Mark Jackson Blaming Richard Jefferson For Losing Him A Playoff Series Makes Both No Sense And Perfect Sense
Jeff Van Gundy: “Don’t talk about what you need to do to win. Do what you need to do to win. Richard Jefferson, great loose ball play and has always been a terrific finisher on the break.”
Mark Jackson: “Guy’s a pro. Stays ready. Played for me in Golden State. Cost us a series in San Antonio, missing two free throws, but I’m not holding onto that. Still has plenty in the tank and playing at a high level for this Cavaliers team.”
When I first heard Mark Jackson say this I was left scratching my head. The years in which he was coach of the Golden State Warriors were years in which Richard Jefferson was well past his prime. I just couldn't imagine a scenario where the outcome of a game - never mind a playoff series - would be specifically decided by RJ missing late game free throws when he was nothing more than a utility player off the end of the bench at that point in his career. That's when I started to do a little digging (AKA piggy backed off someone else's research and am now treating it as my own)....
The "series" that Mark Jackson is referring to? Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals in 2013. The free throws that cost his team said "series"? A couple of misses that occurred with the Warriors up 8 with under two minutes to play. Essentially Mark Jackson just blamed an entire playoff series - that only went 6 games anyway - on a couple of missed foul shots that would have put his team up 10 in a game they ended up blowing in double overtime. That's a certifiably crazy allegation, but somehow it's totally explicable coming from the mouth of Mark Jackson.
Just imagine being put in position to watch your former teammate completely dominate the league after you were let go following a 51 win season. Sure, there were legitimate reasons for Mark Jackson's termination, but you can bet your ass they are legitimate reasons that Mark Jackson has yet to accept. That's why this absurd proclamation that Richard Jefferson cost him a playoff series with plenty of time remaining in Game 1 makes all too much sense. It doesn't matter that RJ isn't even on the Warriors anymore, because Mark Jackson will hold every single negative play that he thinks could have contributed to his firing against the person who committed it forever. We might just be a few years and another Warriors championship away from Mark Jackson convincing himself that a lost tip-off actually cost him his coaching career. Wouldn't even be a little surprised if he goes home and hits a punching bag thinking of some random midseason, 1st quarter hand checking foul. Anything that can be used as a scapegoat will be used as scapegoat. The man whose job it is to call basketball games in an unbiased fashion is completely partial to every single person that WASN'T employed by the Golden State Warriors franchise in 2013, and I hope no amount of logic or common sense ever changes that because I want Mark Jackson's crazy ass to be able to sleep at night.