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Another side of player, coach Mark Jackson: "Mark Jackson is not the savior some fans believe he is"
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martin
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3/13/2018  4:14 PM
https://elitesportsny.com/2018/03/13/new-york-knicks-mark-jackson-not-savior-fans-looking-for/

Mark Jackson is not the savior some fans believe he is

Before we get to the meat of the coaching discussion, let’s get one thing out of the way: Jeff Hornacek still has a job coaching the New York Knicks. You probably know this, as much as you may wish you didn’t.

If you root for the team, you’re likely in one of two camps:

“I guess it wouldn’t be the worst thing if Hornacek stayed,” or
“Please pass the cyanide if he’s still here on opening night 2018.”

Even those in the former camp have to admit that Hornacek seems to decide on his nightly rotations through the use of a dartboard, a blindfold and a bottle of vodka. Or gin. Gin hits the spot sometimes.

There have already been plenty of names tossed around as potential successors for a position that has been manned by no less than 10 men since Jeff Van Gundy stepped down 17 years ago this month. Most of those – David Fizdale, Jay Wright, Ettore Messina, David Blatt, even JVG himself – have merit for one reason or another.

There’s one name, however, that has been brought up perhaps more than any other, and it should be accompanied by many flashing red lights, obnoxious sirens, and maybe even one of those little kids you see in the science fiction movies who looks out into the distance as the very bad thing ominously approaches, and then screams in abject terror.

The kid knows things.

At first glance …

To say that Mark Jackson’s resume doesn’t warrant a second shot on someone’s bench undersells his accomplishments. Winning in the NBA is hard, and over three seasons coaching Golden State, Jackson won more games than he lost. That alone is meritorious.

Over his last two seasons, he took a team that had been to the playoffs once in the previous 18 years and guided them to two consecutive postseasons. He won nine playoff games over that span. That’s also good.

By comparison, Boston Celtics’ wunderkind Brad Stevens, who had two playoff wins over his first three seasons as a top-five coach, has just five postseason victories since 2011. It took this year’s Coach of the Year frontrunner Dwane Casey seven seasons to get his first playoff series win. Jackson did it on his first try.

More than any of this though, Jackson appeals to Knicks fans not only because he’s a hometown product who understands the unique pressures that come with playing and performing in New York, but because he took a franchise slapped with the Capital “L” loser label and turned it around.

New York fans imagine the former St. John’s and Knicks’ point guard coming home and doing the same thing here. They look at the team and feel that Jackson would instill a culture change that has been a long time coming.

Those fans would definitely get a culture change. It just may not be the one they envision.

Rough sledding

The warning signs with Jackson started well before his coaching career ever began. For starters, he was traded six times in his NBA career and waived once. Following his first five seasons in New York, he never spent three consecutive seasons in any one place.

Yes, players get traded all the time and it doesn’t mean they’re bad dudes. Digging a little deeper though, we see that there’s some fire to go along with this smoke.

In 2003, during his only season with the Utah Jazz, according to reports, Jackson attempted to lead a mutiny against John Stockton in the Jazz locker room. It nearly caused Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan to quit before the end of the season, and ultimately may have led Stockton himself to retire after the Jazz were eliminated from the playoffs that year.

According to reports, the nature of the discontent was that Jackson was rallying bench players over what he felt was a lack of deserved playing time, for them and him. It was the first time that Jackson attempted to drum up support over perceived slights. It wouldn’t be the last.
The Warrior years

Oddly enough, Jackson’s first season coaching the Warriors – one in which he finished with a record of 23-43 during a lockout-shortened and injury-plagued season – was the only one not marred by controversy of any kind.

That June, Jackson was the victim of an extortion plot by a stripper with whom he cheated on his wife.

Granted, a little extramarital tomfoolery doesn’t mean someone is a bad person or a bad coach. After all, who amongst us hasn’t sent an inappropriate picture of our genitals – as Jackson did – to the wrong person every now and again.

(Looking around … looking around … runs to the emergency exit.)

Still, the whole thing stunk of a certain…insincerity. To say Jackson’s shtick as a coach was based on the whole righteous indignation act is an understatement. If nothing else, this episode revealed his persona to be at least partly that: an act.

The real fun for Jackson started in the spring of his final season with Golden State.

Following a dispute with assistant coach Brian Scalabrine over whether or not to watch a segment of game tape, Jackson apparently attempted to get the rest of the assistant coaches to openly proclaim that Scalabrine was not only in the wrong but that his actions were disrespectful. At least one former Warriors player, Andrew Bogut, has come out in support of Scal since then.

After the incident, Scalabrine was demoted to the team’s D-League affiliate just 11 games before the playoffs were set to begin. Shortly thereafter, the team was eliminated in the first round by a Clippers squad that was in the middle of the Donald Sterling fiasco, and Jackson was fired.

An ugly postmortem

Following his termination, it became clear as to just how dysfunctional Golden State’s locker room had become towards the end of Jackson’s tenure.

Rather than rehash every detail that has since been unearthed, take a gander at Jesse Taylor’s recap. It paints a picture of a coach that became not only embroiled in his own personal battles to the detriment of the team but one who became nearly unhinged in the process. The terms “smear campaign” and “culture of fear” are used in Taylor’s piece, as well as this gem: “… over and over, [Jackson] would be friendly to your face and rip you behind your back. If you weren’t in his inner circle, you were the enemy.”

Even worse than the stuff that came out after he was fired was how Jackson responded.

Rather than taking the high road, he trashed both Scalabrine and fellow former assistant Darren Erman in interviews following his dismissal. Erman was let go after he was caught secretly recording conversations as retaliation in the “us against them” war Jackson waged in the locker room. He has since had a successful stint in Boston and is currently a big part of the Pelicans staff in New Orleans.

Again, the question begs to be asked: what kind of environment did Jackson foster where this kind of stuff took place?

During Steve Kerr’s first season on the bench, when Warriors owner Joe Lacob was asked about Jackson, he told ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood-Strauss that his former head coach “couldn’t get along with anybody else in the organization,” and that “you can’t have 200 other people in the organization not like you.”

Is this a bit of sour grapes over a situation went awry? Absolutely. But in light of everything else, can it be completely discounted? Not a chance.
But he can coach, right? Right???

Putting aside all of the above, if Jackson were a mastermind with the clipboard, you could see a path back into the coaching ranks. After all, some coaches make their bones as X’s and O’s savants who play chess while their opponent plays checkers.

If that’s Jackson’s gig, he sure hid it well. It was an open secret that for the first two years of his coaching tenure, assistant coach Mike Malone, not Jackson, drew up the offensive plays. It wasn’t an accident that the Joe Lacob made Malone the highest paid assistant coach in the league while he was with Golden State, during which time he was also named the top assistant coach in the NBA by rival general managers.

Only during Jackson’s last season was Malone not there to help him, a year in which the team won 51 games.

51 wins … with a healthy Splash Brothers duo (both shooting above 40 percent from deep), Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, David Lee (one year removed from an All-Star appearance) and second-year forward Draymond Green playing 21 minutes a night.

Sure, comparing Golden State’s record in Steve Kerr’s first season to Jackson’s last feels unfair for a few reasons. A young group gained more experience, and Kerr (admittedly) lucked into fully unlocking Draymond Green as a game-changing, two-way force that would become key to the most unstoppable lineup in basketball.

It doesn’t change the fact that Kerr took essentially the same roster that Jackson had to work with and not only increased the win total by 16 but led the same group that the Clippers ousted in the first round of the playoffs to an NBA Championship.

It all adds up

Since they won, Warriors’ players and Kerr himself have said the right things. They’ve talked about how none of it would have happened without Jackson and how he laid the framework for what they were able to achieve. All of that is well and good. The result is still the result, and it’s incontrovertible.

Here’s something else that can’t be denied: 17 head coaches have been hired since Jackson was let go, and 20 if you count the three interim hires that took place this season. That means more than half of the league’s teams have had a chance to bring Jackson aboard and thought better of it. Are all of them missing something? Or are the ones advocating for his hire the guy at the poker table looking around for the sucker?

If, at the end of the day, this is really about culture, the final question that needs to be asked may seem silly at first blush: do the Knicks need a culture change?

We know about James Dolan. Say what you will of the man (but please refrain from unleashing a string of expletives if you’re at work or in a public space), but for eight solid months now, he’s been the owner of a team that has operated like a normal, non-Crazy Town rational actor. ‘Round these parts, we call that “progress.”

All of the negative hallmarks that have characterized the Knicks for years have, for the most part, been absent this season (well, except for the losing. They still are quite good at that). The locker room seems intact. Despite Hornacek’s latest protestations, they have, on balance, played hard. Guys seem to like being here. There is a sense that sunnier days are ahead. Maybe, for once, the culture around the team isn’t the problem.

For the rest of you – those who think the MSG culture is and forever will be toxic thanks to captain harmonica and his underlings throughout the organization – I’ll leave you with this:

Knowing everything we know, is Mark Jackson really the type of guy that should be brought into that environment?

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Nalod
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3/13/2018  5:22 PM
Thx for posting. Im long on record for pushing against the Mark Jax fan club that exists.
Not mentioned in the article was Jax and his wife are ordained ministers which is not itself a bad thing until you speak out about homosexuals and the president of the team you coach for is gay. He was divisive up and down the organization.
The Hypocrisy of being a man of god and sending pics of your junk to a stripper is not lost on many.
Some would be happy to have him and fire him after a 51 win season but we all know it don't work like that. Nothing historically repeats itself.
Jax was dysfunctional. Its not that he was handed the job too soon, its that if he was an assistant he would have been found wanting. He got the job because he is charismatic.. That is not enough. Amen.
Knicks1248: 1. Dolan should be more involved! 2. Why would any knick fan want pick 8, when that spot has a history of producing marginal NBA taken. (He prefers pick 9th instead)
newyorknewyork
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3/13/2018  5:26 PM
Actually surprised that the boards haven't become a war zone over if we should fire or keep Jeff. I would call that progress. .
arkrud
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3/13/2018  6:58 PM
newyorknewyork wrote:Actually surprised that the boards haven't become a war zone over if we should fire or keep Jeff. I would call that progress. .

Why argue about things that do not matter at a present time?
Jeff is good enough and chip enough to server through the losing and rebuilding.

He can teach them to meditate... but no one can control even his own mind...
Caseloads
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3/13/2018  8:07 PM
would rather dovid blatt
GustavBahler
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3/13/2018  8:10 PM    LAST EDITED: 3/13/2018  8:17 PM
Most of this I knew, but when you put it all together its almost Isiah-like. Still was some of the most fun Ive ever had as a Knick fan watching Mark his rookie season at MSG.
knicks1248
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3/13/2018  8:44 PM
I want jackson because he brings the toughness out of players, and had those guys playing hard all day every day. He may not be MDA with a clipboard, but you won't have to worry about effort and toughness, something we lack badly
ES
Nalod
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3/13/2018  9:58 PM
knicks1248 wrote:I want jackson because he brings the toughness out of players, and had those guys playing hard all day every day. He may not be MDA with a clipboard, but you won't have to worry about effort and toughness, something we lack badly

Soooooo like you read things and this is what you come up with?

Knicks1248: 1. Dolan should be more involved! 2. Why would any knick fan want pick 8, when that spot has a history of producing marginal NBA taken. (He prefers pick 9th instead)
Cartman718
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3/14/2018  1:51 PM    LAST EDITED: 3/14/2018  1:51 PM
Toughness does not replace X's and O's. During this season we have had some great diversion plays end of game to get good shots at game winning. I am not sure what the hate for JH is all about. We have youngsters developing, a couple of d-league players, and 3 scorers who lack on defense. and our best player is done for the season. Not sure what he's being expected to do in that scenario. Please name me teams winning this season without their best player and with young players like ours.
Nixluva is posting triangle screen grabs, even when nobody asks - Fishmike. LOL So are we going to reference that thread like the bible now? "The thread of Wroten Page 14 post 9" - EnySpree
knicks1248
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3/14/2018  3:26 PM
you saw with your on 2 eyes how woodson took the exact same roster MDA had, and achieve much more success.

We saw kerr take primarily the exact same roster Mark Jackson had and achieve much more success.

Just a couple of examples of different voice, different approach.

How many players on the roster are better then they were at the start of the season?

This is not hating on JH, he just isn't getting the job done.

ES
Nalod
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3/14/2018  3:52 PM
Same exact?
Woodson had a healthy Melo, not injured 55 game melo.
Fields was gone.
JR played 35 games, then 80 for Woodson.
Copeland on team for woodson, not MDA.
And you discount the shyt out of Jason Kidd 76 games!

Same Exact? Team with MDA/Woodson won 36 games. Then 54, then 37 in Woodsons last season.
Woodson did a very good job with at team that had Sheed, Kidd, Camyby and Kenyan Martin.
That was not sustainable, you do see that. It was a nice year.
Kerr? With mostly same team and a healthy Curry then went from 51 to great because your boy Mark Jax was an *******.
Two examples with not much of argument to lean on. No body is jumping up and down about this team but nobody is pointing fingers given the vast roster changes that have taken players.
Your open concepts fail because when a team is not doing well there is no quantifiable justification that change in itself can translate to improvement.
This team will be vastly different next season. I can't tell you how, or even if JH will be the man, but there will be changes.
There always is.

Knicks1248: 1. Dolan should be more involved! 2. Why would any knick fan want pick 8, when that spot has a history of producing marginal NBA taken. (He prefers pick 9th instead)
VCoug
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3/14/2018  3:55 PM
I've always been a big no on Mark Jackson and this is exactly why. There have been multiple reports from guys I trust, Zach Lowe and Woj, about the toxic culture Jackson built in GS.
Knicksfans Forzingis!
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3/14/2018  5:02 PM
He was a good community guy as a player. That has always stuck with me. He did some stuff for the agency my dad worked for. Told some great stories to troubled kids etc. I wanted him over D'Antoni at the time. I think the Knicks are trying to maintain continuity. I think Jeff sticks around. He and management seem to be on the same page in regard to player development.
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3/15/2018  12:29 AM
When I hear that someone is advocating a different coach regardless of the fact that they too will lose, I can't help but laugh.

Losing will always feel like losing. Whatever you think Jeff is doing wrong, the next person will be blamed for something else. The losing isn't changing.

Nalod
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3/15/2018  7:51 AM
CrushAlot wrote:He was a good community guy as a player. That has always stuck with me. He did some stuff for the agency my dad worked for. Told some great stories to troubled kids etc. I wanted him over D'Antoni at the time. I think the Knicks are trying to maintain continuity. I think Jeff sticks around. He and management seem to be on the same page in regard to player development.

I don’t think Mark is a bad person and means well. Sometimes in the heat of battle under pressure some bad things come out of all of us. His short comings seem to be not from his talent or intention but “getting along with others”. Bottom line is he is a knowledgeable ex player who is good on TV but is not a professional coach in the organizational sense. Not all players can transition even tough they were good leaders on the court. Off the court is a whole other skill set.

Knicks1248: 1. Dolan should be more involved! 2. Why would any knick fan want pick 8, when that spot has a history of producing marginal NBA taken. (He prefers pick 9th instead)
Vmart
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3/15/2018  10:24 AM
knicks1248 wrote:you saw with your on 2 eyes how woodson took the exact same roster MDA had, and achieve much more success.

We saw kerr take primarily the exact same roster Mark Jackson had and achieve much more success.

Just a couple of examples of different voice, different approach.

How many players on the roster are better then they were at the start of the season?

This is not hating on JH, he just isn't getting the job done.

I didn’t know MDA had Jason Kidd on the team when he coached.

Vmart
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3/15/2018  10:31 AM
The Knicks need to be innovative enough with the retreads and get a young coach that is up and coming. The Knicks have tried experienced coaches and the results haven’t been there. I’m in the boat for Bobby Hurley. He would be an awesome choice for coach. This guy knows basketball has great coaching lines his father and Coach K. He would be amazing coach. It’s the outside the box thinking the Knicks need to start thinking.
Nalod
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3/15/2018  10:33 AM    LAST EDITED: 3/15/2018  10:53 AM
Vmart wrote:
knicks1248 wrote:you saw with your on 2 eyes how woodson took the exact same roster MDA had, and achieve much more success.

We saw kerr take primarily the exact same roster Mark Jackson had and achieve much more success.

Just a couple of examples of different voice, different approach.

How many players on the roster are better then they were at the start of the season?

This is not hating on JH, he just isn't getting the job done.

I didn’t know MDA had Jason Kidd on the team when he coached.

"Alternative Rosters"?

What Knicks1248 is missing is why did Woodson finish 18-6 in the same season MDA "resigned"?
He is lazy which is why he missed a good point he could have presented!
24 games is 29% of the season but there was a point he could have made.
If I were him I'd have to address these things:

1. What was Melo's health in those last 24 games?
2. When did JR smith Return from China?
3. What other roster ramifications contributed to the results.
4. what schematic changes did Woodson make when he took over?
5. When did Linsanity end and at what point was he injured and ineffective?

When trying to win arguments is more important than the subject the cred is just gone.

Knicks1248: 1. Dolan should be more involved! 2. Why would any knick fan want pick 8, when that spot has a history of producing marginal NBA taken. (He prefers pick 9th instead)
Nalod
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3/15/2018  11:22 AM
Vmart wrote:The Knicks need to be innovative enough with the retreads and get a young coach that is up and coming. The Knicks have tried experienced coaches and the results haven’t been there. I’m in the boat for Bobby Hurley. He would be an awesome choice for coach. This guy knows basketball has great coaching lines his father and Coach K. He would be amazing coach. It’s the outside the box thinking the Knicks need to start thinking.

I like Bobby Hurley's grit. Its hard to evaluate the job he is doing because recruiting is not easy and super important in the college game.
Blood lines? Yeah, its important but not as much as horse racing. "Outside the box"? That's ok but it backfires. Fisher, Walton, Kerr, Mark Jax and Kidd were a bit outside the box. Each had no head coaching experience and the results with each is different for many reasons.
Hornacek was a player who came up the hard way. Logistically these kind of players tend to make good coaches because they had to study fundamentals than rely on the athletic ability. Phil Jax was of this back ground. Jerry sloan was a gritty hard tough player in his day.
I think if Fisher, Jax and Kidd were assistants first they might have understood better the character they needed to develop to succeed. Kerr spend time in the front office and that helped. PHil was an assistant in the NBA and head coach in the Continental league before coaching the bulls.
Im OK with Jeff. Monte Williams if he can make the commitment from his kids and David Blatt might be good candidates. Hurley is an interesting choice but I'd rather see him as an assistant and distinguish himself so the players respect him as a pro coach.
We had Atkinson in the system. Knicks in their starphuching ways have not taken the long view of building a culture that would promote from within. Kerr would have been a good "Cultural" choice (go back to the moment) as he was aligned with his mentor. Fact is with his health problems it would not have made sense for him to stay on. Its one thing to be the coach of championship dynasty in the making than a rebuild. Walton along those lines would have been a great alternative and perhaps he would have followed Kerr here. I think their decisions have worked out best for them. They are California based guys and finding success!
Mills and Perry don't have this base to build on. Fact is, we tried to "Import" it with Phil and on paper it was a good idea but did not execute as we all now know.
Its hard to visualize the current situation as the start of a "culture" but the fact is those things are build on momentum so its possible we are in the "Genesis" of new one. Needless to say I have no evidence to say that. Its my opinion Mills, Perry, Horny and Craig Robinson are bright guys. If they were already rock stars they'd be situated with where that happened. They are not. Easy to say "lets get guys that......" but we all know that itself is not a sure fire thing.

I saw a lot of Bobby Hurley as a player and in my view he is on the mount rushmore of college PG's and one can argue as a 4 year player he should be in some hall of fame (is there a college HOF?). His accomplishments in 4 years were amazing, three final fours, two chips and a lot of assists!!! Granted, he stayed in school 4 years and perhaps his size kept him from leaving earlier. Im not saying he was the best player but those accomplishments put him in rare air.
Yes, Im a Bobby Hurley fan!!! The best of all worlds is bring him in and Jeff succeeds, and after a successful run and its time for Horney to enjoy the fruits of his labor Bobby Hurley ascends and continues the ways of the new knicks! NoW that's "CULTCHA"!

Knicks1248: 1. Dolan should be more involved! 2. Why would any knick fan want pick 8, when that spot has a history of producing marginal NBA taken. (He prefers pick 9th instead)
CrushAlot
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3/15/2018  11:26 AM
Vmart wrote:
knicks1248 wrote:you saw with your on 2 eyes how woodson took the exact same roster MDA had, and achieve much more success.

We saw kerr take primarily the exact same roster Mark Jackson had and achieve much more success.

Just a couple of examples of different voice, different approach.

How many players on the roster are better then they were at the start of the season?

This is not hating on JH, he just isn't getting the job done.

I didn’t know MDA had Jason Kidd on the team when he coached.


Woodson went 18-5 when he took over. No Kidd for that.
You playTrey Burke... Wally Szcerbiak
Another side of player, coach Mark Jackson: "Mark Jackson is not the savior some fans believe he is"

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