DICK MOVE: Brian Scalabrine Reveals How Mark Jackson Fired Him From The Warriors’ Coaching Staff
If you don't love Brian Scalabrine, chances are you don't love anyone in the NBA. He looks like Michael Rappaport and plays with the determination of that sweaty guy running suicides at your local YMCA, yet he does so with an endearing enthusiasm that makes him nearly impossible not to root for. Off the court, he's funny and humble and willingly talks basketball minutiae as if it's the first time anyone has ever asked him about the sport. Wednesday, Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski posted his interview with "The White Mamba," and sure enough, Brian Scalabrine dished some insight that only Brian Scalabrine could dish.
Mark Jackson was bad basketball coach and complete dick.
Toward the very end of the 2013-14 regular season, Scalabrine was unceremoniously fired from his post as an assistant coach on Jackson's Golden State Warriors staff. Turns out, it all stemmed from a 21-point home loss to the San Antonio Spurs (sans Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili). Scalabrine was assigned to scout the Spurs, so the loss fell partly on him, which is why when the team was going over the game tape beforehand, he asked to watch a broken play that the other coaches were pinning on Andrew Bogut. Pretty standard game prep stuff, right?
"They wouldn't put it on," Scalabrine told Woj. "I was just like, 'Let's just watch the tape and figure it out, I don't want to argue, let's just watch the tape.'"
After the loss, Mark Jackson held the kind of meeting that organizations hold when they want to know who to blame. But instead of making it an honest airing of grievances for players and coaches, Jackson made it into a Brian Scalabrine witch hunt.
"We have this meeting of clearing the air, and [Jackson is] trying to get everyone to say I'm a bad guy and I'm a bad coach and I should be off the staff," he said. "I'm not sure what the point of it is, but just imagine an emotional loss after the Spurs, he goes to every coach and says, 'Should Scalabrine be here? Is he a bad guy? Is he bad coach?' Whatever he said, what is a coach gonna do? You're some low-level coach and Mark is your boss and he says 'Is Scalabrine disrespectful?' Of course you're going to say, 'Yes.' So every person was like, 'Ya,' and then he brought in management and did the same thing."
Not surprisingly, Scalabrine was fired. It gets better...
"Three days later, my exit meeting with Mark was legendary. I agreed with [Warriors GM Bob Myers], I've got apologize for what I said...He is the head coach and I am the assistant coach and I guess I should apologize for assuming we should watch tape on the double play. Whatever."
"This exit meeting basically comes down to Mark saying, 'I gotta let you go,' and me saying, 'Ya know, there's only 11 games left and am I worried about my reputation, but you don't come out squeaky clean on something like [getting fired during the season].' Then we get into talk about the team and how I think they're really good and he thinks they're not as good as they really are."
Mark Jackson, folks. A terrible coach, a terrible boss and, apparently, a terrible talent evaluator, seeing as he didn't think much of the roster that went on to win a championship the following season (and, ya know, potentially greatest team in NBA history this year). Maybe Bob Ryan was right to call him out for being a pious asshole on national television.
The story starts around the 33-minute mark, below...
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