The writing moved from off the wall onto the NBA's official transaction log. After three seasons at the helm, Mark Jackson was fired by the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday, sources told Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
The team confirmed the move and issued a release on the decision.
"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," owner and CEO Joe Lacob said, per the release. "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."
Clashes with the front office and turmoil among his staff (assistant Brian Scalabrine was reassigned to Golden State's D-League affiliate in March, assistant Darren Erman was fired less than two weeks later) reportedly factored into the decision. "Jackson's disinterest in game preparation and reluctance to practice...played a part in management's reluctance to commit long term to him," sources told Wojnarowski.
Jackson brought the Warriors success they hadn't seen in a long time (back-to-back playoff trips for the first time since the early 1990s), but it wasn't the type of success this front office has envisioned. Armed with sharpshooters (Curry, Klay Thompson), defensive stoppers (Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala) and talent young and old (Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and David Lee), the franchise has been having some optimistic championship dreams.
So, which coach would give the Dubs their best chance to clear that next hurdle?
Stan Van Gundy appeared to be the Warriors top target, but Van Gundy reportedly wanted full control over basketball decisions, and the Warriors balked, according to the San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami. What's left are unproven commodities (Steve Kerr, Fred Hoiberg) and proven ones (Lionel Hollins) on the market, and even a notable name that's not officially available (Tom Thibodeau).
Having an offensive slant helps, as the firepower is in place to show far better at that end than it did this season. NBA experience would be a plus, but it's not a necessity.
Golden State can (and should) aim high, as it took quite a risk in moving on from Jackson. A top-shelf hire might help pacify an anxious fanbase, and each name on this list has a certain buzz to it.
After moving swiftly on Jackson's departure, the Warriors might be inclined to identify a replacement quickly. They have to show Jackson's loyal troops that another general exists who's better suited for the job.
It's hard to say just how short (or long) Golden State's short list is, but these names must be considered to fill the now-vacated coaching seat.