Thursday, December 29, 2011

Is Mark Jackson's Appeal Similar to Doc Rivers?

Mark Jackson has gotten the Golden State Warriors off to a 2-1 start. He's talked about how he's changed (and is changing) the culture in Oakland. The Warriors are putting more effort into defense and that's a start. While they don't have a strong frontline, they are collectively trying to protect their basket.

Jackson, a former player and broadcaster, doesn't seem like an X's and O's guy. He's an emotional leader who appeals by communicating to his team as if he was still playing. Players love and respond to that approach. If Jackson's name wasn't mentioned, couldn't I be talking about Celtics Coach Doc Rivers?

Rivers has been praised from all of his players. Shaq spoke highly of him in his retirement press conference. Rivers is tremendous in reaching out because he's been there before. That's why he knows what to say and he knows what guys are thinking.

Mark Jackson has the potential to be the same way. Jackson's not near as experienced as Rivers, this is only his first coaching gig. Nevertheless, his appeal is spot on with Doc's. If Jackson can learn the schemes and continually strengthen his emotional call to his guys, he'll have a fabulous coaching career.

It's unlikely that Jackson could come close to Doc's level. Inching close would be more than he could ask for. Still, he can take a lot from what Rivers has achieved. Rivers always has a staff that supports what aren't his strong suits. Jackson has followed suit with that and he feels his staff is the best in basketball.

Having Jackson away from the mic on ABC and on the bench is a win for all. Fans don't need to hear him attempt to commentate, players can take in the gameplan and nobody gets hurt! Seriously, Jackson can do great things in Golden State. Doc Rivers should be a model for what he does. Appeal to the players from your own experience and then insert the tactical strategies for success. Good luck to Coach Jackson in navigating through your first season!