Mark Jackson (121-109 NBA regular-season record)
Two years ago, Mark Jackson was the head coach of the Golden State Warriors. A lot of things have changed since then. Jackson is back working with ESPN while the Warriors won the NBA title in 2015 and are working towards another one this year.
Watching his former team win the NBA title without him had to leave a bitter taste in Jackson’s mouth. For this reason, Jackson could be tempted to coach again.
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Many felt Jackson underachieved after seeing what current Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr is doing with the team right now. As a result, people quickly discredit Jackson’s coaching ability. This is completely unfair. In fact, Jackson is the reason why the Warriors’ best players are so good right now.
Stephen Curry’s stardom took off under Mark Jackson’s guidance. After being hampered by injuries in Jackson’s first season, Curry posted career highs in points, rebounds and assists in each of the following two seasons. Jackson taught Curry the skills he need to be a dominant NBA point guard on a consistent basis.
Meanwhile, Jackson also sparked Klay Thompson’s career. Jackson developed Thompson’s skills in his rookie season, and then let him loose in his second season. With Jackson’s help early in his career, Thompson is regarded as one of the best shooting guards in the NBA.
Jackson has a tendency to get into heated disagreements with front office executives. This is the reason why the Warriors ended up firing him. If the Indiana Pacers want him, Bird needs to have the same goals and ideals as Jackson.
Whether you like Jackson or not, you cannot deny the fact that he knows how to coach. He knows how to motivate players and teaches them the skills they need to be successful. Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli are all players made better while he was at Golden State.
Imagine what Jackson could do with a star like Paul George, or a young player like Myles Turner. It is this sort of thought that makes Jackson an enticing candidate for the Indiana Pacers.