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Grant Cohn: Mark Jackson's timing on demotion of coach defies reason

  • Mark Jackson. (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

Mark Jackson doesn't realize how weak he made himself look.

On Tuesday, Jackson dumped one of his assistant coaches — Brian Scalabrine. After dumping him, Jackson told reporters that he's “just going in a different direction,” and that he and Scalarbine simply had a “difference of philosophies.” Whatever that means.

If that really is the case, why did Jackson take 71 games to think about philosophy? He was the one who hired Scalabrine in the first place. That was less than a year ago. If Jackson and Scalabrine had a philosophical difference, Jackson should have realized it before making the hire, or soon after.

Is a philosophical difference such a bad thing, anyway? It's not like the difference was causing the Warriors' season to fall apart. The Warriors were slumping before the All-Star break — didn't play tough defense until the second half of games — but that is history. Post-All-Star break, the Warriors have played elite defense, ranking second in field-goal-percentage allowed, third in 3-point-percentage allowed and eighth in points-per-game allowed during the past 18 games.

If the Warriors still were slacking on defense and losing every other game like they were right before the All-Star break, then, sure, dump an assistant coach. Shake things up. But it makes no sense to do that and create a distraction when the team is winning and the playoffs are just 11 games away. This is the worst possible time to shake up a coaching staff. It takes the focus off the team and places it on possible dysfunction among the coaches.

Why did Jackson feel he had to remove Scalabrine from the Warriors' bench right now? Jackson should have waited until after the season to get rid of him.

Jackson seems envious of the success and attention his assistant coaches get. It seems to trouble Jackson if any of his assistants gets known. Maybe Jackson feared Scalabrine would get the credit for the Warriors' improvement on defense.

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