Golden State Warriors Basketball: ESPN NBA Analyst Mark Jackson Named Head Coach

Daniel MorrillCorrespondent IJune 7, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 02:  ESPN NBA analyst Mark Jackson looks on before Game Two of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks on June 2, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Former rookie of the year Mark Jackson signed a three-year, $6 million deal Monday to become the Warriors head coach. 

"I am really elated about this opportunity and I'm looking forward to the challenge of building the Warriors into a perennial contender," Jackson told the Associated Press on Monday.

The coaching gig will be the first of Jackson’s career.  Jackson had previously interviewed for the open head coaching positions in Chicago, New York, Phoenix, Minnesota and New Orleans. 

Jackson replaces Keith Smart, who led Golden State to a 36-46 record in his first year as head coach.  Despite these 36 wins being 10 more than the Warriors had won the previous season, Smart was fired in April. 

Former Hornets’ assistant coach Michael Malone will be Jackson’s lead assistant coach with Golden State despite speculation that new Lakers head coach Mike Brown was actively pursuing Malone for his own staff.

Jackson played in the NBA as a point guard for 17 years before spending the last several years as a television analyst for the YES Network, ABC and ESPN.  Jackson made the All-Star team one time in his career, and currently ranks third on the NBA's all time assists list.  

His unique strategy of backing down opposing point guards in the post for long periods of time prompted the NBA to institute a rule change.  This “Mark Jackson Rule” prohibits an offensive player from controlling the ball with his back to the basket below the free-throw line for more than five seconds.

Jackson takes over the Warriors amidst speculation that the team is trying to trade high scoring shooting guard Monta Ellis to Philadelphia in exchange for Andre Iguodala.