Speaking with Yahoo Sports after the Warriors' Game 6 win Thursday, Warriors owner Joe Lacob denied that he and his staff have had conversations about coach Mark Jackson's job security.
"Honest to God, that's the media that is doing all this," Lacob told Yahoo Sports. "There is nothing going on until after the season. I refuse to let anyone talk about that. We don't talk about it. We haven't had that discussion. Everybody in the entire organization is reviewed after the season and we make decisions."
via Clippers, Warriors looking to put drama and ailments behind them in Game 7 - Yahoo Sports.
Well, then. That's quite the strong denial that ... you've decided to do anything yet. The rumors about Golden State aren't that Jackson will be fired, or that there have been discussions about firing him. It's that there's a substantial rift between the front office including ownership and Jackson. From Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News:
Mark Jackson coaches the Warriors in Oakland but keeps his home base in Southern California, which is a small detail but the details matter.
They especially matter when team ownership has expressed a desire for Jackson to establish at least partial residence here.
That issue was raised when co-owner Joe Lacob and Jackson's agent held brief contract extension talks last off-season, according to an NBA source.
Lacob's request was dropped even before the contract discussions were tabled, the source said, and neither side has ever acknowledged that the conversations happened at all.
But now, with Jackson possibly coaching the Warriors for the final time Thursday in Game 6 against the Clippers, those aborted talks last summer can be viewed as some of the first cracks in this relationship.
They're fissures now, widening by the week, even after a 51-victory regular season and back-to-back playoff appearances.
If there is a lack of trust now, it began a year ago when Lacob and Jackson contemplated what it would take to extend this relationship much longer.
By the way, my understanding is that Warriors management has made no final decision on Jackson, who is under contract for one more season and has done impressive things with this team throughout his three-season tenure.
Jackson has lost two assistants in the last month, with Darren Erman fired for recording conversations with the coaching staff, and Brian Scalabrine reassigned after conflict with Jackson. Jackson talks after each win like a man under unfair pressure and mentioned after Game 6 Thursday that "this group won't be the same next year."
So if Lacob thinks "the media" is making this stuff up, he should go ahead and sign Jackson to a long-term extension. I don't mind if Lacob wants to move on from Jackson -- the Warriors underperformed all season, and his success in this round is the same no matter what -- but the Warriors' positive results against the Clippers also have been as a result of Blake Griffin foul trouble and the Donald Sterling affair. In games in which the Clippers have had some measure of normalcy, they've blown the Warriors out.
Still, Game 7's are a coin flip that usually comes down to whichever team shoots a little better -- and the Warriors have the better-shooting team. If Jackson advances to the second round, it's inconceivable that he would be let go.