Race, politics and basketball: The inside story of Mark Jackson's dismissal

Why did Mark Jackson get fired by the Warriors? Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News joins the Drive & Kick podcast to peel back the layers on the coach’s controversial exit from Golden State.

There were a number of issues in the wake of Mark Jackson’s dismissal as coach of the Golden State Warriors, but below the surface was a conversation about racial dynamics that few were willing to have. Marcus Thompson, columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, wrote a nuanced column about the subject, and we’re happy to have him on the Drive & Kick to continue the conversation.

(Note: This podcast was recorded before the Warriors hired Steve Kerr to replace Jackson).

Among the topics we talked about on the podcast:

  • Why, exactly, did Mark Jackson get fired? Marcus says it was a major clash of personalities between Jackson and management.
  • Opportunities for black coaches and developing relationships with front offices.
  • Coaching stereotypes and why the cliche of the black coach as a motivator is so harmful.
  • What Mark Jackson got wrong. “If you have a boss, you need to please your boss.”
  • Three years later, would both sides like a do-over? Marcus says it was a matter of clashing basketball philosophies.
  • The locker room dynamics and how much player support Jackson actually had.
  • We talked about the religious aspect and why that makes people so uncomfortable.
  • The wave of owners from a data-driven background and how that clashes with charismatic former players as coaches.
  • Media narratives and how that shapes the agenda about coaches.

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