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Warriors, Steve Kerr have coaching job agreement

The Golden State Warriors have reached an agreement in principle for Steve Kerr, a 15-year NBA veteran and five-time NBA Champion as a player, to become the team’s new head coach, the team announced this evening.

Once the agreement is finalized, a press conference will be scheduled.

According to the Bay Area News Group, “Kerr and the Warriors are finalizing a five-year deal worth about $25 million as he spurned the New York Knicks, who reportedly offered a four-year contract to the TNT analyst. “It’s great on a basketball level to inherit a good team and a young team with high-character players and a front office I’m already familiar with and feel very confident in and comfortable with,” Kerr told Bay Area News Group columnist Tim Kawakami. “Yeah … it felt right immediately.” Kerr, 48, comes to the Warriors with no head coaching experience just like predecessor Mark Jackson, who was fired eight days earlier after leading the team to back-to-back playoff appearances.”

Warriors still interested in Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr has turned down Phil Jackson and the New York Knicks to accept a five-year, $25 million offer to become the Golden State Warriors’ next coach, saying “it just felt like the right move on many levels.”

“They have a good young team. The location is ideal,” Kerr said in a phone interview with NBA.com on Wednesday night. “My daughter goes to Cal and plays volleyball. My oldest son is in college in San Diego and our youngest is a junior in high school. It’s just a short flight for them.”

Kerr had been in talks with the Knicks about becoming their next coach after Jackson took over as team president in March.

– ESPN.com

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel blog reporting on Stan Van Gundy and the Golden State Warriors:

Stan Van Gundy might be a Warriors coaching candidate

Although he stresses he’s happy not coaching, former Orlando Magic and Miami Heat coach Stan Van Gundy appears to be leaving the door at least slightly ajar for a possible return to the NBA as coach of the Golden State Warriors.

Asked Thursday morning on 740 AM’s “Open Mike” show if he’s talked with the Warriors about their vacant head-coaching job, Van Gundy answered, “I have not met with them or anything else. There have been calls to gauge interest, and until you get a chance to actually talk to somebody, it’s even hard to say if they’re interested or if I would be [interested]. So we’re not at that point of even sitting down and talking yet.”

On Tuesday, the Warriors fired Mark Jackson after three seasons as their head coach.

Although TNT commentator Steve Kerr has been mentioned as the leading candidate for Golden State’s job opening, Van Gundy also has been mentioned as a potential candidate.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on Steve Kerr:

Steve Kerr has multiple coaching job options

Steve Kerr is now the top candidate for three high-profile jobs, with the Golden State Warriors joining the Lakers as formidable competition for Phil Jackson and the Knicks.

According to a league source, Warriors owner Joe Lacob wants to hire Kerr to replace Mark Jackson, who was fired on Tuesday following three successful seasons as Golden State’s head coach. In fact, the Warriors wasted no time reaching out to Kerr, contacting him less than three hours after Jackson was dismissed. And a source maintains that the Warriors’ job is Kerr’s if he wants it.

The Knicks are still in play, but it is telling that Kerr — who met with Jackson 11 days ago in New York — has not made a decision, and that by delaying, two attractive jobs have become available.

Turning down Jackson in New York to coach Jackson’s former club in Los Angeles would be a stunning turn of events. The Warriors seem more logical since Kerr has several connections to the organization. He knows Lacob well and has a relationship with Lacob’s son Kirk, who works in Golden State’s front office. Kerr also worked with Warriors president Rick Welts in Phoenix.

Warriors fire head coach Mark Jackson

mark jackson

The Golden State Warriors have fired head coach Mark Jackson. Jackson, who recently completed his third season as head coach of the team, guided the Warriors to a 51-31 record this season and a combined 121-109 record (.526) during his tenure in the Bay Area. Jackson was named the 24th head coach in the team’s West Coast history on June 6, 2011.

Jackson has been a successful coach with the Warriors. Yet they have cast him aside, reportedly due to personality conflicts between the coach and upper management.

“It’s never easy to make a decision of this nature,” said General Manager Bob Myers. “Mark has accomplished many good things during his three years with the organization, including his role in helping elevate this team into a better position than it was when he arrived nearly 36 months ago. We’re appreciative of his dedication and commitment since his arrival and are extremely grateful for his contributions. However, as an organization, we simply feel it’s best to move in a different direction at this time.”

“Mark Jackson has had a big impact on the improvement of our team and the success that we’ve had over the last couple of years,” said Owner & CEO Joe Lacob. “Nonetheless, we must make some difficult decisions in our day-to-day operations of the club and this would certainly qualify as one of those examples. We wish Mark the best of luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions over the last three years.”

Jackson, 49, became just the third head coach in franchise history to lead a team to at least 50 wins in a season, joining Don Nelson and Alvin Attles, who both posted 50-win seasons twice with the Warriors. With 121 regular-season victories overall, Jackson ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time wins list, trailing Attles (557), Nelson (422) and Eddie Gottlieb (263). Additionally, the 98 regular-season wins posted over the last two seasons (51 in 2013-14 & 47 in 2012-13) represent the Warriors best two-year stretch since the team posted 99 victories combined in the 1990-91 (44) and 1991-92 (55) seasons, which was also the last time Golden State made consecutive postseason appearances.

According to Yahoo Sports, “Golden State plans to pursue several top coaching candidates, with Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy at the top of the list, league sources said. The possibility of reaching out to the Chicago Bulls for permission to speak with coach Tom Thibodeau will also be a consideration, league sources said. The Warriors will likely move quickly to reach out to Kerr, who has strong relationships with owner Joe Lacob and president Rick Welts, league sources said.”

Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs:

In the moments after the Game 7 loss, Stephen Curry wouldn’t go as far as to call the Warriors’ season a success.

But Curry, whose All-Star season lifted the Warriors to a 51-win regular season, was clear in saying that he believed Mark Jackson “deserves to be our coach” and return next season.

“I love Coach more than anybody, and I think for him to be in a situation where his job is under scrutiny and under question is totally unfair,” Curry said. “And it would definitely be a shock to me if anything like that were to happen.

“I’m going to voice my support for Coach, if you’ve got anybody that asks me about it all summer.”

And so began what could be an offseason of change for the Warriors, who have a decision to make on Jackson as he enters the final year of his contract.

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on the Warriors:

Warriors facing major decisions this offseason

Warriors head coach Mark Jackson shook off a postgame question Saturday night about whether he’ll have the same title next season.

“There has never been discussion as far as my ownership group or my management team,” said Jackson, who has one season left on his contract. “… I work every single day with a passion and a commitment, like it’s my last. I’m trying to be a blessing to people. I’m trying to impact people. That’s the way I live my life, and that’s the way I coach.

“I’m totally confident and have total faith that - no matter what - I’m going to be fine. That’s even if I’m a full-time pastor.”

When the final buzzer sounded on the longest two weeks of the Los Angeles Clippers’ careers, they felt more exhaustion than elation. While coach Doc Rivers high-fived fans and pumped his fist at the crowd, Blake Griffin and Chris Paul quietly congratulated each other.

They had just persevered through seven exhausting playoff games amid enormous distractions leading to their owner’s lifetime banishment from the NBA.

A franchise that once redefined losing was a winner despite it all - and there’s no telling how much farther these new Clippers can go.

Griffin scored 24 points, Paul had 22 points and 14 assists, and the Clippers outlasted the Golden State Warriors 126-121 in Game 7 on Saturday night to win their first-round playoff series…

Jamal Crawford scored 22 points for the third-seeded Clippers, who earned the franchise’s third playoff series win in 38 years with the highest degree of off-court difficulty imaginable…

Stephen Curry had 33 points and nine assists, but Golden State blew a lead with 2:10 left in Game 7. Draymond Green scored 24 points for the Warriors, who lost their first Game 7 since 1977 and failed to advance in consecutive postseasons for the first time since that same year…

Redick scored 20 points for the Clippers, and Jordan put in a stellar low-post performance for the two-time Pacific Division champions.

– Associated Press

Jermaine O'Neal

Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal underwent an MRI earlier today that revealed a bone bruise of his right knee cap. He is listed as questionable for tomorrow night’s Game 7 of the team’s First Round series versus the Los Angeles Clippers.

O’Neal suffered the injury at the 9:39 mark of the 2nd quarter of last night’s 100-99 Game 6 victory when Clippers forward Glen Davis crashed into him.

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle Blog reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who took care of business and tied their first-round playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday:

For the first time in their best-of-seven, first-round series against the Clippers, the Warriors started a small lineup in Game 4 at Oracle Arena – a move that allowed them to play quicker and with more assertiveness, freed Stephen Curry for offensive openings and tied the series with a with a resounding 118-97 victory.

With the series knotted 2-2 and shifting back to Los Angeles for Tuesday’s Game 5, the Clippers are suddenly the team pressing to make adjustments – a marked change from two days ago, when they appeared to have all of the answers and all of the momentum.

Draymond Green got his second career postseason start and his first this season – bumping David Lee to center and moving Jermaine O’Neal to the bench – and helped the Warriors grab a lead that the held for the game’s final 45 minutes, 54 seconds.

Using mostly a smallball lineup throughout the game, the Warriors’ offense showcased harmonious ball movement to create space for Curry’s game-changing shooting stroke and produced team-wide 55.4 percent shooting and 32 assists on 41 made field goals.

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle with a report on the Warriors and their San Francisco arena plans:

Plan for San Francisco waterfront Warriors arena gets ditched

The Golden State Warriors have abandoned their plan to build an arena on Piers 30-32 just south of the Bay Bridge and instead have purchased a site in San Francisco’s burgeoning Mission Bay to hold a new 18,000-seat venue.

The Warriors bought the 12-acre site from Salesforce.com at an undisclosed price in a deal signed Saturday night, said Rick Welts, the Warriors’ president and chief operating officer. The team plans to have the arena ready for the 2018-19 NBA season.

The shift in location provides the Warriors with predictability and fewer regulatory hurdles. It also eliminates any need for voter approval, which may have become necessary for the Pier 30-32 venue that Mayor Ed Lee once called “my legacy project.”

The change has assuaged some of the project’s most vocal critics, who opposed building a 125-foot-high arena near the Embarcadero amid concerns about traffic, environmental harm during construction and blocked views of the Bay Bridge…

The Warriors will own the site outright, rather than leasing it from the Port of San Francisco, and the team says the arena will be entirely privately financed - a rare instance of a modern sports venue that would use no taxpayer funds or public land.

The new site off Third Street does not, however, have the iconic feel and stunning views of the Bay Bridge. Instead, the view is of a dry dock, an industrial pier and rusting old pilings that dot the water. Visible across the bay are the cranes and skyline of Oakland, the Warriors’ home after the team played in San Francisco from 1962 to 1971.

The Warriors’ planned arena is part of a redevelopment area and growing biotech hub, with a UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital being built diagonally across from the arena site.

Here’s a video of 2013-14 season highlights from Warriors guard Stephon Curry:

Here’s the Bay Area News Group, via the San Jose Mercury news, reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who are 50-31 entering tonight, the final day of the NBA regular season. The Warriors qualified for the playoffs, which begin Saturday.

Within hours of the discouraging news about Andrew Bogut, the Warriors got an encouraging report from another corner of the medical department: David Lee was looking like his old self.

Lee scored 25 points and had nine rebounds Monday night against Minnesota, a far cry from what was thought to be possible a week ago. At that time there was doubt that the 6-foot-10 forward would be able to help the Warriors much down the stretch or in the playoffs because of a hamstring pull that was complicated by severe nerve pain. Lee missed seven games after suffering the injury on March 22 against San Antonio, and he didn’t seem to be making much progress.

Even when he returned to action last Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers and then again Sunday in Portland, Lee didn’t look himself. He made only four of 12 shots against L.A. even though he did get 10 rebounds, but appeared to regress against the Trail Blazers. He made just 2 of 9 shots despite playing 33 minutes, had only four rebounds and fouled out while trying to contend with Portland power forward LaMarcus Aldridge.

But lo and behold, on the tail end of a back-to-back no less, Lee miraculously found his footing Monday after a rough start defensively against Minnesota’s Kevin Love. He started hitting some of his patented post-ups and mid-range jumpers, and also worked the boards and ran the floor much more effectively than he had during his first two games back.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut injured, out with rib fracture

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut has been diagnosed with a rib fracture and will be sidelined indefinitely. The injury, which occurred during the fourth quarter of Golden State’s overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last night, was revealed in x-rays taken immediately after the game and confirmed today by the team’s medical staff.

In 67 games this season, Bogut is averaging 7.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.81 blocks in 26.4 minutes, while shooting 62.7 percent from the floor.

Warriors sign Hilton Armstrong for remainder of season

The Golden State Warriors have signed center Hilton Armstrong for the remainder of the season, the team announced today.

Armstrong, 29, has appeared in 12 games with Golden State this season, averaging 1.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 5.3 minutes. He originally signed with the Warriors as a free agent on Dec. 11 before being waived on Dec. 29 and subsequently signed a 10-day contract with Golden State on Feb. 22, and a second 10-day contract on March 30.

In addition to his time with Golden State, the 6-11 center has appeared in 32 games (23 starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League this season, averaging 12.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.75 blocks in 26.2 minutes while hitting 55.9 percent from the field.

The Golden State Warriors have relieved Assistant Coach Darren Erman of his duties with the organization due to a violation of company policy, it was announced today. Erman, 37, was in his third season with the Warriors after spending four years with the Boston Celtics.

It is not yet known what actual violation took place.

“This is the type of decision that would be made across the board and irrespective of position within the organization,” said Warriors’ General Manager Bob Myers. “Obviously, the timing is unfortunate, but we hold all of our employees, whether in Basketball Operations or other aspects of the business, accountable for their actions and to the same standard. We move forward and thank Darren for his contributions.”

Another Warriors assistant coach, former NBA player Brian Scalabrine, was recently demoted.

The team is 47-29 and close to clinching a Western conference playoff berth.

According to the Bay Area News Group, “Head coach Mark Jackson said he remained confident in his staff, which now is down to three assistant coaches following his decision to remove Scalabrine from the bench last week due to a “difference in philosophies” along with Erman’s firing. “He made a mistake,” Jackson said of Erman. “He owns it. He’s done a lot for me. He’s done a lot for this organization, and I’m pulling for him to make a comeback. I’m pulling for him to move on and become a great coach, and I believe that can happen. “It’s just tough. I’m pulling for him. The right decision was made, and we move forward, but certainly I’m pulling for him to bounce back and get back on the road that he was on.”

Hilton Armstrong

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent center Hilton Armstrong to a 10-day contract as a Call-Up from the Warriors’ NBA Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced today.

Armstrong, 29, has appeared in 32 games (23 starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors this season, averaging 12.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.75 blocks (seventh-best in the D-League) in 28.2 minutes while hitting 55.9 percent from the field (ninth). The 6-11 center has played in eight games with Golden State over two separate stints (December 11–29/February 22-March 3) this season, averaging 2.3 rebounds in 4.4 minutes.

Originally selected by the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets with the 12th overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft, Armstrong has played in six NBA seasons with the Hornets (2006-09), Sacramento Kings (2009-10), Houston Rockets (2009-10), Washington Wizards (2010-11), Atlanta Hawks (2010-2011) and Warriors, owning career averages of 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11.6 minutes over 285 games (39 starts). He has also played professionally with ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne in France, Panathinaikos in Greece and Changsha Bank Guangdong in China.

He will wear uniform #57.

Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting on the Golden State Warriors:

Warriors veteran big man Jermaine O’Neal called any talk of firing coach Mark Jackson “ridiculous” and “unfair” before offering a vote of confidence unique to his own NBA career.

O’Neal is considering retirement, and if the 35-year-old were to decide to play next season, he said it would be because of Jackson and that the team he would choose would be the Warriors.

“It’s a couple reasons why I will come back,” O’Neal said Saturday. “This fan base, this organization is first class, and obviously my teammates are great, as well.

“But the No. 1 reason that I will come back 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.”

Here’s the Bay Area News Group reporting on the Golden State Warriors, whose head coach Mark Jackson recently demoted assistant coach Brian Scalabrine:

Warriors coach Mark Jackson says he is not worried about extension

Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Thursday that not having a contract extension past next season does not bother him.

“There is not a piece of me that’s bothered that an extension has not been agreed upon or anything of that nature,” Jackson said on his weekly radio show on KNBR. “We move forward. I had the deal. They picked up my option for next year, and I think that obviously speaks volumes even though for some folks it doesn’t say anything.”

Jackson also said that he appreciated Stephen Curry’s vote of confidence in response to a Yahoo Sports report on the team’s “increasingly dysfunctional atmosphere” in the wake of assistant coach Brian Scalabrine’s reassignment earlier this week. Curry said he and the rest of the team supported Jackson 100 percent.

“Obviously he’s a guy that had an opportunity and a platform to show his loyalty, his support for me,” Jackson said of Curry. “I don’t take it for granted, and it’s not a surprise because he knows how I feel about him.”

Here’s ESPN.com News Services reporting on the Golden State Warriors and Brian Scalabrine:

Warriors demote assistant coach Brian Scalabrine

The Golden State Warriors have demoted assistant coach Brian Scalabrine to their D-League affiliate in Santa Cruz, Calif., with 11 games to play in the regular season for what coach Mark Jackson called a “difference in philosophies.”

Jackson’s Warriors sit in sixth place at 44-27, only 1½ games ahead of the eighth and last spot for the playoffs despite winning 15 of 23 games since the beginning of February.

He said Scalabrine’s reassignment to the Santa Cruz Warriors was his call.

“I made the decision,” Jackson said Tuesday after practice, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m fortunate enough to have an ownership group and a management group that allows me to pick my staff. We’re just going in a different direction. That’s that.”

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