Did Mark Jackson Ban Jerry West From His Practices?

Mark Jackson Jerry West
Mark Jackson Jerry West
Kyle Terada USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson is angrily denying news reports claiming he sought to ban Hall of Famer Jerry West from his team practices.

That’s a lie,” Jackson told USA Today immediately following the Warriors’ 113-103 loss to the Clippers Tuesday night, dropping them in a 3-2 hole in their Western Conference opening round series. “Come on. That’s disrespectful. That’s a flat out lie.”

What seems irrefutable is Golden State appears to have one of the league’s most dysfunctional locker rooms. Already this season, assistant coach Brian Scalabrine has been demoted to the D-League and Darren Erman fired, both amid reports of running feuds with Jackson over his style and approach.

In the case of the 75-year-old West, now a consultant with the team, he and Jackson are also rumored to be at odds over what the best style for the Warriors might be. But through it all, Jackson always seems to have his team ready to play and, to a man, they all adamantly stand behind their coach.

Over the last two decades, the franchise has made just three playoff appearances, and Jackson has led the team two of them over his first three seasons in town, including this year’s 51-31 mark. Over the last two seasons alone, the Warriors have posted 98 victories to go along with another eight postseasons wins.

All-Star guard Stephen Curry has often described his relationship with Jackson as far more than just a coach and player type relationship. ”Coach inspires every person in this locker room,” said Curry.

The jury is still out as to what it all might mean come the end of the Warriors’ season, particularly if they’re ousted in the first round by the somewhat distracted Clippers. But whatever happens, it probably wont have any lasting impact on the long free-spirited Jackson.

“I have no problem with management; I have no problem with ownership,” said Jackson. “It doesn’t matter what happens. You know why? Because at the end of the day, you look at who the person is. That’s all. I can’t be that incredible of an actor in front of 15 guys who are watching me every moment of the day. Those are the guys who will run through a wall. Call up one of them. Take your pick.”

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Glenn Minnis
Glenn Minnis is an XN Sports NBA contributor. He has written for the Chicago Tribune, ESPN, BET and AOL. Follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.