OAKLAND –- Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson returned to Oracle Arena yet again as a TV analyst, this time on Christmas Day. He did not spread cheer upon the team he once coached.
Intended or not, Jackson during the telecast of the Warriors-Cavaliers game came off as a bitter ex-coach, which prompted streams of criticism on social media.
There was particularly strong reaction to his comments regarding reigning MVP Steph Curry.
“To a degree, he's hurt the game," Jackson said on ABC. “And what I mean by that is I go into these high school gyms, I watch these kids and the first thing they do is run to the three-point line. You are not Steph Curry.
“Work on your other aspects of the game. People don't think that he's just a knock-down shooter. That's not why he's the MVP. He's a complete basketball player.”
That alone may not be particularly scathing, considering the full statement.
But it sounded to many a criticism of Curry, who was partially developed by Jackson -– and who urged Warriors ownership and management to reconsider their decision to dismiss Jackson after the 2014 playoffs.
Jackson’s in-game comments were not addressed during Curry’s postgame news conference.
No matter, as center Andrew Bogut willingly offered a comment.
“Anything he says, you take with a grain of salt,” Bogut said. “And you can quote me on that.”
Jackson seems to be making a habit to sling stinging critiques toward the Warriors. Perhaps he’s making the effort in hopes of not showing bias toward the franchise that employed him for three seasons.
Or maybe there is more to it. Jackson, since returning to TV, has mostly avoided public comments about the Warriors.