Mark Jackson: A Man On A Mission

OAKLAND – This goes back about 3 ½ months, to when coach Mark Jackson said of his Warriors, “This is a team I believe God has his hands all over.”

And that was before, you know, everything: Stephen Curry going from braces on both ankles and a game-time decision in the first round to a playoff star, the Warriors going from losing All-Star David Lee to winning five of the next seven, Andrew Bogut going from an ankle injury so maddening that he began to consider the possibility of retirement to resuming his starting role, the entire roster going from little postseason experience to beating the favored Nuggets and now in a 1-1 Western Conference semifinals against the favored Spurs heading into Game 3 tonight inside rocking Oracle Arena.

Jackson, naturally, does not alter his statement from late January that the Warriors have higher powers at their back. He is not one in general to back away from bold comments, he believes deeply as a man of faith and a pastor at a Southern California church, and now it is mid May and his team continues to do the improbable. Backing off is the last thing that would happen.

“I’m a man of faith,” Jackson said. “I believe in God. Some folks may say God doesn’t care about basketball. My Bible tells me He cares about everything that has to do with me. This team is tied together. I’ve said it before. Spiritually, this team is absolutely tied together. There’s a call on these guys’ lives. I said from Day 1 in my press conference, if I won games and didn’t change lives I’d be a failure. If I won a championship and guys left here the same I’d be a failure. It’s more important to me to leave here leaving these guys better husbands, better fathers, better teammates, better players, better men. That’s what it’s all about, and we’ve done that. With that, the victories will come.”

He said he believed right away that the belief includes knowing the Warriors would become winners “when I had no business believing it,” which is, which is some long-range vision. He couldn’t have seen this coming. The Warriors did not look anything like the current model when owner Joe Lacob made Jackson the surprising and gutsy hire in June 2011 as a coach without any previous experience on the bench, in the NBA or college, as an assistant or in the No. 1 chair. Seven of the top nine players – everyone except Curry and Lee – weren’t on the roster at the time. Bob Myers hadn’t yet made the quick ascension from front-office newcomer, with any team, to general manager.

“We all make mistakes,” Jackson said. “But at the end of the day, I’m going to be led by God and there were jobs I would not have taken if they were offered to me. I believed in my heart that this was the job for me and this was the group of men, the group owners, the group of management people and this was the time. Some people don’t think that’s cool. Some people don’t believe that. I have nothing against them. I’m going to walk this walk and my Bible tells me the steps of a good man are ordered by God. So I believe that my steps are ordered. I’m just following orders.”

We all make mistakes.

Jackson does not hide from his most public of setbacks, an affair of nearly one year that became public when the woman and one of her acquaintances blackmailed Jackson to keep the relationship quiet. The coach and the team contacted the FBI, Jackson cooperated with the investigation, and the matter became open conversation.

Hide from it? Jackson said he brought the incident up to players himself. He turned it into basketball and the Warriors.

“That I’m not going to allow one moment to identify who I am,” he said. “We may lose a game, we may lose a quarter, we may lose a season. But at the end of the day, I’m not going to stop. I’m not going to stop the call on my life and I’m not going to quit doing God’s work. Ultimately it’s get back up on the horse and pick up where you left off and don’t make the mistake again.”

Which, in an outcome that has not been lost on the coach, is exactly what the Warriors have done. This team that he believes God has his hands all over.

30 Comments

  1. OMG says:

    Why do you keep deleting all of my comments. I’m not cursing or saying anything offensive. This place is heavily monitored and regulated, anything outside the conceptual mainstream box is deleted or exempt.

  2. OMG says:

    Why does Jackson keep saying “my God” and “my bible”? I didn’t know he possessed God and his word. That seems a bit possessive and jealous, and I’m pretty sure that is sinful, the latter formally being one of the seven deadly sins.

  3. OMG says:

    I think God has bestowed higher powers upon LeBron James and the Miami Heat if we want to look at reality through a theological lens…they are pretty much unstoppable and the closest thing to being omnipotent in the basketball world for now.

  4. politicsisdirty says:

    Good luck fellow Christian soldier!

  5. max says:

    I believe along with Mark Jackson that God does listening to our prayers. Which would be let the players stay healthy and the one with the best players win. Do not think God shows favor????Not in my Bible. GSW is NO different in God’s eyes than any of the other NBA team. Sorry Mark. As the old saying goes: God will provide the chicken, but you have to catch it????

  6. Matthew says:

    God does not live in Oakland but it is written that we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Mark Jackson loves God but whether he wins or loses a basketball game God will all-in-all give him the ultimate victory. What is better, a championship ring or a championship life? Keep bringing the Kingdom, Mark!

  7. Patty says:

    I ENJOY WATCHING THE WARRIORS.

    COACH MARK JACKSON IS A COACH THAT EVERYONE SHOULD WANT TO PLAY FOR. HE IS A GREAT COACH.

    COACK MARK JACKSON SHOULD HAVE WON COACH OF THE YEAR!!!

    SHAME ON THE WRITERS FOR VOTING AGANIST MARK JACKSON.

    • Jay says:

      RIDICULOUS… coach of the year!! HAHAHA
      Yeah… Coaches actually have to make plays for their teams.
      What Jackson does is.. “hey Curry, shoot son, SHOOT! From wherever you want!!.” “Everybody else just stay in the corners, stand still there and don’t bother Curry’s Aiming” “Please don’t run any screen whatsoever, NO pick n rolls… just let him SHOOT THE DAMN BALL!!”
      HAHAHAHA MARK JACKSON COACH OF THE YEAR… You are truly blinded by fanatism

      • Luiz Nunes says:

        Mr. Jay, you are a “piano player of only one note!” All you can write is the same sory note when someone suggests Mr. Jackson for COY! That shows your agenda, we only wonder what is your motivation? For sure we now Mr. Jackson’s motivation: to please the GOD that he believes in. If that does bother you it is a great indication and time to reconsider some (if not all!) of your motivations!
        GOD bless you sir, and from Africa we say: Go Warrios, all the way!

      • xio says:

        Luiz Nunez. I think Memphis is the best team in the west. The warriors wouldn’t survive against them. That is IF they even beat the spurs, which I doubt.

        Too young to go all the way man

  8. M. L J says:

    the warriors are an heroic team to watch, they look like they are having so much fun, I didn’t really like the warriors, and I thought they had no chance of beating the Denver nuggets, but they won, and to top it off I thought the Spurs would sweep them 4-0, well it ain’t happening, because even if they go down 4-1, that is more than I thought they would do against the Spurs. I think Mark Jackson and the owner and staff have done a magnificent job in putting this team together. And if Mark Jackson give that credit to God then I think people should respect that, even if they disagree with what he believes. so go Warriors, even though my team is the heat and I am praying for them to repeat. Hallelujah!

  9. HonestGuy says:

    I don’t get all these God comments by Jackson, why would God prefer Golden State over San Antonio? Does God live in Oakland?

    • Stef says:

      I think what mark was trying to say that it isnt ALL about the W. He said that his main goal was to change lives, especially with his players. I encourage you to watch facing the Giants, its a movie about a college coach who turns a weak team into champions. Its a Christian movie, i wont pretend it isnt, but I think mark Jackson is aiming for something similar

      This blog is a reason that success can be used to change lives is. The fact that Golden State got here allowed Mark get these statements heard, and while many people may just laugh it off, or roll their eyes at a ‘holy’ coach, many others, including myself, are really inspired and impressed that he’s got the balls to say something like this.

  10. Sean says:

    Good Lord.. LOL!

  11. GX says:

    Wow, did not know Jackson is a hypocrite. Having an fair for a year? And his God ordered him to do that?

    • bob brown says:

      Christians can still make mistakes..
      we all do….a hypocrite is someone who says something is wrong and does it anyway…he said it was a mistake in this blog. He knows what he did was wrong and he’s being very open about it

      • ML says:

        The Bible calls the mistakes sin. We need to aknowledge what sin is and be accountable for it. Some sins have greater repercussions than others. Adultry is a sin that can ruin a family. I am sure Mark Jackson can tell others of the heartache of the sin he committed toward the Lord and the affect it had on others, but he can also tell of God’s grace through Jesus. True, Christians do make “mistakes” and sin but we need to walk worthy of our calling, staying in God’s word, since the enemy is waiting for us to put our gaurd down. May the Lord help him continue his walk, and praise the Lord for many who did not commit such sins, may they stay strong in the Lord. 1 John 1:9-”If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” I know I need this at times, that is when it is important to fellowship with other believers, read God’s word-the Bible, worship the Lord, and share my faith in Christ with others.

  12. Gillsy says:

    This team will at the finals in a number of years. Jackson and his staff have done a brilliant job. Who ever is their scouting department needs to be commended as I wrote the other day the Warriors have put together a team that plays together made mainly of players under three years experience. Look at the current front court at the moment 2 rookies.

  13. Jc9 says:

    Spurs will finish them in 6. #greatpop

  14. Mike says:

    alleluia…Golden State 4 San Antonia 1

  15. don says:

    The REAL coach of the year. Golden State could possibly mess around and reach the Finals.

    • Jay says:

      RIDICULOUS… coach of the year!! HAHAHA
      Yeah… Coaches actually have to make plays for their teams.
      What Jackson does is.. “hey Curry, shoot son, SHOOT! From wherever you want!!.” “Everybody else just stay in the corners, stand still there and don’t bother Curry’s Aiming” “Please don’t run any screen whatsoever, NO pick n rolls… just let him SHOOT THE DAMN BALL!!”
      HAHAHAHA MARK JACKSON COACH OF THE YEAR… You are truly blinded by fanatism

      • bob brown says:

        Explain klay Thompsons 34 points? And I’m sorry but nobody sets more picks than the warriors….they got like 5 illegal screens against the nuggets? Harrison Barnes has been doing great this season….and jarret jack is the one they have been giving it to for clutch shots….i suggest not reading headlines that curry made 11-13 3s in a game and automatically say that the coach just wants curry to shoot all the time.

      • chigchig says:

        Jackson knows how to run a team.. 3rd in dimes all time and a starting PG for most of his career you think he can see plays and read defenses
        he def was a top contender for COY.. cant deny what GK did in denver with no star and getting the team to commit to his type of ball and get 3rd in the west.. but jacksons warriors went and beat them in 6 with there all star injured game 1..
        moving barnes to the 4 was genius coz now you play spread and open it up more, plus the team still rebounds and they play D now..

      • Jay says:

        hey look… just rewind as to how the losses against denver and san antonio happened.
        Curry, Thompson and Jack just shooting like crazy. NO SCREENS, NO pick n rolls man! what’s up with that??
        nobody helping each other! they’re a “DO OR DIE” team. They don’t have PLAN B for when those shots don’t fall in.
        AND… YOU SAY NO STARS ON TEAM… Hey man, just take a quick look to that team from CHICAGO…
        That’s a truly COY contender…
        Tom Thibodeau, Lionel Hollins, Popovich… I think Mark Jackson should really look them up before someone even considers him a COY contender.

      • Ryan says:

        Hey Jay. I think you need to start watching some real basketball. Can’t you even see the set plays? You are truly blinded by…. i don’t know..your ignorance? Jackson makes pretty good plays for their team.

      • Caché says:

        All I can say is: It’s too early to call him COY.
        Maybe he is a good coach, maybe not. It’s just too soon to tell.
        NEITHER of any of you is correct. He lacks experience.

        Please, for Jackson’s own sake, just say he is a GOOD coach. I think he would appreciate that more than calling him COY

  16. omar says:

    Truly inspiring i believe in this team.. There having the time of their lives… While other teams worry about there opponent this team is enjoying there run…. Go warriors