Mark Jackson: “I would be more than happy to go to war with Steph Curry and Monta Ellis as my backcourt”June 9, 2011 – 11:00 am by Chris Fedor
When Mark Jackson was in the NBA, he was considered one of the best leaders and floor generals in the league and had one of the best basketball IQ’s as well. Now he is going to see if he can take those skills to the sidelines as a head coach. Despite not having any coaching experience and being most known recently for his sayings on the TV broadcasts like “hand down, man down” and “momma there goes that man,” the Warriors decided that Jackson was the man to try and bring Golden State back to the playoffs and be the leader on the sidelines to take Monta Ellis (maybe) and Steph Curry to the next level. I have no idea what kind of coach he will be, how much success he will have in the Bay Area, and I wasn’t in the interview room either, but I find it interesting that other top assistants are still available and he was given a head coaching gig without any prior coaching experience.
Mark Jackson joined ESPN Radio in Los Angeles on the Stephen A. Smith Show to talk about how it feels to finally become a head coach in the NBA, when he first thought about being a head coach, what he thinks will make him a good coach in the NBA, how disappointed he is that he was hired in Golden State as opposed to New York, and whether or not he thinks the Warriors are ready to win based on their talent.
What it feels like to be a head coach in the NBA:
“Man it’s incredible, absolutely incredible. It’s an honor, a blessing, I’m thankful to the Warriors management, the ownership, the organization, I’m excited, I’m thrilled, and I look forward to the next challenge in my life.”
When he first thought about being a head coach:
“A long time ago before I ever had a correct dream of being a pro. I would sit in the corner of my house dreaming of being Earl Monroe as I listened to Knick games on the radio. At the same time I would call the action and I would also during timeouts design plays so I was a weird kid. I was able up until this point to fulfill two of those dreams. To close it and fulfill the final one is incredible. I’m honored.”
On why he thinks he will be a good coach:
“One of my greatest gifts, I have been a leader from day one and I have been a student of the game. I truly understand what it takes to win, I’ve watched teams win and I have also watched teams fall apart because they didn’t do things the proper way. I will deliver a message and we’ll figure out who really wants to win or who’s just acting and then we will make the proper adjustments.”
Whether or not he is still disappointed about not getting the Knicks job:
“Well it’s home for me and I truly am honored and humbled by the support and love that the New York City fans and family have given me throughout the course of my life. There was a point in time where my dream was to be the head coach of the New York Knicks. It didn’t work out. I’m still a Knick fan at heart but right now it’s all about the Golden State Warriors and I’m absolutely thrilled to be in a situation where we can make a lot of noise in the Bay Area.”
Whether or not he thinks the Warriors are ready to make noise based on the talent:
“Part of the excitement of me taking the job was me being sold on the ownership, the management, and not settling for anything short of winning and competing on a nightly basis. The energy and the environment leads you to believe that things will get done. We’re not going to be satisfied until we turn this thing around.”
On Monta Ellis:
“He’s a big-time scorer and he makes the coaches job easier. You don’t have to design a play down the stretch trying to create a shot. Great offensive weapons create plays and make plays down the stretch. I look forward to coaching Monta Ellis. He’s an outstanding talent and I look forward to challenging him also. I think he’s a great player and certainly I would be more than happy to go to war with Steph Curry and Monta Ellis as my backcourt.”
Listen to Mark Jackson on ESPN Radio LA here (Audio begins 8:10 into the podcast)