It is brunch time at one of downtown Toronto’s best hotels. Mark Jackson enters the restaurant and asks for a bagel. There are no bagels. Someone suggests a croissant.
“A croissant? Nah, I’m a simple guy,” Jackson responds.
You’re not in New York anymore, Mr. Jackson.
Yet Jackson has brought New York with him 3,000 miles to the Golden State Warriors, an NBA franchise with a run of futility that would make the lean years of the Nets and Knicks seem dynastic.
The Warriors, who were 30-20 entering last night’s game against the Mavericks, have been in the playoffs only once in the previous 18 seasons. Nevertheless, Jackson, 47, armed with a roster containing seven rookies or second-year players, has forged a formidable force in his second season. The Warriors in the cutthroat Western Conference have been in playoff position all season.
In molding a team among the top 10 in scoring and field goal defense, Jackson has stars. Stephen Curry, snubbed by coaches for the All-Star Game, and All-Star David Lee, the former Knick, have been the studs. And there’s Jackson, a leading candidate for Coach of the Year.
“I love what Mark has done. When he got there, they were a pretty good offensive team, but they were horrible defensively and not very tough,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers says. “He goes in and proves you can still be a great offensive team, a great defensive team and exhibit toughness.”
Golden State reaps rewards of Jackson’s N.Y. approach
New York Post | Feb 10