The Time Mark Jackson Tried To Turn The Warriors Against Festus Ezeli

Mark Jackson handled calling the Golden State Warriors‘ championship run for ESPN with class and dignity. The former coach of the Warriors could have railed against his former team with every possible opportunity, yet he abstained. There were a few subtle shots here and there, but for the most part, he was the utmost professional.

However, that professionalism is a far cry from how Jackson comported himself when he was the coach of the Warriors. There are already a pile of tales about Jackson’s abrasive, if not vindictive, nature, and Zach Lowe of Grantland just added one more:

When (Festus) Ezeli was injured last season, Jackson and his staff told the healthy players that Ezeli was cheering against them — so that he would look good, according to several team sources. Players confronted Ezeli in a meeting, and he wept at the accusation — which he denied.

Great coaching methods: fostering an environment where everyone has a say; promoting cohesion between the staff, the front office and the players; emphasizing the need to have fun and look out for one another.

Here are some other less-than-stellar coaching methods: berating your assistants then firing said assistants; creating an “us-against-the-world” mentality that bordered on paranoia; bigotry (which is also a pretty good general life rule); oh, and NOT TURNING YOUR PLAYERS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. What possible good could come from such a tactic? How in the world does that do anything positive for the team?

As much praise as Kerr deserves for the tactical changes he installed with the Warriors, he deserves just as much, if not more, for the way he completely reinvented the entire atmosphere around the team. Jackson was graceful during the NBA Finals run. It’s a shame he couldn’t conduct himself the same way when he was a coach or a player.