Golden State Warriors: Mark Jackson and the 5 Best Coaching Possibilities

Scott SemmlerAnalyst IIMay 30, 2011

Golden State Warriors: Mark Jackson and the 5 Best Coaching Possibilities

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    Golden State Warriors' owner Joe Lacob made it clear that he wants his team to succeed, not a few years down the line, but now.

    He has made all the right moves so far.  He hired Jerry West recently in hopes of getting a more professional feel around the Warriors' front office, and West is also someone who has had success building a team from the ground up. 

    Not that the Warriors have no talent on their team, but one playoff appearance in too many years may have some teams not even seeing Golden State in their rear-view mirrors.

    They have no reason to until a coach is hired.

    Lacob has openly said that he wants a coach with a big name and someone who will lead this team for years to come, not just a brief stint for a couple years.  It will be Lacob's first major hire as owner of the Warriors, and you can bet that Lacob will be making sure he is hiring the best man for the job.

    Still, the Warriors have seen some of the major coaches on the radar get hired elsewhere.  Mike Brown was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin McHale was hired by the Houston Rockets

    A slim bunch of experienced and inexperienced coaches remain, and if Lacob wants to win now, he better start throwing the house at some of these coaching candidates before the good ones are gone.

5. Mark Jackson

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    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 23: NBA basketball player Mark Jackson attends Kinect for Xbox 360 Launch Party held at a private residence on October 23, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Getty Images for Xbox)
    Jordan Strauss/Getty Images

    What does Mark Jackson have to offer as a coach?

    Jackson has been a part of the ESPN play-by-play crew for the last few years, which is where he got discovered as a potential NBA coach.

    Along with having an incredible knowledge for the game, Jackson was also a very good point guard in his day, which has caused teams to really consider him for their head coaching jobs. 

    CSN Bay Area's Matt Steinmetz said Monday that Jackson is a finalist for the Warriors coaching job:

    "Jackson—the former New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers (guard) and current analyst for ESPN and ABC—is very much being considered for the Golden State job. In fact, Jackson has had two conversations with the Warriors, including one with owner Joe Lacob, according to two NBA sources.

    That is significant because Lacob was not in on the Warriors’ first set of discussions with candidates. It is unknown whether Shaw, Casey or Frank has met or talked to Lacob up to this point. Jackson has."

    Just something to chew on.

    Is Jackson worth it, though?  A first-year coach trying to resurrect a historically bad NBA franchise?

    What the Warriors need is coaching experience, and I'm not sure Jackson has enough of that, or if the Warriors even want to find out.

     

4. Dwane Casey

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    DENVER - NOVEMBER 3:  Head coach Dwane Casey of the Minnesota Timberwolves calls a play from the sidelines during the game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on November 3, 2006 in Denver, Colorado.  The Timberwolves won 112-109.   NOTE TO USER: U
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    If the Warriors want to go the military route, they will hire Casey as their next head coach.

    There is no fooling around with Casey.  He will run a tight ship in Golden State and see to it that this team is business-like, both in the locker room and on the court.

    Maybe that's what the Warriors need.  Someone to come in and totally change the personality of this team. 

    Nothing else has worked, right?

    We have to consider how that will sit with Monta Ellis, though.

    Casey is also the assistant coach for the NBA Finals-bound Dallas Mavericks, so he has also proven that he can coach, even in a back-up role to Rick Carlisle.

    He had a brief, unsuccessful head-coaching stint in Minnesota and has since made a name as a very good assistant coach in the NBA.

    Can he be a good head coach in the NBA, or even fit in the hip, young locker room of Golden State?

    That is for Joe Lacob and Co. to decide.

3. Brian Shaw

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    LOS ANGELES - APRIL 18:  Assistant coach Brian Shaw of the Los Angeles Lakers gives instructions against the Oklahoma City Thunder during  Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on April 18, 2010 at Staples Center in Los
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    The new, young, hot commodity in the NBA head coaching world, Shaw has been mentored by Phil Jackson for the last few seasons, and it seems like now is his time to nab his first head-coaching gig.

    With the hype, however, has not come many bites from NBA teams. 

    The Lakers passed on Shaw, their own guy, to hire the LeBron-less Mike Brown, and the Houston Rockets sought the help of NBA Hall of Famer Kevin McHale.

    Shaw is a finalist for the Warriors job, as well, but teams may be thinking just how I am:

    Would Shaw treat the Warriors like an experiment in his first year as a head coach?

    There may not be enough experience there, despite being mentored by Jackson, to lead an NBA team to the playoffs. 

    NBA teams have not been pushing and shoving to get to him, and I'm sure the Warriors have their doubts, as well.

    If the Warriors want to go with coaching potential, Shaw is their guy.

2. Rick Adelman

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 22: Head coach Rick Adelman of the Houston Rockets complains to an official in the game with the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on December 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  The Rockets won 97-92. NOTE TO USER: User
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Rick Adelman is not sure if he will coach again, but I am going to throw him in this list anyway because he is one of the more accomplished coaching candidates available right now.

    Adelman has expressed his interest in the Portland Trail Blazers GM job, and the Warriors have not named him in their final four coaching candidates, so do not expect this to lead anywhere.

    Adelman would fit well in Golden State, though.

    He is experienced and a big name that those in the locker room would respect and listen to.  He has also had success with the Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets recently, and the hope is he could do the same with the team from the East Bay.

    With the two reports of Adelman looking at a front-office job and the Warriors narrowing their coaching list to four without Adelman, expect the Warriors to seek a head coach elsewhere.

1. Lawrence Frank

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    PHOENIX, AZ - JANUARY 28:  Assistant coach Lawrence Frank of the Boston Celtics reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on January 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Celtics 88-71. NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    I am not sure if he is the best coach available for the Warriors' job or that he can even coach in the NBA anymore, but Lawrence Frank had a successful stint in New Jersey a few years back and has since done very well as an assistant coach to Doc Rivers in Boston.

    Frank is a relatively big name with experience leading a team to the NBA playoffs, even if he had Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, etc.

    The best thing about Frank is that he can coach the Warriors like he coached the Nets, with a relentless, fast-paced offense.  He could even slow the offense down to half court like he learned from Rivers in Boston. 

    The Warriors are a flexible team, and he is a flexible coach with a mind for the game.

    With the list of possible coaching candidates being narrowed down to four on Monday (Casey, Frank, Shaw and Jackson), Frank may be the most experienced of the bunch.

    Although some saw Frank as not cutting it in New Jersey after the 0-16 start a couple years ago, what he learned in Boston may open his eyes to making a contender out of Golden State.