Watch Mark Jackson Preach On An LA Street Corner

07.08.14 3 years ago
Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson was preaching from a Los Angeles street corner on Saturday for World Vision Day. Some blame Jackson’s overt religious beliefs — he’s a licensed minister at True Love Worship Center International in Reseda, California — as a factor in his firing after the 2013-14 season.

Jackson explained his street corner oratory via Twitter:

While Jackson often held team prayer sessions before and after games and used his religious beliefs to inspire his team, a piece by Sam Amick for USA Today a couple days before he was let go by the Dubs shows that while Jackson might be religious, he didn’t force it on players:

Mark Jackson’s players say he doesn’t force his beliefs on his players, and the togetherness that helped propel them to Game 7 against the Clippers was something that even their most ardent critics would have to acknowledge as real. Still, it’s clearly not for everyone.

The one player who teammates said doesn’t take part is center Andrew Bogut, whose disagreements with Jackson have gone public in the past. Bogut, who has not played in this series because of a fractured rib, declined an interview request for this story.

“Andrew respects it,” said Warriors guard Klay Thompson, the son of former NBA player Mychal Thompson, who was raised in a Catholic household. “And we respect that (it’s not for everyone). That’s what I love about Coach Jackson is he doesn’t force it on you. He doesn’t force you to read scripture or anything like that. He’ll just make references and respect your personal beliefs and your personal space, but he’ll just drop some great knowledge on you.”

Warriors forward Draymond Green, who is a Christian, said, “One thing about it is that we never shy away from making it known, because without (God) we are not who we are and we are not the team that we are and we all know that. We like to give him credit for what he’s doing for this team.”

While his public proselytizing here might make some current Bay area residents — and members of Golden State’s regime — uncomfortable, unless it upsets his current employers, ESPN, no harm no foul. Did his fervent Christianity ameliorate the discomfort Golden State’s front office felt with Jackson’s continued involvement coaching the team, probably, but it’s part of who he is at this juncture in his life. For any teams thinking of bringing him aboard to coach, they’ll have to take the pastor as well as the coach, father and color commentator for ESPN and ABC.

(video via HarvestArmy; H/T PBT)

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