Well, they did it. They fired Mark Jackson. For months now, there have been rumors of discontent, dislike, and even spying and sabotage within the Golden State Warriors brass. Joe Lacob, the owner of the team, was said to have disagreements with the way Jackson coached and managed the team. Jackson is often described as a father figure, motivator, and preacher. He's never been noted as a strategist, an "X's and O's guy"—the type desired by Lacob. While the players rallied around Jackson, the ownership group did not.
Mark Jackson was the Warriors coach since 2011, and took over a team with some promise but with no realistic expectations. In his first year as coach, the Warriors went 23-43. However, in the following two years, as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and David Lee emerged, the Warriors made consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in over 2 decades and won 50+ games for the first time since 1993/1994.
Despite these achievements, this was seen as a finals-or-fired year for Jackson. For many, despite the 51 win season just completed by the Warriors, the season was just seen as a disappointment. The question was whether or not the Warriors won 51 because of Mark Jackson or despite him. This is certainly a team that could have won more games, resulting in a more favorable seeding for the playoffs, and is almost expected to advance to the second-round of the playoffs, as they did last year. But they didn't.
After the Warriors were bounced from the playoffs by the Clippers on Saturday, speculation began as to when Jackson would get the axe and who would be hired in his stead. Although many expected this move, no one expected it to happen this soon. Steph Curry has been very vocal in his support for Mark Jackson and many thought that any new direction would have to be run through him first—you do NOT want to alienate your budding superstar. Whether this means Steph approves of the move or he was left in the dark remains to be seen.
It's been a very strange two weeks in Warriorland.