This Matt Steinmetz interview with Mark Jackson has stirred up some derisive guffawing. Here’s why:
–Jackson said he’s not big on long practices. He’d rather go shorter than longer when it comes to team workouts.
“If you’re efficient and put quality work in, we can move on,” Jackson said. “Ultimately, it’s a long season. We will go over this stuff, well go over it in detail and then we’ll be out of here. I’m not a guy who wants to keep players here three or four hours just to say we’re here.”
Matt elaborated on the comments in an interview with me yesterday, and I believe this is one of the few basketball points on which we agree. Mark Jackson should be judged after coaching basketball games. It’s reflexive to harp on a GSW figurehead of failure so as to provide context for his shortcomings. But Jackson hasn’t actually failed yet.
Mark commits a Steve Spurrier gaffe in admitting to a normal human schedule. But I wouldn’t necessarily buy into the notion that only a tireless coaching robot can achieve success. Slate’s Nate Jackson has frequently argued in favor of football systems that allow more athlete flexibility, and less obsessive, rigorous devotion to execution. If anything, basketball should be more difficult to structure, more prone to the triumph of athletic instinct. There could be diminishing returns in those extra practice hours.
But again, the main issue: Mark Jackson has yet to coach a game. To use religious terms in describing a God-fearing man: I’m agnostic on Mark Jackson and will be so long as he waits in coaching purgatory.
Follow Ethan @SherwoodStrauss