Brian Scalabrine made headlines with his hilarious mockery of LeBron’s James’ letter, announcing his return to the Celtics’ broadcast team, but now he’s also making news for publicly speaking about Mark Jackson.
Jackson, the ex-Warriors head coach, hired Scalabrine as an assistant last season only to “re-assign” him to the D-League midway through the season, citing a difference in philosophies.
In an interview with the Doug Gottlieb Show via Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group, Scalabrine ripped Jackson for not pushing the Warriors hard enough.
“Generally, as a staff we really didn’t prepare our team to be championship-caliber nor did we prepare our team to eventually be championship-caliber,” he said.
Scalabrine also claimed Jackson didn’t challenge Stephen Curry to become a better defender. Curry consistently guarded the less potent offensive threat, while Klay Thompson had the duty of defending the other team’s star guard.
On Harrison Barnes, Scalabrine said that he “should have been like an elite player in the NBA,” but perhaps Jackson’s system hindered him from doing so.
It’s puzzling why the Warriors, with a potent offense, only ranked 10th in the league in points per game last season (104.3), but Scalabrine seems to be putting the blame on Jackson and the coaching staff. But it’s Jackson who deserves the brunt of the blame — he was responsible for bringing in capable assistants, for challenging his players and avoid building up “dysfunction,” which was what ultimately let to his demise. He created a strange and deceptive culture in Golden State, and he paid the price by getting canned.
We should take Scalabrine’s comments with a grain of salt — he could just be looking for vengeance after being demoted by Jackson — but based on what we’ve heard about Jackson since his firing, I have a hard time disagreeing with anything that Scalabrine said.