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Warriors

GameDay: Weighing Mark Jackson’s Future With The Warriors

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Dennis-O'Donnell_BIO-HEAD Dennis O'Donnell
Dennis O’Donnell is the Sports Director at KPIX 5. He has receiv...
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KPIX 5 Sports Director Dennis O’Donnell hosts “Gameday” every Sunday night at 11:30pm on KPIX 5 and offers his unique sports analysis here.

(KPIX 5) — A national TV talk show was debating the topic of Mark Jackson and the Warriors the other day.

Apparently, Jackson’s job status has become national fodder either because it was a slow day or the debater was pushing a potentially available Jackson for a potentially available Knicks job.

The latest speculation over Jackson’s future stems from his demotion of assistant Brian Scalabrine to Santa Cruz, which is the equivalent of sending a German soldier to the Russian front.  Or better yet, Siberia. Does Scalabrine surf?

Then followed an Internet article which used unnamed sources essentially saying Warriors management is not on Jackson’s bus.   But the last time I looked, the wheels were still on and Jackson was still the driver.

In his rookie season as an NBA head coach, Mark Jackson guided the Warriors to a 47-35 record, second place in the Pacific Division, and a stunning first-round knockout of the heavily favored Denver Nuggets.

Had Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut not pulled up lame in round two against San Antonio, I dare say they would have won that series as well.

Fast forward to 2013-2014.  Golden State is 17 games over .500 and headed toward a second straight playoff berth.

Let’s see now.  The Warriors haven’t gone to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 22 years.  No, really. TWENTY-TWO years!

The Scalabrine demotion is an obvious indication of unrest among the coaching ranks to be sure. But so what?  Jackson is the coach and if the Warriors fail, they’re going to sink on his terms, not because an assistant wasn’t happy with the pick and roll.

It shouldn’t come as a shock when I tell you that Kumbaya is the least played tune in the coach’s corner of the majority of big league teams.

A Warriors insider told KPIX 5 that Mark Jackson requested that high-profile consultant Jerry West not attend practice. While I was surprised at this revelation, I wasn’t shocked.   If Jackson wants advice, he’ll ask for it.

Jackson keeps his practices closed to everyone, so this certainly wasn’t exclusive to West.

By the way, Jerry West told me he expected Jackson to be the Warriors coach for a “number of years to come.”

What will determine Jackson’s future is what decides every coach’s future.  To his credit, Mark Jackson raised the bar last year with a first-round playoff upset. If he falls short of at least repeating that goal, get ready to rumble.

If you’ve learned one thing about Joe Lacob, it’s that he’s in it to win it, and that sure beats the former owner. What was his name again?

See you on TV.

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