Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson has been relieved of his duties, the team said Tuesday. Jackson’s firing comes after the Warriors were eliminated from the first round of the NBA playoffs Saturday by the Los Angeles Clippers in game seven of the series.
“It’s never easy to make a decision of this nature,” Warriors General Manager Bob Myers said in a statement, according to ESPN. “Mark has accomplished many good things during his three years with the organization, including his role in helping elevate this team into a better position than it was when he arrived nearly 36 months ago. We’re appreciative of his dedication and commitment since his arrival and are extremely grateful for his contributions. However, as an organization, we simply feel it’s best to move in a different direction at this time.”
Some of Jackson’s players will be upset by his firing. Amidst speculation that Jackson would be asked to leave the Warriors after Saturday’s loss, team all-star Stephen Curry lent his support to Jackson. “I love coach more than anybody, and I think for him to be in a situation where his job is under scrutiny and under question is totally unfair,” Curry told the San Jose Mercury News. “And it would definitely be a shock to me if anything like [his firing] were to happen. I’m going to voice my support for coach.”
Jackson’s position has been shaky throughout the year. Two assistant coaches were let go or reassigned under his regime earlier in the season.
Nonetheless, the Warriors ended their season 51-31, an improvement over last year’s record of 47-35. Jackson’s contract was set to end in 2017.
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