Mark Jackson was fired by the Warriors after three seasons as coach. (Mike Lawrie/Getty Images Sport)
One day after his unceremonious firing by the Warriors, former coach Mark Jackson offered some harsh words for former assistants Brian Scalabrine and Darren Erman, who were both removed from his bench in recent months.
In March, Jackson surprisingly reassigned Scalabrine to the Warriors' D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors. At the time, he denied there was any "dysfunction" on his staff and simply said he was going in a "different direction."
Then, just a few weeks later, Erman was abruptly fired for violating an unspecified team policy. ESPN.com later reported that he had been recording conversations with other coaches and players without their knowledge. At the time of Erman's dismissal, Jackson wished Erman the best and said that his assistant "owned" his mistake.
Jackson addressed the circumstances surrounding both Scalabrine and Erman in detail with the NBA's Sirius XM radio station on Wednesday. Although he chose not to mention either man by name, Jackson referenced "disrespect" from Scalabrine and referred to Erman's behavior as "inexcuseable." The 49-year-old Jackson admitted that he regretted not taking action earlier in response to Scalabrine's behavior while also suggesting that Erman was guilty of disloyalty.
"The one that was demoted [Scalabrine], I would have had handled it six weeks, a month, two months earlier. The things that took place from his side, I would have nipped it in the bud initially. That's my fault for allowing it to go on. I'm pretty much a guy, just like ministry, I try to show you a different way of handling it. Hope that seeing me handle your disrespect, you'll come around and realize this isn't the way to handle it. Fortunately for me, it works for a lot of folks, there are some folks that just won't get it and you have to handle them differently. I would do that differently.
"As far as assistants, you have to pick people who are loyal and dedicated. It's inexcusable what the second assistant [Erman] did. That cannot be tolerated. For folks to say, two situations, it's obviously documented that they both were 100 percent wrong. The only fault I got is hiring those guys. I would use wisdom in who is around me."
Jackson then continued with some extended, slightly veiled comments about the loyalty that should exist on a coaching staff and the evils of ladder climbing.
"I'm not saying these guys, I'm just saying in general, you get some loyal guys and you get some guys that are looking for a gray area or an edge. I'm not saying these guys, but I'm just saying it's an environment where you can add to that or nip it in the bud initially.
"Some people are pretty determined to be successful in life. Some people, it's not enough to go from being a bottom assistant to moving up another step and another step. Some people are anxious and excited to try to climb all the way to your seat. That's unfortunate. Because whatever job I've been called to do, I want to do that job with everything in me, and have no eyes on anybody else's job. That's just not how I do business."
Both Scalabrine and Erman joined the Warriors during Jackson's tenure. Scalabrine, 36, arrived in Golden State last summer after an 11-year playing career and one year as a broadcaster. Erman, 37, was hired by the Warriors in 2011 as a coaching assistant for player development. He was promoted one year later to an assistant coach's role and headed up Golden State's 2013 Las Vegas Summer League championship team. Prior to joining the Warriors, Erman spent four years with the Celtics and coached at both the high school and college levels.
In a separate interview, Jackson told "The Dan Patrick Show" on Wednesday that expectations for his successor should be high given the makeup and development of the Warriors roster. He also expressed frustration that news of his firing leaked out while he was still meeting with Warriors ownership and management.
"I'm pulling for the next person because that's a championship caliber team. That's a team that's prepared and ready. Somebody will inherit some incredible players and incredible individuals. It will be entertaining to see what their next step is because 51 [wins] is not enough, and having a real chance is not enough. Now they've got to do it.
"Both sides, it was a tough, draining year. 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.
"This is big business, and there certainly was a lot of stuff that was told and lied about and leaked. Some of it winded up ultimately being true, as far as my job being at risk and friction and people believing that I didn't have relationships and all of that."
In three seasons, Jackson compiled a 121-109 record (.526) and twice guided Golden State to the postseason. The Warriors' 2013 first-round victory over the Nuggets marked just the second time the franchise has advanced in the playoffs since 1991. Golden State went 51-31 in 2013-14, its first 50-win season since 1993-94.
"I don't get caught up in it," Jackson told reporters on Sunday following his team's Game 7 loss, when asked his uncertain future. "I'm totally confident, and I have total faith that no matter what I'm going to be fine. That even if I'm a full-time pastor, it's going to work out."
The Warriors fired Jackson just two days later.
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