Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson was fired Tuesday, according to a press release from the NBA.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweeted earlier in the day that Jackson was meeting with Golden State front office executives on Tuesday, saying that "sources close to management" believed he will be relieved of his head coaching duties.
In the statement released by the league, Warriors GM Bob Myers spoke to the decision to part ways:
“It’s never easy to make a decision of this nature. Mark has accomplished many good things during his three years with the organization, including his role in helping elevate this team into a better position than it was when he arrived nearly 36 months ago. We’re appreciative of his dedication and commitment since his arrival and are extremely grateful for his contributions. However, as an organization, we simply feel it’s best to move in a different direction at this time.”
The news comes just days after the team suffered a season-ending loss in Game 7 of their first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday. Following the game, and amid intensified speculation that Jackson was headed out of Oakland, Stephen Curry gave his vocal support for his head coach, saying it's "totally unfair" that Jackson has had to deal with such a high level of scrutiny this season, his third as coach of the Warriors.
But Jackson's tenure in Oakland has been shaky all year. The team lost two staff members in unusual circumstances: Assistant coach Darren Erman was let go for secretly recording team meetings, and Brian Scalabrine was reassigned after a clash with Jackson.
Warriors center Jermaine O'Neal, who is contemplating retirement, said while the team's season was still alive that he'd be surprised if Jackson was still the head coach next year. The Warriors improved to 51-31 under Jackson this season after a 47-35 regular season record last year. Jackson, 49, was under contract with the Warriors until 2017.