Bob Myers

Are the Warriors prepared for life without Mike Malone?

Since we’re more than a week into the NBA Playoffs and over three weeks until the NBA Draft Lottery, news on the Golden State Warriors has been scarce. Today, that changed, and not in a good way if you were hoping to see how the current regime would build off what was mostly a developmental season in 2011/12.

Wojnarowski’s report shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Warriors or their fans, but it’s worrisome just the same. Mike Malone came aboard with Mark Jackson, and it was seen as a package deal. With Jackson bringing charisma, name value, undeniably strong character traits, and not much in the way of coaching experience (besides serving as a coach on the floor, as they say), Malone filled in the blanks.

Malone was also paid handsomely to usher Jackson through his rookie season: $750,000, the highest salary of any assistant coach in the NBA. That’s why this has to be at least a tad alarming for the Warriors. Did they really pay Malone more than Jeremy Tyler, Charles Jenkins, Mikell Gladness, Mikki Moore and Chris Wright to tutor Jackson for less than a year before taking off for another team? With that investment, one would have to think Joe Lacob and the Warriors were hoping to keep Malone around a little longer than one measly lockout-shortened season.

If Malone isn’t chosen for the Charlotte job or any of the other coaching vacancies that’ll need filling this off-season, the Warriors will go into next year with the same chain of command. If Malone leaves (which suddenly seems quite likely), is Jackson ready to take over? Jackson was the head coach this past season and handled many of the surface duties — the pregame and postgame interview sessions, standing up and walking around the sideline during games (without saying much), divvying up minutes to players. But even that last task could’ve been Malone’s job, since nearly everything else seemed to be on the assistant’s plate.

Malone was the one responsible for teaching team defense to a roster that had ignored that part of the game for several years. During timeouts it was Malone, not Jackson, who sat in front of the players with the white board, drawing up plays. While Jackson was tasked with instilling a culture, the perception among most was that Malone was the brains behind the operation.

Malone: knowledge-sharer or knowledge-hoarder?

Even if Malone doesn’t take the Bobcats job, he probably won’t be in Golden State much longer (unless the Warriors fire Jackson and replace him with Malone, which seems like a longshot). It’s hard to know the answer to the following question unless you’re a part of the Warriors organization, but did Malone teach Jackson along the way? The plan shouldn’t have been to let Malone handle the x’s and o’s for years; they had to prepare themselves for the possibility that he’d want to be the main guy somewhere.

Can Jackson handle conceiving and diagramming plays? Has he learned enough from working with Malone to take the defensive concepts the coaching staff tried to instill and build upon them? If not, can one or more of the other assistants (Pete Myers, Wes Unseld Jr. and Jerry DeGregorio) pick up the slack?

If Malone leaves and the Warriors aren’t sure whether Jackson and the rest of his remaining coaches can fill the gaps, they need to act quickly and decisively. If that means finding the next brilliant assistant and paying him more than market value, like they did with Malone, that’s what they have to do. Hiring Jackson was a gamble, a bet they hedged with Malone. If they set Jackson up to fail next season, it won’t matter what happens in the Lottery.

 

5 Comments

Leave a Reply

5 Comments on "Are the Warriors prepared for life without Mike Malone?"

Notify of
avatar
  
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Fitz's Future Unemployment Check
Guest
Member
Fitz's Future Unemployment Check

This is what happens when you hire a coach with no X’s and O’s knowledge. Fans were dumb and defended the Singletary hire for the Niners, and more recently the Jackson hire. Yes, they’ve been around the game and obviously have forgotten more X’s and O’s than most of us combined… but that’s not the standard. Compared to their peers, they’re in last place out of 30 teams, and you can’t count on winning that way.

Another mistake in a long line of Warrior blunders

Stan
Guest
Member
Stan

I’m not worried…I could find another quality assistant easy..a dime a dozen. Its not the assistant coach that makes or breaks..its that Lacob is..do you realize this?..THE most experienced man in the franchise?..THAT’S scary. ..He’s ahead of Jackson and Meyers at what they are hired to do. He’s slightly ahead of the trainers!

Stan
Guest
Member
Stan
As far as x’s and o’s? I ‘m more worried that Jackson thinks Beidrens is Alex Smith. Getting rid of Monta was a huge positive-I give Lacob credit because you know he had sweaty palms..and for a center with a broken ankle?. But,he needs to add quality,not just more players. Bogut-good. Whats next?,we shall see. btw-You notice Monta did his 35 and 40 point game thing for the Bucks..and Milwaukee lost both those games. They also finished after the trade with a flat under .500 record. And to think I was told that G.S would be sorry as the Bucks… Read more »
Paul Alexander
Guest
Member
Paul Alexander

I knew Mike Malone was considered one of the best, if not the best, assistants in the league. I was unaware that he was responsible for so much of the day to day coaching. Being a huge doubter of Jackson before the season, I started to believe that perhaps I had been wrong. I may be drifting slowly back towards my previous opinion.

Stan
Guest
Member
Stan

I wouldn’t get carried away thinking Jackson was a figurehead puppet and Malone was the brains.
The Warriors at their best under Malone weren’t any better then with Smart. Sure,they were better on defense..because they gave up on offense so much. If they had a better “D”..and won more? Then I would say he’s a real talent.

wpDiscuz
What is Bay Area Sports Guy?

It is the top independent sports site covering the teams that play in the best sports region in the United States. BASG is not an ordinary fan blog. It is a place where sports news is broken and analyzed by writers with access who are not afraid to question the status quo, writers who also produce original content in the form of videos, photographs and podcasts.

Questions/Comments? Email basg@bayareasportsguy.com
Fill out my online form.

Copyright © 2017 - Bay Area Sports Guy. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy Terms of Use and BASG Shop Terms

To Top