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NBA AM: Mark Jackson Fires Back At Rumors

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Despite Rumors Swirling, Mark Jackson Confident With Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are on pace for their first 50-win season since the 1994 campaign. The franchise is also strongly positioned to make their first repeat postseason appearance since the club’s 1991 and 1992 runs.

However, despite the tangible success, rumors continue to swirl regarding head coach Mark Jackson’s future with franchise. Earlier this week a Yahoo! Sports report surfaced suggesting Jackson’s inability to create cohesion within his coaching staff has become a source of frustration within the organization at the executive level.

According to the report, the team has not engaged Jackson in extension talks and don’t have plans to do so in the immediate future. Jackson has one year remaining on his current deal.

Jackson, who has compiled a 114-105 record at the helm in Golden State, maintains he in unaffected by the rumors that are picking up steam.

“There is not a piece of me that’s bothered that an extension has not been agreed upon or anything of that nature,” Jackson said on his weekly radio show on KNBR. “We move forward. I had the deal. They picked up my option for next year, and I think that obviously speaks volumes even though for some folks it doesn’t say anything.”

The article also described dysfunction within Jackson’s coaching staff, pointing out that assistant coach Brian Scalabrine was recently reassigned and that Jackson allegedly went weeks without talking to former assistant coach Mike Malone last season. Yesterday, Jackson fired back, saying it was “poor reporting” and pointing out inaccuracies.

“Not true,” Jackson said of the Yahoo! Sports report. “None of it was true. I’m not going to go any further. This is my job and I’m thrilled to death to be the head coach of the Golden State Warriors.”

Jackson also denied pursuing other head coaching jobs, as the article stated he tried to land a position with the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets last summer.

Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry quickly showed his public support for Jackson and his vision, leaving the coach  feeling honored at the display of loyalty. But Jackson also quickly noted a star player’s support may or may not help a coach on the ropes.

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“Obviously he’s a guy that had an opportunity and a platform to show his loyalty, his support for me,” Jackson said of Curry. “I don’t take it for granted, and it’s not a surprise because he knows how I feel about him.

“It depends on who’s making the decision. To some ownership groups or management groups, it means a lot. To some, it doesn’t matter what franchise players or players feel, it’s business as usual. I don’t know.”

The Warriors are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings with 11 games left to play, but their playoff spot isn’t guaranteed with only two games separating the club form the ninth place Dallas Mavericks.

Regardless of how everything plays out in the coming months, Jackson  remains thankful the Warriors’ executive leadership team gave him a chance to coach when other teams turned their backs.

“I’m thankful and grateful (for the support), and it says that we’ve got a tied-together group, but with that being said, I’m not even concentrating on that, to be quite honest,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t matter. That will take care of itself. This is an ownership group that believes in me, pulled the trigger when nobody else decided to make me a head coach, so that will play itself out.”

The 2014 Philadelphia 76ers, A Lesson In Futility

The Philadelphia 76ers (15-57) suffered a 120-98 road loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday night. On the surface, this isn’t normally newsworthy because we already know the Rockets are headed to the playoffs  while the Sixers are hoping the draft lottery’s ping pong balls drop in their favor. However, the fact that it was Philadelphia’s NBA-record tying 26th straight loss brings it to the forefront.

The Sixers haven’t won a game since January 29, almost a span of two months, and their players are seemingly losing confidence by the second as evident by rookie Michael Carter-Williams’ postgame quote.

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“During the game a couple of guys had long faces … and I found myself a little bit down,” Carter-Williams said. “I just don’t want anyone in this locker room feeling bad for themselves … I think that’s really important that we don’t get down on ourselves and we just give up just because we have a certain amount of losses.

“I just felt like I needed to speak my piece and make sure that guys are upbeat every single day.”

But despite the losing the streak, Philadelphia still doesn’t own the NBA’s worst record this season. The Milwaukee Bucks (14-58) still own this distinction with the Sixers one game away from claiming cellar honors.

The question is can Philadelphia win another game the rest of the season? Here is the club’s remaining schedule.

March 29: Detroit Pistons (home)
March 31: Atlanta Hawks (road)
April 2: Charlotte Bobcats (home)
April 4: Boston Celtics (away)
April 5: Brooklyn Nets (home)
April 9: Toronto Raptors (away)
April 11: Memphis Grizzlies (away)
April 12: Charlotte Bobcats (away)
April 14: Boston Celtics (home)
April 16: Miami HEAT (away)

The remaining slate isn’t exactly a murderers row, but with the Sixers’ current roster, securing a win to snap the current losing streak is going to be an uphill battle.

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About Lang Greene

Lang Greene

Lang Greene is a senior NBA writer for Basketball Insiders and has covered the NBA for the last seven seasons