The Golden State Warriors are returning to Oracle Arena Wednesday for Game 3 of the NBA Finals agains the Toronto Raptors. This will be one of potentially three final games in Oakland, and Dub Nation has to be pumped for this historic fifth straight NBA Finals trip.
Making the trip alongside both the Dubs and Raptors (and Drake) will be announcer Mark Jackson, former head coach of the Warriors.
It has to be surreal for Jackson to provide color commentary as the champs play their last few games in the East Bay, as he was the man who originally lifted the Warriors out of their misery.
When Coach Jackson took over the team in 2011, the team was coming off of a dismal 36 win campaign, and hadn’t made the playoffs since the “We Believe” miracle of 2007. Golden State was crash landing through the end of the Monta Ellis-era and there seemed to be no quick fix in sight.
Jackson oversaw the team’s rebuild, okaying the Ellis-for-Andrew Bogut trade, and elevating Steph Curry and Klay Thompson to huge roles. The team’s faith grew as a result of his bombastic confidence, and the defense blossomed into a top-5 unit under his demands.
The Warriors made two playoff runs under Jackson, but ultimately never advanced past the second round. Additionally, the organization grew tired of his bizarre clashes with his staff and some of his players. Also, the Warriors offense looked stuck in the mud way too many times, culminating in his last season when the team was ranked DEAD LAST IN PASSING.
Jackson was fired, despite Curry’s vocal support for the man who literally prayed for the healing of his tattered ankles. Coach Steve Kerr took over, and the team hasn’t looked back, becoming one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history.
But as we appreciate this final championship run in Oakland, we here at GSoM believe Pastor Mark Jackson’s era deserves a trip down memory lane. Love him or hate him, he was the guy who brought the Warriors back to respectability. Even though he couldn’t finish the job, he made Golden State relevant again, something Dub Nation begged to happen for decades.
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