Mark A. Jackson (born April 1, 1965) is a retired professional basketball player and coach from the United States. He was a point guard who played for the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association (NBA) between 1987 and 2004.
After retiring from basketball, Jackson joined ESPN and ABC as a broadcast pundit with his old coach Jeff Van Gundy and play-by-play announcer Mike Breen. He also worked as an analyst for the New Jersey Nets games on The YES Network. Jackson was hired as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 2011. He coached the Warriors for three seasons before being sacked in 2014, despite taking the team to consecutive postseason appearances for the first time in over two decades.
Jackson signed a multi-year deal to return to ESPN as a game analyst on May 17, 2014.
Mark Jackson, the former head coach of the Golden State Warriors, is one of the acknowledged possibilities for the Lakers’ head coaching job. Jackson hasn’t played in the NBA since 2014 and now works as an ESPN broadcaster. Over the last few years, he’s been linked to numerous head coaching jobs, but he’s stuck in the broadcast booth for now.
Ethan Strauss of Substack, previously of ESPN, presented some details on Tuesday that could explain Jackson’s long absence from the NBA coaching ranks. Because of Jackson’s status as a commentator for the world’s most popular sports network, Strauss’ tale was not published in ESPN The Magazine. According to Strauss, the tale included the following:
-Deep reporting on Jackson’s cult-like “we against them” atmosphere, in which he repeatedly demeaned the managers in front of the locker room.
-Allegations that in his final days with the team, Jackson increased his religious discourse in increasingly severe and divisive ways.
Mark had accused underlings of “being influenced by the devil,” prompting Jackson to “laid hands on them to rid them of their wicked spirits,” according to a source.
-According to two individuals, Jackson referred to openly gay Jason Collins and team president Rick Welts as “penis grabbers” who were “going to hell.”
ESPN “tried to keep quiet” about the facts of the story that was never published, according to Strauss.
If the claim is accurate, it should give the Lakers pause before considering hiring Jackson. Aside from Strauss’ claim, Jackson had a lot of disagreements with the Warriors’ higher administration. The Lakers do need a new voice in the building that isn’t Rob Pelinka, Jeanie Buss, or the Rambi, but a coach who also happens to be a zealot is unlikely to succeed in the long run.
The Lakers’ general manager, Rob Pelinka, has already stated that the organization’s overall objective is to have a new head coach in place before the NBA Draft on June 23rd. Jackson has already interviewed with the franchise.
A career in broadcasting
Jackson worked as a YES Network analyst for the New Jersey Nets, usually with Marv Albert. He’s also worked as an analyst for ABC, alongside former coach Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen.
Jackson abruptly resigned from the YES Network at the end of the 2008 NBA season. This move generated speculation that Jackson would take over as coach of the New York Knicks from Isiah Thomas, but Jackson denied the reports and said his choice was based on a desire to avoid traveling from Los Angeles and his contract with ABC. Even yet, the suspicions remained until the Knicks hired Mike D’Antoni, the former head coach of the Phoenix Suns.
A basketball card picturing Jackson has acquired famous for including the Menendez brothers as courtside spectators in the background.
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