A former NBA All-Star and current licensed minister, Jackson commands the respect and attention of his team from the get go. Under Mike D’Antoni, the Lakers rarely, if ever, played any semblance of defense. Anyone who says the Warriors do not play defense is terribly misinformed. Jackson inherited a terrible defensive team and promised that they would improve on that side of the court. The Warriors were 26th in defensive efficiency when Jackson took over. They finished 3rd this season.
After losing his lone rim protector in Andrew Bogut, Jackson’s team still took the Los Angeles Clippers to a Game 7. There were several moments late in the game when the Clippers had all the momentum on their side and most teams would’ve packed it in, but Jackson’s Warriors refused to quit and gave everything they had for their coach. All-Star Steph Curry even went to bat for his coach following the reports that Jackson was on the hot seat, “I love Coach more than anybody, and I think for him to be in a situation where his job is under scrutiny and under question is totally unfair. And it would definitely be a shock to me if anything like that were to happen. I’m going to voice my support for Coach.” Jackson and his family currently reside in Los Angeles and he also played two seasons for the Clippers (1992-1994), so he knows the local scene fairly well.
Last, but certainly not least, do not forget the affinity that Jackson has for Kobe Bryant. The X-Factor in this entire coaching search will be whether or not Kobe respects the coach enough to follow his lead. If you don’t have Kobe, you don’t have the team.
Hit the jump for why Mark Jackson would not be a good hire for the Lakers.