Golden State Warriors GM Bob Myers talked with Gary Radnich and Larry Krueger on KNBR this morning, making him the first member of management to speak publicly since the team reassigned assistant coach Brian Scalabrine to Santa Cruz.
Myers spent a decent portion of the interview attempting to divert the topic of discussion away from Mambagate, instead preferring to focus on the Warriors’ win last night, the playoff push and a 50-win season.
“A lot of it has to do with five games off and you never know what holds with the media,” Myers said when asked about the story coming out and why it gained so much momentum. “Some of the stories resonate more with the fans and media … you don’t want your season to be affected by anything externally.”
Why didn’t management go on the record earlier?
“The internal decision was to let coach speak on it, so you don’t want to get mixed messages out there,” said Myers. “If it doesn’t line up exactly, then people take it out of context.”
After Adrian Wojnarowski’s story made Golden State’s five-day break a little more eventful than they probably hoped, multiple players — including Stephen Curry, Jermaine O’Neal and David Lee — made comments describing the Warriors’ locker room as harmonious and Jackson as the right man to lead this team. Whether or not that’ll convince management to offer Jackson an extension (if he even wants one) is unclear, but Myers sounded like he heard all he needed to hear as far as this season is concerned.
“My focus as the GM is to make sure the players are doing fine, and they are. We saw all the support they gave the coach,” he said.
Myers continued trying to deflect the line of questioning and bring the focus back on the players, despite further inquiries from Radnich and Krueger. However, Myers confirmed that it was Jackson’s decision to move Scalabrine to the D-League, and explained why management didn’t outright fire Scalabrine.
“Mark’s not a vindictive guy, he’s not out to get anybody, said Myers. “He’s not out to hurt anybody really, but Mark was involved in all the process of what the transition would be.”
Myers continued to push the 50-win narrative as the real story.
“We might possibly win 50 games this year and that should really be the story, and it’s a good story,” said Myers. “What’s disappointing is the focus shifting off of that.”
Radnich asked Myers point-blank if it was simply a matter of Scalabrine speaking out-of-turn as a fourth assistant coach.
“I’m not in the room so you never know, in any professional sport you hire a head coach to win games,” Myers said.
“Mark’s done a tremendous job this year, he’s faced a lot of criticism … If you can rewind the clock and say you have a chance to win 50 games, I guess that’s pretty good.”
Myers also explained why the team hasn’t signed Jackson to an extension this year, despite the team’s winning percentage.
“Nobody does any type of extensions in the middle of the season, you got to really lock on the rest of the season … We got to focus on the rest of the season and have those discussions at the end of the season,” he said.
“You don’t need other distractions, whether its coaches’ salaries or coaches’ years.”
Krueger asked if Jackson is nothing more than a lame duck coach without true support from management.
“I would argue a lame duck is someone that’s in the last year of their deal. I think that’s a little premature to say,” said Myers. “The focus is on making the season finish the best way we can and moving on from there.”