Mark Jackson laments Warriors ‘lies’; hasn’t heard from Knicks


The Warriors fired head coach Mark Jackson on Tuesday following a 51-win season and a hard-fought, seven-game playoff loss to the Clippers.

Rumblings of dysfunction surfaced right before the playoffs, when two of Jackson’s assistants were dismissed in a 10-day span. The writing was on the wall, and for Jackson, the ax would soon fall.

“I will say this. You did know a lot, but you also heard a lot of lies,” Jackson said Wednesday morning on Dan Patrick’s radio show. “There’s a way to do things, and when people lie against you, and people make up stories, at the end of the day, the evidence against it will be how you conduct yourself. The evidence against it will be how you talk to people, how you treat people, how you handle adversity. I’m going to walk and take the high road.”

Jackson said even if his team had prevailed over the Clippers, it wouldn’t have changed his fate when he sat down with owner Joe Lacob.

“I’m at peace, and I’ll tell you the truth: If we advance, do I still have a job? I’m not really sure, because at the end of the day, we both walked into the meeting and we both were frustrated,” he said. “That’s [what] the crazy thing was. Nothing was leaked on my side, because I felt the same way and I had issues. Going into that office, my mind was made up. It wasn’t a one-way decision.”

Jackson was asked whether he had heard from the Knicks, who have a head coaching vacancy after Phil Jackson fired Mike Woodson two weeks ago.

“No, [I have not been contacted by the Knicks],” Jackson responded. “I don’t know what to expect. I look forward to the next chapter and next assignment. I’m a guy that fully trusts God and knows that it all works out. I think the difference now as opposed to three years ago is, I’ve proven that I can coach. I’m not a guy that’s begging for an opportunity to show that I can coach.”

Jackson sounded rueful leaving behind a very strong foundation for the team’s next coach. The Warriors won 51 games in a stacked Western Conference and boast one of the more electric backcourts in the game in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He likened helping build the team to the birth of a baby.

“The baby was carried for nine months or, [in this case], for three years,” he said. “They watched the labor pains in the hospital, and somebody else is going to sit there and be able to grab the head of the baby when it’s born. I think I went through all of that, and now the process is, this is a championship-caliber team.”

The first sign of trouble for Jackson came in late March, when assistant coach Brian Scalabrine was reassigned to the team’s D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz because of what Jackson termed a “difference in philosophies.” Just 10 days later, the team fired assistant Darren Erman after he was caught allegedly recording conversations in coaches’ meetings and between coaches and players without their knowledge.

“I don’t believe that [it was a conflict between me and the front office],” Jackson said. “I understand everything that they’re saying, [but] at the end of the day, I’m a guy that believes you stay in your lane. I’m respectful to everybody. … It was a [taxing], draining season, and obviously, people [were] well aware of it. My players were aware of it.”