Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson earned some more “street cred” last night by keeping it “old school.”
Not that Jackson really needed any more respect.
The former All-Star and 17-year NBA veteran was the point guard on many playoff teams and ranks amongst the top in minutes played and games played in league history.
However, that is not why Jackson earned even more respect from his players.
Last night, when his Warriors were getting drubbed by the Houston Rockets, 140-109, he made a coaching move to send a message to his players.
The Rockets had tied the NBA record for three-pointers made with 23 in the game, were trying to break the record in front of their home crowd. That is when Jackson instructed his players to intentionally foul the Rockets shooters to ensure that they did not get any more three-point field goal attempts and consequently the record.
The strategy worked to perfection and the Rockets only tied the mark (no pun intended).
During the game Jackson had a heated exchange with Rockets head coach, Hall of Famer Kevin McHale, due to a hard foul that the Warriors committed. Jackson was literally going to battle for his team.
After the game Jackson made no apologies, giving the Rockets credit for their hot shooting, but said that he was “old school” and did not want them to get the record. Even McHale did not have a problem with Jackson’s strategy in the post-game press conference.
Jackson knew that he lost the war, but he did not want to lose the war and the battle.
The Warriors will be a tough out in the playoffs because of their personnel and scoring capabilities. However, with Jackson at the helm and the fight he has for his team, that could take them even farther as his players look to return the mutual respect he has afforded them.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo