Former Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine criticized former head coach Mark Jackson for not preparing the team to be "championship caliber," according to a report from the Bay Area News Group.
Scalabrine, who was let go by Jackson during the regular season for philosophical differences about coaching, said Jackson gave off the kind of mentality to his team that it's "OK to be average, it's OK to be .500, it's OK to be an eighth seed, ninth seed, or move our way to a sixth seed." He said he respected Jackson as a coach but it became "frustrating" to work on his staff after a while:
"I don’t think championships are given out. I think championships are earned, and I just felt like along the way we thought…something was going to happen. Like it’s OK to be average. It’s OK to be .500. It’s OK to be an eighth seed, ninth seed, or move our way up to a sixth seed. I mean, that’s just not the right mentality if you’re trying to win with a team with a lot of young players. Generally, as a staff we really didn’t prepare our team to be championship-caliber nor did we prepare our team to eventually be championship-caliber. I respected him as a head coach going into that, but after a while, it was just like us not doing what I would feel like our job is. It was just kind of frustrating.”
Jackson was ultimately let go by the front office after a year in which the Warriors finished the regular season with a record of 51-31, clinching the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs before losing to the Clippers in the first round. Jackson was replaced by Steve Kerr. Scalabrine is now a TV analyst for the Boston Celtics, where he spent nearly half his career as a player in the league.
- Marc Weinreich