By Paul Cobb
The Golden State Warriors have made enough changes within the organization to prove they want to win! The most recent move was severing the relationship with Robert Rowell who spent sixteen years with the Warriors, including the past eight as President.
Rowell’s departure represents a move toward a new brand. New owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, by their hiring of Mark Jackson, are showing they want to try to get the best available talent as their highest priority. Jackson was presented to the local and national media at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.
Public Relations Director Raymond Ridder and his staff created a friendly atmosphere for the announcement of Jackson, who, by his recent broadcast experience, is accustomed and comfortable with media.
“This is a great day for the Warriors and staff,” owner Lacob said. “We are excited to have Mark Jackson as part of our staff. We want to change the culture of this team and it begins with the coach. He is much more experienced than any of the candidates we interviewed as a person and a complete package.”
Post Sports Editor Malaika Bobino spoke to Jackson, the owners, Jerry West and senior executives regarding the future of the franchise. Bobino says “everyone seems to be on the same page in turning this team into a playoff contender for next season.” She said, “While the obstacles remain high, the main focus will be to teach and instruct defense as the primary goal. Golden State has been an offensive team for a long time so the biggest challenge comes with teaching the players that defense comes first.”
When asked about needing more help in the paint and at the center position Lacob said, “We are going to change the defense, we have a lot of work ahead with the draft and trades but we want to keep everyone as a core. If anything we want to add, I agree with you that we need more size and help in the middle, the paint and more strength.”
Mark Jackson said, “This is my first grown man move! It’s exciting for me and my family to be a part of this organization just based on the passion to win from the owners. I’ve been an extension of a coach my whole life. I will surround myself with the best and learn from all. Any one on my staff will be qualified to be a head coach in the future.
We’re going to be a defensive team, there will be changes and the key term is ‘those who can contribute will be recognized and those who don’t won’t get playing time, that simple.’ Playing time is important for any player and if you don’t work hard on this team you will be benched.”
Mike Malone, the Lead Assistant Coach, responded to the question many fans are asking, “How will you take a team that has played an offensive game for so long into a defensive team?” Malone said, “A very good question.
We will have to go back to the fundamentals in order to get the basics of the defense down. It’s not going to be easy but like Mark said the players who want to learn will be taught and those who don’t will stand out like a sore thumb.”