Warriors fire coach Mark Jackson after 3 seasons

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Mark Jackson came to the Golden State Warriors talking big and brash. He promised playoff appearances and championships, and he delivered plenty of wins along the way.

Away from the court, though, Jackson never backed down from doing things how he wanted. His inability to mesh with management - and management’s inability to mesh with Jackson - increasingly overshadowed his success and ultimately cost him his job.

The Warriors fired Jackson after three seasons Tuesday, ending the franchise’s most successful coaching tenure in the past two decades but also one filled with drama and distractions.

“Obviously it was not made exclusively on wins and losses,” Warriors owner Joe Lacob said.

Lacob and general manager Bob Myers both thanked Jackson, saying he helped make the Warriors a more attractive franchise. But Myers said the decision to dismiss Jackson was “unanimous” among the team’s executives - though still not easy - in part because the Warriors want a coach who can “develop a synergy” with everybody in basketball operations.

Jackson’s time with the Warriors will be remembered for the way he helped turn a perennially losing franchise into a consistent winner and the bold and bombastic way in which he did it.

He guaranteed Golden State would make the playoffs in his first season, then finished 23-36 after the NBA labor lockout. The Warriors went 47-35 last season and had a memorable run to the second round of the playoffs, and they were 51-31 this season before losing in seven games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round.

The Warriors, who have surrounded star Stephen Curry with a talented nucleus since Lacob’s group bought the franchise in 2010, had not made the playoffs in consecutive years since 1991-92. They had made the postseason once in 17 years before Jackson arrived.

Lacob compared the decision to replace Jackson to his work as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley.

“There’s a different CEO that may be required to achieve success at different stages of an organization’s development,” Lacob said. “When you’re a startup company it’s one thing, when you’re a small-growth company it’s one thing and when you’re a mature company that’s trying to reach a billion in sales - or in this case win an NBA championship - perhaps that’s a different person. And we just felt overall we needed a different person.”

Lacob and Myers declined to discuss the coaching search, other than to say it would begin immediately. Former NBA player and TNT broadcaster Steve Kerr, former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg and Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie have been among the most talked-about candidates this offseason.

The Warriors know a new coach comes with the risk of disrupting team chemistry, especially considering nearly every player publicly called for Jackson to return, most notably Curry, whom Lacob said was told of the decision ahead of time. Myers also spoke to several players after he and Lacob informed Jackson of their decision in a meeting Tuesday morning.

“The hope and belief after talking to them is that they trust us and they believe that we make decisions to win as well,” Myers said.

Jackson took to Twitter to thank the organization, players and fans. Several of his present and past players also applauded the job he had done.

Jackson, a former NBA point guard who had his best seasons with the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers, had never been a head coach at any level when Lacob hired him away from the ESPN/ABC broadcast table in June 2011. A minister who runs a church with his wife near their Southern California home, Jackson often spoke of his Christian beliefs while surprisingly turning the Warriors into one of the NBA’s best defensive teams.

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