OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors fired head coach Mark Jackson after three seasons Tuesday, ending the franchise's most successful coaching tenure in the past two decades but also one filled with drama and distractions.
"Obviously it was not made exclusively on wins and losses," Warriors owner Joe Lacob said.
Lacob and general manager Bob Myers both thanked Jackson, saying he helped make the Warriors a more attractive franchise. But Myers said the decision to dismiss Jackson was "unanimous" among the team's executives — though still not easy — in part because the Warriors want a coach who can "develop a synergy" with everybody in basketball operations.
Jackson's time with the Warriors will be remembered for the way he helped turn a perennially losing franchise into a consistent winner and the bold and bombastic way in which he did it.
He guaranteed Golden State would make the playoffs in his first season, then finished 23-36 after the NBA labor lockout. The Warriors went 47-35 last season and had a memorable run to the second round of the playoffs, and they were 51-31 this season before losing in seven games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.
The Warriors, who have surrounded star Stephen Curry with a talented nucleus since Lacob's group bought the franchise in 2010, had not made the playoffs in consecutive years since 1991-92. They had made the postseason once in 17 years before Jackson arrived.
The Warriors know a new coach comes with the risk of disrupting team chemistry, especially considering nearly every player publicly called for Jackson to return, especially Curry, whom Lacob said was informed of the decision ahead of time. Myers also spoke to several players after he and Lacob informed Jackson of their decision in a meeting Tuesday morning.
"The hope and belief after talking to them is that they trust us and they believe that we make decisions to win as well," Myers said.