Mark Jackson appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday to discuss his firing. The Golden State Warriors let him go on Tuesday after winning 51 games in his third season in the sideline and losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in a seven-game first-round series.
There was much to talk about, especially after Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in an interview that Jackson, beloved by his players, would need to "do a better job of managing up and sideways" at his next stop.
Jackson said that when he sat down with Lacob, he was not even sure what he wanted to happen.
"I'll tell you the truth," he told Patrick. "If we advance, do I still have a job? I'm not really sure because, at the end of the day, we both walked into the meeting and we both were frustrated. That's the crazy thing: nothing was leaked on my side, because I felt the same way and I had issues. I'm not sure if the best thing for me, going into that office, my mind was made up whether I was going or staying. So it wasn't a one-way decision."
Jackson addressed the drama surrounding his former coaching staff. In late March, assistant coach Brian Scalabrine was re-assigned to the D-League. In early April, assistant coach Darren Erman was fired after reportedly taping private conversations between coaches and players.
"Things had to change," Jackson said, and then he elaborated on how he felt undermined by ex-members of his staff.
"What happens is, in this business, you got assistants are people who all of a sudden see, if I say we should've did this and I say we should've did that, all of a sudden I might move up the charts," Jackson said. "So you create an environment where people begin to just give a little bit of gray area, and who knows? And that's not fair to anybody. And it's unfortunate, but there's a reason that what happened with my two guys happened. That's just a fact."
Jackson took issue with the picture painted of him. He disputed that his family living in Los Angeles reflected his commitment to the team, again denied that he banned Jerry West from practices and said that he got along with the basketball operations side of the organization.
"Quite honestly, I stay in my lane," he said. "What I mean by that is I have a boss. I have a boss and I talk to my boss and I deal with my boss. It's new to me, so I don't know how to dance with the business folks."
"It was a tough, draining year," Jackson continued. "Too many sources. I go into a meeting to discuss the job opportunity and, before I come out, it's been tweeted that I'm in a meeting and that I'm being fired. That's not how you do business. And you're worried about business relations?"
There was obviously a ton of tension behind the scenes, probably more than we know about. And with all the reports in recent weeks and months, we know much more than usual for this sort of thing. Golden State had a fairly successul season, but based on the comments coming from both sides, the situation was untenable.
Jackson said he had not been contacted about the vacant New York Knicks head coaching position, and that he won't be "begging for an opportunity." Despite all of the problems with the Warriors, it sounded as if he would've much rather worked things out.
"I had a lot invested," Jackson said. "I talked about it in my meeting. The unfortunate thing is the pregnancy happened, the baby was carried for nine months or for three years, they watched the labor pains and being in the hospital and somebody else is going sit there and be able to grab the head of the baby when it's born."