The Golden State Warriors hired Mark Jackson to replace Keith Smart as coach yesterday, giving the former point guard and television analyst his first chance to be a head coach on the game's biggest stage.
"He epitomized leadership as a player in this league for 17 seasons and we think that characteristic - and many other positive traits - will translate very well into his coaching duties with our young team," owner Joe Lacob said in a statement. "He was a leader and a winner both on and off the floor in this league and we're convinced that he is the right person to guide this team into the future and help us achieve the success that we are striving for as an organization."
Jackson played 17 years in the NBA, for New York, the Clippers, Indiana, Denver, Toronto, Utah and Houston. He won Rookie of the Year honors in 1988 and made the playoffs 14 times. He ranks third on the NBA's all-time assists list.
But he has never coached, spending the past few seasons as the lead analyst for ESPN and ABC for their NBA coverage. He won't start his new job until after he's finished calling the NBA Finals.
In other news:
* Temple's Lavoy Allen was sidelined for his workout with the New Jersey Nets due to a sprained left ankle.
* ESPN says ratings for the NBA Finals remain as high as they've been in the last 7 years. Miami's victory in Game 3 at Dallas on Sunday night earned an 11.1 overnight rating, marking the 22th straight time a Finals game has been the most-watched program on a given evening, according to Nielsen.