Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski weighed in this morning with a look at the mess in Golden State, and found that not all of the blame rests with Jackson:
In a lot of ways, Nelson set him up to fail. This way, it would be easy for Nelson to shirk his own responsibilities of lording over this young team. From Brandan Wright(notes) to Marco Belinelli(notes), it’s fair to wonder: Where’s the player development come under Nellie? What young guys are getting better? Anthony Morrow(notes) was a terrific undrafted find out of Georgia Tech, but let’s face it: Mullin invited Morrow to summer league, and he was a good player upon arrival.
As Nelson pushed more and more responsibility onto his assistant coaches, it was clear he had lost spirit in coaching these young Warriors. So many NBA executives believe he’s merely hanging around to catch Lenny Wilkens’ record for career victories, and maybe most of all, cash his checks.
For now, the Warriors are stuck with Stephen Jackson and it could be sometime until that changes. They gave him a contract that paralyzes the team and a captainship that paralyzed the player. They’ll say Jax isn’t heeding his coach, but they’ll be wrong. He watched closely and learned well the lessons of life with the Golden State Warriors. There’s no staying power here, and rest assured that didn’t start with Captain Jack turning in his badge.
Indeed, as we said yesterday, “Chaos reigns, and despite appearances, Don Nelson is very much the ring leader.” Between his seeming indifference to the everyday rigors of coaching to his inattention to some of the younger Warriors players, much of what’s gone wrong the past few years can be traced back to Nelson. No one doubts his basketball genius and knack for unconventional strategies, but as the Jackson situation illustrates, his commitment to leadership and managing a team may not be what it once was.