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“When I first got traded there it was seen as a bad trade, but we drafted right and slowly built it up. The change in the culture helped a little bit,” he says, and there’s not a drop of sarcasm in his voice or a mention of Mark Jackson, the coach who was jettisoned in 2014. “Steve Kerr came in and we had an absolutely phenomenal year. It felt like every player we drafted or signed was getting criticism. We all had kind of chips on our shoulder. People forget we weren’t a team filled with a bunch of stars. And mate, that was only a few years ago, and it’s basically still the same team.”
Gelfand got some prime TV time when the superstar Curry, recovering from a sprained knee, insisted on sitting beside him during multiple first-round playoff games. But his claim to fame during Golden State’s four-season run of roaring success might be his role in helping the Warriors establish 300 passes as their nightly team goal. Golden State was last in the N.B.A. in passes per game, stuck in the 240s, when Kerr succeeded Mark Jackson after a first-round playoff exit to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014. Kerr turned to Gelfand to help establish a new benchmark — 300 — which has evolved into the team’s magic number and a symbol of its culture.
ESPN NBA commentator Mark Jackson was asked on conference call to promote the NBA Finals about interviewing for the Knicks job. He didn’t want to get into details. “The only thing for me – I appreciate the question – (is that they) have an outstanding coach in (David) Fizdale, quality guys, class guys running it in (Knicks president) Steve (Mills) and (Knicks GM) Scott (Perry) and I wish them nothing but the very best. It was a heckuva opportunity (to interview for the job) and I wish them nothing but the very best.”
“A lot of the slowing down of the game had been the result of stringent illegal defense rules,” says Carlisle, whose first season as a head coach, with the Detroit Pistons, coincided with the reforms. “The [defensive three-seconds rule] was a major step toward the game that we have today. Ball movement and creating offensive scrambles for open shots was becoming more of the norm than posting up a great player, having him back in, drawing a double-team.” In the ’90s, the post-up had been a central feature of many NBA offenses. Carlisle noted that one of the enduring images for him of the late ’90s, when he was an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers, was watching Mark Jackson deliberately back down New York Knicks guard Charlie Ward, who would squat in a defensive stance that looked like something out of pro football.
Vincent Goodwill: Although David Fizdale is the front-runner for the Knicks job, David Blatt and Mark Jackson are still firmly in the running, according to sources
The Knicks interviewed a wide array of candidates for their vacant head-coaching position, and have considered other candidates that include former Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt, former Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson and former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, league sources said. No agreement between Fizdale and the Knicks has been finalized, league sources said.