Programming note: Pelicans-Warriors Game 2 coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. with Warriors Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – There may be some lingering static between Warriors CEO Joe Lacob and former coach Mark Jackson, as each has made pointed comments about the other.
There may be a tiny crack in the once-sturdy relationship between Warriors guard Stephen Curry and his former coach, who rated Rockets guard James Harden ahead of Curry in the MVP race.
But there is not the slightest bit of drama between the former coach, now a TV analyst, and his replacement, Steve Kerr. At least according to Kerr.
Kerr on Sunday said between phone conversations and TV production meetings, he and Jackson have talked several times this season. They spoke Saturday before the Warriors and Pelicans met for Game 1 of the playoffs, which Jackson worked as part of the broadcast crew at Oracle Arena.
"Mark and I were friends when we competed against each other for 15 years and always got along well," Kerr said. "We've talked several times this year. I have great respect for him and the job that he did while he was here, which really teed this whole thing up for this season. I've told him that and we get along well."
Jackson during the Game 1 telecast said Kerr deserves to win the Coach of the Year award for his work in taking the Warriors from a 51-win team under Jackson to a franchise-record 67 wins this season.
Kerr has consistently credited Jackson for changing the culture and laying the foundation he inherited. The new coach also reached out to players early last summer to assuage any raw feelings among those who supported Jackson.
"I don't think (Kerr) could have handled it any other way, especially to the guys that were so openly backing coach Jackson when the whole thing happened," Curry said.
Kerr had never coached before – neither had Jackson – and signed a contract worth roughly twice the value of that Jackson had been under.
"Coming to a team that won 51 games last year and has been in the playoffs two years in a row, it was important to me not to come here and act like "Oh, I've got all the answers.' They already had a lot of the answers themselves," Kerr said. "I'm just trying to help them get better and continue the evolution that's been going on for the last couple years."