Considering what he has dealt with in recent weeks, one might feel sympathy for Mark Jackson.
Here is a coach who is on his way to leading the Golden State Warriors to their best season in forever, changing the culture in Oakland, and yet all everyone can talk about is how dysfunctional his team is and how he needs to be fired if the Warriors don’t make a deep playoff run.
But his critics have a point. All they have to do is point to what has happened recently: two of Jackson’s hand-picked assistant coaches leaving his bench. Brain Scalabrine was reassigned to the D-League because he allegedly butted heads with Jackson, and Darren Erman was fired because he violated a team policy.
What kind of contending team decides to get rid of two assistant coaches less than a month before the playoffs?
Rumblings from numerous reports suggest that owner Joe Lacob is getting increasingly impatient with Jackson, and if he doesn’t deliver a deep playoff run, he may be gone.
Jackson responded to such a belief in an interview with Tim Kawikami of the San Jose Mercury News on Monday.
“My job will be determined on winning,” he said. “I’m fine with that. I’ve dreamt about this position and I’m fortunate to have a group of guys that’s dedicated, committed, and that I’ll go to bat for. That’ll play itself out.”
And about his future?
“Believe it or not, I am absolutely convinced that my future is just fine,” said Jackson.
Jackson, though, can say whatever he wants. It’s no secret that Lacob wants to win now, and who knows if a sudden impulse within him decides to hand Jackson his unemployment papers if things don’t go as planned?