Yesterday was Joe Lacob’s opportunity to explain the Warriors’ position, and he used over 3,000 words in doing so. The two quotes that stood out, at least to me:
“This is Bob Myers’ decision. I have the final say, but (Myers) gets input from Jerry (West) as a consultant and advisor and from Kirk (Lacob) and Travis (Schlenk). That’s our group. We are a consensus kind of decision-making group. This is his (Myers’) decision. This is his fire and his hire. I certainly have a role in it, no question, but to put all of the onus on me as some sort of too tough ogre is probably what some people like to create as stories.”
He had to listen to a four-man advisory group that was 50% Lacob, but it was Myers’ call.
“In Mark’s next job, he probably needs to do a better job of managing up and sideways. Managing down, managing to his players, he obviously did a pretty good job. Most of his players seem to really like playing for him and played hard for him. That’s really important in the NBA. I would assume if you asked him, he would realize – maybe give him some time to answer this – he could probably do a little better job of managing up and sideways, is the way to put it.”
Lacob is veering awfully close to becoming a real-life version of a character Mike Judge would create with that “managing up and sideways” comment, but it was probably the most honest, telling statement in an interview session that contained many, many statements. Jackson didn’t make his bosses feel comfortable, which is the main reason I cited for his dismissal.
Mark Jackson has already stated his case on three different radio shows today, and it’s quite possible that I’ve lost count. One would have to imagine that he’ll talk to Tom Tolbert this afternoon, seeing as he did a weekly show with Mr. T throughout the last few seasons. Geoff Lepper said “Jackson is winning the PR battle in a big way right now,” and I’d have to agree. It helps that Jackson is really well-connected in NBA circles, but he also said a lot of interesting things today. Here’s a sample of some of the better lines he uttered.
With Dan Patrick:
On all the leaks:
“Too many sources. I go into a meeting to discuss the job opportunity and, before I come out, it’s been tweeted that I’m in a meeting and that I’m being fired. That’s not how you do business. And you’re worried about business relations?”
Jackson wasn’t happy with how things were going:
“If we advance, do I still have a job? I’m not really sure because, at the end of the day, we both walked into the meeting and we both were frustrated. That’s the crazy thing: nothing was leaked on my side, because I felt the same way and I had issues. I’m not sure if the best thing for me, going into that office, my mind was made up whether I was going or staying. So it wasn’t a one-way decision.”
With Bucher, Towny and Huff (95.7 “The Game”):
On whether the Warriors highlighted Jackson’s ministry when convenient:
I was hired when I was a pastor. I think it’s unfortunate because if it was true, you don’t encourage media to come do a piece on my church, on my ministry, the work on my faith. Don’t do it when it’s convenient and you’re searching for something. I never went around beating people in the head with a Bible.
On the Warriors’ preference for their head coach to reside in the Bay Area full-time:
“So don’t look for excuses. Just say it didn’t work. Just say it didn’t work and let’s move on like grown folks. Because there’s nothing that you said to do from day one that I did not do. And if you want me to live here, well, buy my house in L.A. and buy me a house here. Doesn’t that make sense?”
On reports that Jackson and Kirk Lacob weren’t on speaking terms:
“I had no problem with Kirk. Kirk is a guy who runs the Santa Cruz Warriors. He’s the Assistant GM and I had no problem with Kirk. Here’s my question. If that’s true then make Kirk available and let Kirk talk about it because as far as I know there was no issue. As a matter of fact Kirk called my phone last night, in the midst of plenty of other phone calls so I couldn’t get back, but he did leave a nice message and went against what’s being reported and talked about it not being true. So to me it’s made up stuff and I’m not going to sit here and continue to chop down one by one. Pretty much all of it has been lies.”
With Off The Dribble’s Jared Greenberg and Rick Fox (SiriusXM):
No-excuses (starting tomorrow):
This year, without our starting center and then our hobbled backup center, and our third-string center that didn’t play one second all year long, and third most games missed by individuals all season long by any team, we were able to take a team with two of the top 10 players in the world, the sixth man of the year award winner, and a dominant big man on the defensive end, and a future Hall of Fame coach to Game 7 in which we were winning by one with two minutes and 20 seconds to go. If that’s not enough, then it’s championship time. For us to be a top-four team, which was the expectation, so they say, is not realistic. It could’ve happened, but give respect to the teams that were better than us over the course of 82 games. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t have beaten them. But certainly those top four teams are high quality teams that had successful years.
On how he handled the assistant coaches, starting with Brian Scalabrine:
Two assistant coaches, one demoted, one fired. The one that was demoted, I would’ve handed it six weeks, a month, two months earlier. The things that took place from his side, I would’ve nipped it in the bud initially. That’s my fault for allowing it to go on. I’m pretty much a guy that, just like ministry, I try to show you a different way of handling it. And I hope that seeing me handle your disrespect, you can realize this isn’t the way to handle it.
On Darren Erman:
It’s inexcusable what the second assistant did. That cannot be tolerated … Obviously in two situations it’s documented that they both were 100% wrong. The only fault I’ve got is hiring those guys. (In the future) I would use wisdom in who’s around me — not the job that they did, but how you do the job. That has to be a reflection on you as a head coach.