Longtime NBA player and former Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson hasn’t coached in the league since he was fired in 2014.
One of his former players explained why he thinks Jackson lost his job — and why he doesn’t see him ever getting another NBA coaching gig.
Speaking on “The Breakfast Club” podcast this week, Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala was asked about Jackson’s situation and cited “the politics of it.”
Host Charlamagne tha God asked whether it had to do with the fact that the coach, who is a licensed Christian minister, was seen as “too religious.”
“It was the politics and then, you know how it is, once they once you out, they’re going to find something,” Iguodala responded. “So, it was, he had church in the facility like on Wednesday sometimes, he would stream his church service … like Wednesday night service. He would just set up a computer in the facility and he’ll just preach, and then his congregation could watch, just stream it from at home or from the church. …
“One particular issue, from what I heard, was his views on gender or marriage or what the Bible says on your sexuality, and the head of our business … Rick Welts … he’s gay, so there was conflicts with that that was widespread. Everyone was talking about that.”
Iguodala continued, “It’s interesting, someone mentioned it to me, people can express themselves, but are you allowed to express yourself that you don’t agree with it? You should accept it, because we should all accept each other, but it’s like we’re afraid to really say our beliefs now.
“You may not believe in something, but you still embrace that or you have respect for them, as long as you don’t disrespect them or judge them.”
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers might find offensive.
“I kind of miss those days when everybody was lying to each other,” Charlamagne tha God said, “meaning everybody was keeping their s— to themselves, whatever your religion was, what your politics were, what your sexuality was, it made the world a lot less complicated.”
Iguodala was then asked why Jackson, who took the Warriors from a 23-43 record to 51-31 in his three seasons at Golden State, hasn’t been hired by another NBA team since he was fired in 2014.
“It just shows how in line the ownership group is in the NBA,” he said.
Charlamagne the God put it bluntly: “Do you think Mark Jackson is blackballed from the NBA?”
“I do, yes,” Iguodala said. “Absolutely.”
Jackson encountered friction over his biblical views during his time in the extremely liberal Bay Area.
After retired NBA player Jason Collins announced he is gay in 2013, Jackson reportedly said he wouldn’t want Collins on his team.
“I will say this. We live in a country that allows you to be whoever you want to be,” he said, according to SFBay.ca. “As a Christian man, I serve a God that gives you free will to be who you want to be. As a Christian man, I have beliefs of what’s right and what’s wrong. That being said, I know Jason Collins, I know his family, and am certainly praying for them at this time.”
The year Jackson was fired, team owner Joe Lacob said Jackson’s relationship with non-players was an issue.
“Part of it was that he couldn’t get along with anybody else in the organization,” he said, according to The Mercury News. “And look, he did a great job, and I’ll always compliment him in many respects, but you can’t have 200 people in the organization not like you.”
In his final two seasons as the team’s head coach, Jackson led the Warriors to back-to-back playoff appearances.
It was the first time Golden State had made the playoffs in two consecutive years since 1991 and 1992.
Since his firing, Jackson has tried to get another NBA head coaching job. He unsuccessfully applied for the New York Knicks vacant post following the 2017-2018 season, according to Bleacher Report.
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