Mark Jackson is beloved by New York Knicks fans because of how well he performed during his playing days. Jackson started his playing career with the Knicks and was one of the better point guards in the league during his tenure.
In his seven seasons with New York, Jackson averaged 11 points and eight assists. One of the more notable parts of Jackson’s game was his basketball IQ.
The former rookie of the year was a fantastic floor general and seemed to always be one of the smartest players on the floor during his nearly two-decade NBA career.
After his playing career, Jackson had a three-year stint as head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
Today, Jackson is remembered as the coach who was removed for Steve Kerr, but the truth is the team would have never become a dynasty if Jackson had not coached them through a rebuild.
In Jackson’s first season as coach of the Warriors, the team regressed from 36 wins to 23, but that was season marred with injuries. Crucial players like David Lee, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry all missed at least 20 games, with Ellis and Curry missing more than half the season. The team leader in games played that season was an unrefined, rookie Klay Thompson with 66 games played.
In the next season, Jackson leads the Warriors to their first playoff appearance in six seasons. The team which saw Steph Curry blossom into one of the leagues best young point guards won 47 games before losing to the eventual Western Conference Champion, San Antonio Spurs in the conference semifinals.
In Jackson’s last season he navigated the Warriors to a 51-31 record. The Warriors lost a tough seven-game series to the Lob City Clippers that season.
The Warriors while, on the verge of greatness could not get past teams with veteran players and coaches, losing to the Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich Spurs along with the Chris Paul and Doc Rivers’ Clippers.
After the 51 win season, Bob Myers made a controversial choice in letting go of Mark Jackson in favor of Steve Kerr.
Since Jackson’s departure, the Warriors have become a dynasty, but it’s undeniable that without Jackson’s work the Warriors would not have been the playoff team and dynasty they are today.
The New York Knicks are currently in a situation somewhat similar to Jackson’s Warriors and could use Jackson to elevate them back to playoff status.
The Knicks who are in the midst of a rebuild, need a coach like Jackson for the future. Jackson has a successful rebuild already on his resume, in addition, his past as a player for both St. John’s and as a Knick make him a hire New Yorkers would love.