If you had George Karl and Mark Jackson involved in the NBA’s latest public spat, step up and claim your prize.
What could have created a fight between Karl, the successful but divisive coach for various teams, and Jackson, the fan-favorite point guard-turned-analyst?
During a recent ESPN broadcast, Jackson made disparaging comments about Karl’s coaching career. In response, Karl shut down Jackson with one tweet referencing his time with the Golden State Warriors.
George Karl had an excellent but wild coaching career
For as terrific as George Karl’s coaching career was, there are two major strikes against him.
The other major knock on Karl is he often conflicted with his players. He and former No. 1 pick Kenyon Martin battled behind closed doors, a feud that became public in Karl’s 2017 book, Furious George.
Karl also called J.R. Smith’s entourage a “posse,” a phrase that carries a racial connotation.
Still, Karl’s coaching accomplishments speak for themselves. He is one of only nine coaches in league history to win over 1,000 games and he won NBA Coach of the Year in 2013.
Now 69, Karl last coached with the Sacramento Kings in 2016.
Mark Jackson has held seemingly every type of NBA role
An All-Star point guard in his prime, Mark Jackson has endeared himself to NBA fans as a player, coach, and broadcaster.
Jackson averaged 9.6 points and eight rebounds per game for seven teams from 1987-2004. He made the 1989 All-Star Game with the Knicks and led the league in assists in 1997, his lone year with the Denver Nuggets.
After a few years in the broadcast booth, Jackson became the Golden State Warriors’ head coach in 2011. He took over a team with a young Stephen Curry and, shortly after Jackson arrived, a rookie sharpshooter in Klay Thompson.
Jackson went 121-109 in three seasons with the Warriors. Golden State made the playoffs in each of his last two years and won 51 games in the 2013-14 season.
Golden State removed Jackson from his position in May 2014. Steve Kerr led the Warriors to an NBA Finals victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a year later.
Jackosn has worked in the broadcast booth for ABC and ESPN since then. He’s expressed a desire to coach again, but no teams have taken a chance on Jackson.
George Karl just silenced Mark Jackson with one tweet
George Karl and Mark Jackson have feuded before. Karl accused Andre Iguodala, who played for the Nuggets in 2012-13, of providing inside information to Jackson.
The feud died for a few years before it re-emerged with a vengeance during the NBA playoffs.
According to The New York Post, Mark Jackson and fellow ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy were discussing Carmelo Anthony’s improved defense. Van Gundy said previous criticism of Anthony’s defense were “warranted.”
In response, Jackson said, “then there’s a shared responsibility for whoever allowed that defense to be played.”
George Karl didn’t hold back when he addressed Jackson’s comments on Twitter.
“I heard @MarkJackson13 is taking shots at my defensive coaching during tonight’s broadcast. Remind me, how many all-star teams did you coach, Mark? How many DPOYs? How many Finals appearances? How many of my teams became dynasties right after I left?”
Game, set, match.
Jackson replied to Karl nearly two hours later.
“Wasn’t even thinking of u!” Jackson tweeted. “Btw I never lost to u in the playoffs as a Player or as a Coach! God Bless u and urs!”
Karl did not respond to Jackson as of publication.