Golden State Warriors

Jim Barnett on Warriors coaching change: “I think they made the right decision, quite frankly”

SK MJ

Apparently Mark Jackson’s problems with communication went further than his relationships with the front office and certain assistant coaches. Jim Barnett went on KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” show this morning, and made it clear that he was 100% in favor of the Warriors’ coaching change.

“I think they made the right decision, quite frankly, for all the reasons that we’ve been reading about, and anything that I do know about,” he said.

Barnett started with reasons pertaining to what Kerr can potentially bring to the team.

“I think everybody did their homework on him and feels that he can do the job. For one thing, I don’t think he has an enemy in the world. So I think he’s going to be able to relate to people, to young basketball players, to the young players on this team. Of course, they have the kind of character that they’re going to play hard for anyone. I think it’s a sure thing, quite frankly. I don’t have any reservations,” said Barnett, who explained how he thinks Kerr will help the team grow — and in the process he questioned Jackson’s role in the regression of one player in particular.

“Their offense can be improved, without question. Obviously there were a couple things. Communication – you’ve got to get along with the people you work for. Alright? And secondly, was the team going to get any better? Did Harrison Barnes get any better? Did Harrison Barnes regress? How much teaching was there? The big thing that I understood is that Mark Jackson really did not want a strong, strong coaching staff underneath him. And especially a lead assistant. If you don’t want strong people underneath you, there’s a problem right there.”

A more free-flowing offense focused on running and ball movement over halfcourt isolations and post-ups has been cited often as a reason to ditch Jackson, and Kerr’s willingness to add bright, powerful minds to his staff seems like a given. One potential concern with the Warriors’ decision stems from how the players will react to losing Jackson, but Barnett thinks the transition will be seamless.

“The Warriors are very fortunate in the group that they have because they’ve got good chemistry and I expect that chemistry to be just as good with Steve Kerr as it was with Mark Jackson. And quite frankly, it’ll probably be a little bit better because I think it’ll be a little more real.”

I know exactly what Barnett is referring to with that “real” remark. Jackson was always cordial with the media, but I never got the impression that he was ever all that genuine. He undeniably connected with many of his players on several levels, but that’s where the realness ended. Due to a combination of Jackson’s oft-repeated catchphrases and a hesitancy to provide more than the bare minimum in terms of access, Barnett sensed there was a wall between Jackson and anyone who didn’t wear a Golden State uniform during games.

“I don’t want to knock Mark Jackson, either. I will say he and I got along, but we hardly know each other. As far as a personal thing, there’s nothing wrong with our relationship, but it wasn’t the kind of relationship I’ve had with other coaches, quite frankly.

“I never was able to go to a practice. We were banned from practice that way. We weren’t part of the group. I always felt like it was Mark Jackson against the world. It was us against them and he had that kind of philosophy. And therefore, I don’t know Mark Jackson any better today than I knew him three years ago.”

Looking ahead to next season — but moving from the sideline to the announcers’ table — how many games will Barnett call next year?

“I have no idea. You know as much as I do. We’re going to go flexible with it all, see what happens and it’s all going to work out for everyone concerned.”

24 Comments

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24 Comments on "Jim Barnett on Warriors coaching change: “I think they made the right decision, quite frankly”"

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TSL
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TSL

Seems like there was also tension between Barnett and Jackson.
A little surprised by these remarks.

JByrd
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JByrd

…is this another case of people in the media with damaged egos?

whiteman
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whiteman

The Dubbs got there White guy. Like everyone else. We’re just good for playing Basketball. And that’s it.

Kidofcrash
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Kidofcrash

BASportsGuy ThompsonScribe it’s serious business when jb drops the quite franky, quite frankly

PCBrooksie
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PCBrooksie

I’ve met Jim Barnett, and “quite frankly” he’s as honest and friendly as they come.  I remember the team shouting, “Just Us!” out of huddles last year.  That bunker mentality got them out of the basement, but now that they are into the light, I think Jackson needed to alter the vision.

qtlaw88
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qtlaw88

BASportsGuy ThompsonScribe Simply Wow!! I worked w Barnett’s wife and he is one of the most gracious guys ever; for him to knock Jackson

RMixon
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RMixon

Wow! Jim stick to cheering on the Spurs. I was always under the impression that if you didn’t have something positive to say, you say nothing. The true mark of a man is not what you say about a man behind his back, but what you are man enough to say to his face. All season long I was amazed at how you denigrated the Warriors in favor of their opponents, and the way you worshipped the Spurs was shameful. I wish the Warriors and Kerr much success, but not by dumping on Mark Jackson. Just move on!

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
Yeah, it’s a surprise to see Barnett say that, but at the same time, it’s almost like he’s piling on. It’s almost like everyone who had a little bit of a problem with Jackson is letting it all out now. That’s why I kind of blame Greg Papa for that. No one was criticizing Mark Jackson before Greg Papa did, and since Jackson has been fired, some media, are coming out of the woodwork saying how tough Jackson was to work with. I know this might not totally relate to this but, me and some members from my church attended… Read more »
KyleBazzar
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KyleBazzar

BASportsGuy ThompsonScribe quite frankly… lmao

Beaver
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Beaver

Way to go Barnett, now do Fitz.

marcoamps
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marcoamps
I was wondering what JB would say on this issue cuz he knows the Warriors so well. In his spot I think he does owe it to the fans to say something and I appreciate his being honest. He didn’t tear into MJ, just clearly stated a few things and I’m sure he didn’t want to elaborate more than he did. I wonder if he’ll have more to see or just leave his comments as is and move on. I hope for and suspect the latter. Go dubs 2014-15! Thanks to MJ for bringing them back and leading them to two years of entertaining… Read more »
GWCapper
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GWCapper

BASportsGuy glad to hear Jim fire back.

Spartan Sports Guy
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Spartan Sports Guy

If you actually listened to the interview you know that Barnett was simply answering the questions honestly and not “piling on Jackson.” He flat out said he preferred to look forward and not bury Jackson, but in offering an optimistic opinion on the Kerr hiring he had to draw comparisons to Jackson.

It was a candid, straight forward assesment from a guy that knows way more about basketball and the Warriors than any of us and I appreciated Barnett’s candor.

Bubudibup
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Bubudibup

BASportsGuy Love that man, uograd66

geecrum
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geecrum

BASportsGuy

Warriors fan since 1985
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Warriors fan since 1985

Jim Barnett has earned the right to speak his mind on this situation. In all my years as a Warriors fan I’ve never heard him speak poorly of anyone. For him to say what he said about Mark Jackson speaks volumes. I’m sure it’s been eating at him seeing some in the media(MTII and Bucher) pushing lies about how Jackson is this saint and implying the Warriors front office is racist. Go Jim!!!! True Warriors fans have your back.

Eric
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Eric
The best coaches build strong staffs…Phil Jackson did, Popovich’s staff is excellent, Rick Carslisle, who many feel is one of the best in the game has an assistant for every player. Mark Jackson is a fire and brimstone guy, who doesn’t like to delegate, and had some serious deficiencies in his offensive game planning. Harrison Barnes regressed in a big way, and often times the Warrior offense looked like it was trying to be the 1995 Pacers reincarnated (not suited for the Warrior team). Jackson didn’t want to make friends, or do anything off the court to sooth the business… Read more »
Boberto
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Boberto
JB has always struck me as being credible because, despite his fondness for the Warriors, he is first and foremost a fan of the game. He avoids coming off as a homer and is an ambassador for the game because he is teaching fans what there is to appreciate about the finer points in basketball beyond wins and losses – very useful when your team has spent decades losing. As such, his praise of the Spurs and criticisms of the Warriors, at least to me, has always been about the quality of the play and coaching tinged by fondness or… Read more »
JHawaii
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JHawaii
Barnes might have not improved much under Jackson but I think it is safe to say D. Green certainly did. With that being said, both should have improved. I am excited about the Kerr hiring. Kerr and M. Jackson have different styles and teach different things from techniques to philosophy to in-game mentality. Hopefully the players absorbed much of what M Jackson gave them, especially the defensive and overall passion and intensity. Now Kerr can come in and teach his style, techniques and philosophies. The Warriors have some intelligent players. If they can learn from Kerr and his new assistants,… Read more »
jazynaz
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jazynaz
Otis Byrd III  what?  there are too many situations coming out to think all these people were influenced by papa, or anybody else.  jackson started his own “pile on” by firing two coaches, which of course, became public information, leading to all the other incidences of jackson induced problems.  it’s plain to see that his “my way or the highway” overactive ego and stubbornness was divisive, and unacceptable to the FO, which lead to his downfall.  most employers expect some give and take cooperation with their employees, and clearly, jackson did not even pretend to cooperate with his boss, the… Read more »
Slam
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Slam

Spartan Sports Guy It was an assessment from a guy who gets his checks signed by Joe Lacob … what did you expect him to say ? this is the greatest non-story EVER. Lacob is a tyrant.

kreider65
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kreider65

@whiteman Right. They hired Mark Jackson just to wait three years to stick it to the black man. If you’re looking for racism just look in the mirror.

UberKat
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UberKat
Good Interview! When you listen to Jim Barnett whether calling a game or interview radio in general, you are listening to a formidable Basketball IQ at its best!  The Bay Area is lucky to have his talents along with Greg Papa, Monty Poole, Mark Spears, Fitz, or Gary St Jean? Please indulge on an even further “simplification” of the logic leading to Jackson’s release? 1) “A” coaches will look to hire “A” assistants (This head coach wants to be surrounded by equally or more intelligent minds than himself comfortable in his own skin as head coach and open to ideas… Read more »
DavidE7
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DavidE7
Jim Barnett is the best basketball announcer I have ever heard in my 65 years of being a player and fan.  He made several comments during the season about how to improve the Warrior offense with which I agreed.  I also believe that his comments about Mark Jackson are genuine.  But I have read that the Warrior owner treated Jackson like a “coach-in-training” and, at least at the beginning, imposed his assistant coaches on him. Jackson should have been given a chance to develop his own staff.  I do not believe that he wanted “weak” assistants, but that he wanted… Read more »
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