Mark Jackson is out as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
The team has announced that Jackson has been relieved of his duties following the first-round playoff exit to the Los Angeles Clippers. During the 2013-14 season, Jackson led the team to 51 victories, which made him just the third coach in franchise history to produce a 50-win season.
However, as General Manager Bob Myers explained in a statement, the organization is looking to move in a “different direction.”
“It’s never easy to make a decision of this nature. 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.”
Under Jackson’s three-year reign, the Warriors won 121 regular-season games and also made a pair of playoff appearances. Over the past two seasons, Golden State piled up 98 wins, which was the best two-year stretch dating back to the 1990-91 and 1991-1992 seasons when the team won 99 contests.
All those wins clearly weren’t enough for Owner and CEO Joe Lacob, with whom Jackson had a fractious relationship.
“Mark Jackson has had a big impact on the improvement of our team and the success that we’ve had over the last couple of years,” said Lacob. “Nonetheless, we must make some difficult decisions in our day-to-day operations of the club and this would certainly qualify as one of those examples. We wish Mark the best of luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions over the last three years.”
As Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports, Jackson has also had problems with Kirk Lacob, the club’s Assistant GM, and Lacob’s son.
One major flash point, according to a source: Mark Jackson and asst-GM Kirk Lacob have zero relationship since a blow-up recently. — Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) May 6, 2014
Steve Kerr has been heavily linked to the Warriors coaching job, but Kawakami also adds Fred Hoiberg and Stan Van Gundy to a “theoretical GSW shortlist.”
Note: All quotes courtesy of the Golden State Warriors.