the Warriors facility.
Erman was fired from the Warriors for allegedly recording a conversation between the coaching staff just a few weeks before the playoffs began.
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Jackson had problems off the court, but he did manage to take the Warriors to the playoffs two years in a row, a place that the Pistons have not seen in five years.
The greatest part about Jackson’s coaching style is how close he gets with his players.
Stephen Curry, Golden State’s perennial all-star guard, talked to the media about his coach being on the hot seat.
“I love coach more than anybody, and I think for him to be in a situation where his job is under scrutiny and under question is totally unfair,” Curry said.
Curry said he would be surprised if Jackson was let go, and it has yet to be reported how the young star and his fellow teammates are taking the news.
The Pistons have had problems in the past with feuds between coaches and players, so the idea of Jackson having the type of connection that he had with his Warriors players with the Pistons players would be a welcoming sight.
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The Pistons could use a coach with playoff experience, but Jackson underachieved in 2013-14 and exited the playoffs with a first round loss.
Jackson also could be the product of a coach being helped out by his superstar. In 48 games without Stephen Curry, Jackson managed to go 14-34.
During his three year tenure, Jackson failed miserably against teams with a winning record, going only 52-83.
Jackson is experienced in coaching a system that goes through the teams’ guards, not their big men. The Pistons need a coach that can get the most out of Andre Drummond and make sure he develops to his fullest potential.
The Warriors heading into the offseason have a much more talented roster than Detroit, and although Jackson built the Warriors into contenders, he was also the beneficiary of the Warriors’ front office making several big time acquisitions such as signing swingman Andre Iguodala.
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If the Pistons are going to regain prominence in the Eastern Conference, they need to make sure they have unity between their players, coaches and management.
Jackson should get another head coaching opportunity and could go on to be very successful, but Detroit does not need the drama that Jackson will bring.
Cameron Billes is the host of Horsepower for Impact Sports.