According to Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal, head coach Mark Jackson’s job should not be in jeopardy.
Jackson has (evidently) come under some fire from the local media, and O’Neal doesn’t think the criticisms are fair, saying that Jackson’s leadership is one of the main reason why he, at age 35, still wants to play another NBA season:
“But the No. 1 reason that I will come back [next seas] and play another year is because of Coach Jackson. I’m absolutely, 100 percent positive about that. He makes it easy to come in this gym every day, and there’s not a lot of coaches that do that.”
O’Neal, whom Jackson noted was “underpaid” and “a steal” while playing on a $2 million, one-year contract, said he would choose Golden State despite the distance from family because Jackson has shown just how much he cares about his players.
“To me, it’s one of the most unfair things that I’ve seen in a long time,” O’Neal said. “And it truly is a team that’s 18 games over .500. Eighteen. And we’re talking about firing a coach with 10, 11 games left?
“Here’s the facts. To everybody that’s negative out there, you may not ever see this again. I know that firsthand because I’ve been in the position. It may take 10 years to be back in that position, so do you want to accept us with open arms and continue to show the support?”
A slow clap for Mr. O’Neal, please.
[Source: San Jose Mercury News]