Warriors’ Ownership Doesn’t Give Vote of Confidence to Mark Jackson
The Golden State Warriors (48-30) are having their best regular season in 20 years and are on pace to record their fifth 50-win campaign in franchise history. The club will also likely make consecutive trips to the playoffs for the first time since 1991 and 1992.
Things are indeed looking up for the Warriors.
Golden State’s franchise value is skyrocketing, the team ranks in the league’s top five in attendance, All-Star guard Stephen Curry’s star continues to rise and a new state of the art arena for the club is in the works.
The team’s nucleus of Curry, former All-Stars Andre Iguodala and David Lee along with emerging shooting guard Klay Thompson should keep the Warriors relevant in the Western Conference hierarchy for years to come.
Another driving force in the team’s recent turnaround has been head coach Mark Jackson, who has compiled a 118-108 record with the franchise since taking over the reins before the 2012 campaign.
However, Jackson’s future with the team has come into question in recent weeks with many believing his relationship with the front office and ownership has become a bit strained in recent months.
Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob was recently asked to give his assessment of Jackson’s performance this season, but he declined to give the coach a sturdy vote of confidence.
“We’re having a good year, and it’s not over yet,” Lacob said according to Diamond Leung of the Times-Herald. “Interim results do not matter. Remember this: What matters is at the end of the year. We take a look back at how we did and see where we can improve.”
The Warriors currently sit sixth in the Western Conference standings which means they will enter the playoffs as an underdog in their first round matchup – currently the Los Angeles Clippers.
Lacob notes the West will be tough to navigate come playoff time, but fully expects his team to put out a strong performance with so much on the line.
“Obviously, we’d like to go as far as we can and try to improve on what we did last year if we can,” Lacob said. “It’s a tough Western Conference, so we know that’s difficult but we’re going to keep pushing and keep getting better every year.”
Lacob also addressed rumors of a strained relationship with Jackson and firmly debunked those theories.
“Mark and I get along very well,” Lacob said. “This idea that Mark and I don’t get along, I will just address that and say that’s not true. We get along very well.”
Golden State is two and a half games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for fifth with four games left to play. It is also worth pointing out the Warriors are only two games ahead of the ninth place Memphis Grizzlies.
As Losses Mount In Boston, Toll on Rajon Rondo Increases
Since 2008, the Boston Celtics have reached the playoffs every season, winning one title and appearing in two NBA Finals. The franchise’s recent run of success stands as one of the best in the league during this span. But all of that will come an end this season with the team having long since been eliminated from playoff contention.
The 2013-14 campaign has been one of rebuilding for the Celtics. Gone are future Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce who helped spearhead those recent playoff runs, head coach Doc Rivers is now in Los Angeles with the Clippers attempting to craft another champion and guard Ray Allen departed in the summer of 2012 in free agency. The only remaining member of those teams from years past is former All-Star guard Rajon Rondo.
The Celtics (23-55) are currently on pace to finish with the third worst record in franchise history, which has started to take its toll on Rondo who is used to being in the midst of contention.
“You can [see the progress] but then again, who will be here next year?” Rondo said according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “You [the reporter] might not even be here. They might trade you this season. It depends. I think there are some things you can take from this team. We have a young team, a lot of guys that are playing well every night, but we’re not sealing the deal as a team collectively, but there are some things you can take individually from each guy and stay positive.
“Next year will be fun, it will be a fresh start. I’ll be able to go through training camp and my conditioning will be better than ever and I’ll have a full summer to train at full speed, at full strength. [Last] summer I wasn’t able to train. This summer will be a fun summer, probably the best summer of my career. I’m looking forward to it, something to take out of it. Not making the playoffs, I’ll have a lot more time to train and get better.”
Rondo has appeared in just 29 games this season after returning from a torn ACL suffered during the 2013 campaign. For the year Rondo is averaging 11.8 points, 9.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds but has improved as the season has rolled along.
There are still persistent rumors that Rondo may be moved by the Celtics’ front office should the right offer present itself, but the team has maintained the guard is part of their future.
If that is the case, Rondo says he would like to be informed of the direction the team is headed during the offseason.
“I want to be aware of what’s going on, especially if I’m part of the future here,” Rondo said. “And being the point guard, I would like to know what the team has in store or wants to do or the moves they want to make. I think I’ll be around in Boston this summer and I’ll look forward to what’s going to happen. I’m very excited.”
Rondo is on the books for $12.9 million next season which will be the last year of his final deal.