Mark Jackson harbors no disillusions. He knows and accepts that his destiny as coach of the Golden State Warriors depends on what his team makes of the coming weeks otherwise known as the NBA playoffs.
“My job is determined on winning,” Jackson told ESPN of all the ongoing “chatter” about his future with the organization. “I’m fine with that.”
In a development that begs the question of when is enough never really enough, Jackson finds himself on the hot-seat despite leading the Warriors on the verge of the franchise’s best season in 20 years in just his third campaign at the helm. Under Jackson’s watch, the Warriors are also poised to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time in since the 1990 season.
Yet, in the last two weeks, Jackson has lost two of his top assistants, first having Brian Scalabrine reassigned to the team’s D-League affiliate for what he termed “differences in philosophies” and more recently losing Darren Erman for what’s been billed as “a violation of company policy.”
In the wake of it all, owner Joe Lacob has refrained from publicly supporting his coach’s tenure beyond this season, which comes on top of the team’s decision to pick up his contract option for the 2014-15 season last summer instead of negotiating a long-term deal with him.
“There’s no friction at all,” Jackson still insists. “I humbly submit to you, if you’ve got a problem with me as a person, then it’s your problem. I’m low maintenance. What you see is what you get, and I’m going to be a fun-loving enjoyable guy that’s easy to talk to. I have no issues with anybody in this organization and it’s been that way from Day 1.”
There’s no denying that still holds true where Jackson’s players and the Warriors’ locker room are concerned. All-Star guard Stephen Curry still shares more than just a coach/player relationship with him and veteran center Jermaine O’Neal remains among his most loyal and vocal supporters.
Currently, the Warriors sat as the Western Conference’s No. 6 seed at 48-29 and with five games remaining in the regular season for the first time in 20 years they are at least 19 games above .500.
And again it’s all come under the guidance of Jackson, all come with him having been forced to play extended stretches of the season without injured starters Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Andre Iguodala.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” said Jackson. “Believe it or not, I am absolutely convinced that my future is just fine.”