Now that the Golden State Warriors have been eliminated from the playoffs, the focus turns to the status of their head coach, Mark Jackson.
Jackson’s job was already uncertain before the start of the season, as no contract extension was negotiated with two years left on his deal. Now, there is just one year left, so either he agrees to an extension this offseason or is sent packing.
The notion is that he won’t be back, if the report about him not having a singly ally in the front office is true. Joe Lacob is a demanding owner, and a first round exit probably wasn’t what he had in mind.
What’s more — there are now names being leaked for the potential Warriors’ coaching vacancy. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Warriors have interest in Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy, and Tim Kawikami of the San Jose Mercury News says that Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg is another name to each.
The most intriguing name out of these three should be Van Gundy. Kerr could take the Knicks’ job at any moment, and Hoiberg wants to stay at Iowa State. Plus, neither Kerr nor Hoiberg have any NBA coaching experience, so bringing one of them in to take over a team with high expectations would raise some eyebrows.
Van Gundy, on the other hand, has the portfolio and experience. He’s coached for eight seasons, been to the NBA Finals, and has won the Coach of the Year Award twice.
We can speculate about potential replacements when a decision is made on Jackson, but as Stein reports, “the gulf between management and coach, by all accounts, is wide.”
Jackson may have the support of his players, but what ultimately matters is what his owner thinks, and that may be bad news.