So, the Warriors made the peculiar decision yesterday to fire Mark Jackson despite his three successful seasons with the team.
Jackson led Golden State to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the early 1990’s, but the team’s management was reportedly unhappy with his attitude about practice and the turmoil on his coaching staff.
"Jackson's disinterest in game preparation and reluctance to practice...played a part in management's reluctance to commit long term to him," one source recently said.
Now that Jackson is out, who could be the next head coach of this very talented Warrior’s team? Given the huge risk the team is taking in letting Jackson go, it’s a safe bet they’ll be looking to bring a proven commodity to help put them over the top.
Mike D’Antoni, Stan Van Gundy, Lionel Hollins, and even Steve Kerr have been mentioned as possible replacements.
D’Antoni flopped in LA, but he was never given a roster capable of running his system. With the right players on the court, D’Antoni’s schemes are proven potent. The issue, though, is assembling those players. D’Antoni’s scheme relies on having lots of offensive firepower on the floor at all times. The Warriors roster, with Steph Curry at the helm, might just be able to provide him with the scorers he needs.
At the opposite end of D’Antoni on the coaching ideology spectrum is Stan Van Gundy. Van Gundy specializes in tailoring his scheme to fit the talent on his roster, a skill D’Antoni completely lacks. The Warriors have a diverse roster that can win in many ways, which makes Van Gundy an attractive coach to lead the bunch. Adrian Wajnarowski of Yahoo! Sports says Van Gundy and Kerr are currently atop the Warriors’ wish list, which inevitable leads us to...
Steve Kerr. Many believe Kerr and the Knicks have all-but finalized a deal to make him New York’s next coach, but others aren’t so sure. Rumors keep surfacing that Kerr would like to coach a team on the west coast, and the Warriors’ talented squad must be appealing to him -- especially compared to New York’s roster. He also has close ties with Warriors President Rick Welts from their time together in Phoenix.
Finally, we’ve got Lionel Hollins. In many ways, Hollins’ coaching career mirrors Jackson’s. He experienced great success with a team before being let go due to issues with management. Regardless, Hollins is a good coach with a proven track record. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne says Hollins “is likely to get a call” from Golden State.
We’ll see what happens. This is definitely one of the most – if not the most -- attractive openings on the market.