I have a lot of friends who don’t follow or understand sports. That’s why I exist. I’m here to try and explain things in a way that helps them understand, whether or not they are actually interested. So periodically on The GBOAT, I’ll offer a simple and (hopefully) humorous view on sports. This is the Sportz Section.
The Golden State Warriors were a slightly dysfunctional team the past few years. They actually had a player hurt himself riding a moped. He was injured so badly he couldn’t play all season. Then he lied about how it happened. Awesome.
Because of this, coupled with the fact that they aren’t a very good team either, they fired their coach and have been searching for a replacement.
In typical Warriors fashion, they didn’t feel like looking too hard and quickly hired TV Analyst Mark Jackson.
What makes this interesting is that Jackson, a former player, has literally no coaching experience. At all. He hung up his sneakers in 2004, then jumped straight in front of the camera.
This is a little bit like a guy who has experience using Excel being hired as the head of the engineering department. Or maybe, hypothetically speaking, if a random guy who isn’t in politics gets hired as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
Well, it’s not like Jackson has spent the past several years away from basketball. He’s served as an analyst, which naturally means that he gets to observe and break down games so all of us can understand the intricacies of the beautiful sport of basketball. Right? Isn’t that what they do?
Well, why don’t we take a look at the sort of thing that Mark Jackson is most known for thus far in his broadcasting career:
That’s right, Mark Jackson is best known as The Guy That Spouts Out Nonsense as the Game Heads to a Commercial.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a little bit hard on ol’ Mark because it’s such a sudden hiring. Let’s see what the owners of the Warriors had to say about the man!
[From the Associated Press] “He epitomized leadership as a player in this league for 17 seasons and we think that characteristic — and many other positive traits — will translate very well into his coaching duties with our young team,” owner Joe Lacob said in a statement. “He was a leader and a winner both on and off the floor in this league and we’re convinced that he is the right person to guide this team into the future and help us achieve the success that we are striving for as an organization.”
That makes sense. Jackson came to the New York Knicks in the late ’80s and helped turn them into a championship contender. Until he….got traded, that is. But that’s cool, that happens a lot. He was still an invaluable leader to the teams he played for.
All seven of them. I think at one point he even got traded to the NFL.
Most people, when they think of the great leaders in NBA history, think of Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan. Heck, even Kobe Bryant might fit in there somewhere (might). Those guys had something in common: they all played (and won titles) for one team.
Jordan is the exception to that, coming out of retirement to play for the Washington Wizards, who he was part-owner of. But keep in mind playing for the Wizards was his decision. He wasn’t traded there. And most people just agree to act like it never happened anyway.
All joking aside, it should be noted that Mark Jackson was one heck of a player, and often doesn’t get credit for that. He won Rookie of the Year. He ranks 3rd all time in assists. Heck, he even prompted an NBA rule change that says you can’t back people down for more than five seconds. This was because of his habit of spending half the game doing so.
But does that really make him head coach material? Only time will tell. And that time is probably when three-year contract with Golden State is done.
See you back in the broadcasting booth in 3 years, Mark.