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View Full Version : Did Walsh want Jackson to coach the Pacers last year



Unclebuck
04-23-2008, 10:06 AM
Reading the New York Papers today there are several articles about Jackson and Walsh. I forgot about Jackson's comment last year about how he wouldn't want to work for two people in charge, so Bird never interviewed jackson

http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/print.php?url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/04232008/sports/knicks/bird__jackson_a_good_fit_for_knicks_107657.htm


BIRD: JACKSON A GOOD FIT FOR KNICKS
By MARC BERMAN


April 23, 2008 -- Living legend Larry Bird said his former Pacers point guard Mark Jackson would be a nice fit to coach the Knicks, but wasn't the right fit in Indiana last year.
The Post reported Donnie Walsh wanted to interview Jackson last year, but Bird killed it. Jackson, the clear frontrunner for the Knicks' vacancy, is expected to interview with Walsh this week, but a source close to Jax said it won't be today.

"What happened last year, we were in the process of getting names down on a list and Mark made a statement he couldn't work for two guys in control," Bird told The Post yesterday. "Well, I was going to be there (with Donnie). So that eliminated him as we were compiling the list. It probably wasn't the right thing to say. We would've interviewed him, but we both were going to be there and he didn't want two bosses."

Jackson stated in an e-mail, "I have no idea what comment he could be referring to."Last year's Jackson snub may have led Walsh to leave Indy. Bird coached Jackson for all three of his years as Indiana's head coach after Walsh hired him with no prior head-coaching experience. Jackson led Bird's Pacers to the 2000 Finals.

"I always thought he'd be a good coach and he helped me out tremendously," Bird said. "When we had the lockout year, he kept guys together. He led the charge. He knew what was going on. He came over to me in the huddle and would tell me what play he thought we could run. Mark will be well-equipped to run an NBA team. I always knew he'd probably be a coach one day. (Walsh) won't be afraid to pull the trigger on a guy with no experience."

Walsh thinks so, too, but needs to hear it in the long-awaited interview. When asked if Jackson was the leading candidate in a conference call yesterday, Walsh was evasive.

"I guess you don't know that until you sit down and the two of you talk together," Walsh said. "Then you find out how far along you are as far as that description. I've spent time developing not so much a list but a small group of guys I would feel that way about. He's certainly one of them."

Walsh said there was only one time when he knew there was just one candidate - and that was when Bird blew him away in the interview.

"I thought he was tremendously prepared for it," Walsh said. "He told me what he would do from the first day of training camp to The Finals of the NBA."

marc.berman@nypost.com

Speed
04-23-2008, 10:13 AM
This just seems like a micro example of how things seemed from the outside looking in the last couple of years. One guy thinks one thing, the other says something else, another guy means something else. It's just a big ball of confusion.

I'm really glad there is one decider now, for better or worse at least there isn't all of this gray area of misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Weird.

Jonathan
04-23-2008, 10:22 AM
I was watching Jackson in the booth last year and he said he did not want the Pacers Job. I do not blame him for the following reasons.
1. Indiana is not big market team.
2. It is a very tough situation for a rookie coach. The Pacers Reputation: Tinsley, Palace Brawl, and second tier to the Indianapolis Colts. Also we were a proud and winning franchise when he was our PG but had missed the playoffs for the first time in several years and had no first round pick or money to sign quality players.
I feel Jim O'Brien was the right choice b/c he had more experience.

ABADays
04-23-2008, 12:10 PM
I was watching Jackson in the booth last year and he said he did not want the Pacers Job. I do not blame him for the following reasons.
1. Indiana is not big market team.
2. It is a very tough situation for a rookie coach. The Pacers Reputation: Tinsley, Palace Brawl, and second tier to the Indianapolis Colts. Also we were a proud and winning franchise when he was our PG but had missed the playoffs for the first time in several years and had no first round pick or money to sign quality players.
I feel Jim O'Brien was the right choice b/c he had more experience.

Not sure I agree with your assessment. Not being a big market team would be an advantage in this situation.

I'm not sure the situation in New York is any better than in Indiana. Maybe different problems but ones that are just as difficult to overcome.

naptownmenace
04-23-2008, 01:07 PM
I was watching Jackson in the booth last year and he said he did not want the Pacers Job. I do not blame him for the following reasons.
1. Indiana is not big market team.
2. It is a very tough situation for a rookie coach. The Pacers Reputation: Tinsley, Palace Brawl, and second tier to the Indianapolis Colts. Also we were a proud and winning franchise when he was our PG but had missed the playoffs for the first time in several years and had no first round pick or money to sign quality players.
I feel Jim O'Brien was the right choice b/c he had more experience.

Yeah, I remember when Mark said he didn't really want to coach the Pacers last year too.

I'll agree with number 1 but not with number 2. The Knicks are a bigger laughingstock than the Pacers around the league. The difference is the are in the most populated city in the US so even if lose 50% of their fans, MSG will still be packed to capacity.

Around the league and in the media they are a joke right now but people want them to do well because so many people love New York because of the city they represent and the history of the Knicks. So yeah... if I was a head coach looking for a job, the Knicks vacancy would be number 1 on my wish list too. But it's a no-brainer for a guy like Mark Jackson who is from Brooklyn and spent several years playing for the Knicks.

grace
04-23-2008, 01:44 PM
I'm sure Mark would prefer New York because that's where he's from. On the other hand coaching New York was Larry Brown's dream job. Look how well that worked out.

Speed
04-23-2008, 01:54 PM
I'm sure Mark would prefer New York because that's where he's from. On the other hand coaching New York was Larry Brown's dream job. Look how well that worked out.


I agree, also I think working for Donnie is probably a pretty good incentive too.