OAKLAND — With the playoffs looming, the Golden State Warriors’ rotation isn’t the only thing getting shorter.
The coaching staff is dwindling as well.
Midday Tuesday, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news that Warriors head coach Mark Jackson had forced Warriors assistant coach Brian Scalabrine to step down from his position.
Yahoo Sources: Golden State coach Mark Jackson has forced a reassignment of assistant coach Brian Scalabrine. http://t.co/6ERKps4BXO
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2014
As reporters filed into the team’s practice facility in downtown Oakland, Scalabrine was no where to be found. Jackson’s response to a question about Scalabrine’s whereabouts came out curt and cold:
“Scal has been reassigned. Difference in philosophies. This is a coach’s decision. I made this decision.”
Jackson repeatedly told a group of reporters that the decision was his and his alone.
Despite Jackson telling the media time and time again that his staff and team are united, little monsters continue to poke their heads out from the Warriors’ closet.
Jackson’s “no-excuses” Warriors were anticipated by many to compete with the Western Conference’s upper-class.
Instead, Golden State clings to a tenuous sixth playoff spot. Just a game and a half separates the Warriors from the NBA lottery and chants of the “same old Warriors.”
Tuesday, Jackson tried to reassure that positive things are on the horizon for Golden State and that there is no tension or friction within the organization.
Jackson laughed at the idea that there was dysfunction on his staff, even in the face of the Scalabrine demotion:
“We are excited about what’s taken place up to this point — the culture, the environment, with no dysfunction. That’s comical … It’s a time to be smiling and joyful.”
But Jackson also contradicted himself, saying that though there were “differences in philosophy,” the Warriors were on the right path:
“With any job and any staff there’s going to be differences in philosophies. At the end of the day, whoever is in charge makes the decision. That’s the way you go, and we are united, whether right, wrong or indifferent.”
Scalabrine is reported to have been reassigned to the Warriors D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz, though there has been no official word from the Warriors.
Playing well and winning is a sure-fire way to for a coach to secure his future. But Jackson evaded answering if he thought the Warriors’ performance in the upcoming playoffs was tied to his future with the team:
“I don’t get caught up in that at all. Because then all of a sudden when you win a bunch of games then everything is good. You can’t pay attention to that, you do your job and you be the best that you can possibly be.”
Jackson is currently under contract through the 2014-2015 season. How the Warriors perform in the playoffs will certainly play into management’s evaluation of any new contract or extension.