NBA / Jul 30, 2009 / 12:49 pm

Breaking News: Minnesota on Verge of Doing Something Right

The Minnesota Timberwolves may have made an absolute mess of their draft this summer, but they are apparently on the verge of doing something right.

This popped up on TwinCities.com yesterday:

There’s little doubt that NBA analyst Mark Jackson will be the Timberwolves’ new coach. Former Gophers star Mychal Thompson, who is a Los Angeles Lakers analyst, recommended Jackson to Wolves President David Kahn.

“He’s smart, and everybody respects him,” Thompson said of Jackson.

One of the things that drives me most insane about the NBA and NBA culture, is NBA front offices insisting on hiring coaching re-treads. How many chances are teams going to give guys like Mike Dunleavy, Doug Collins and Flip Saunders jobs instead of rolling the dice with a young coach? It’s infuriating. My Sixers just did it, when they flirted with Collins and (unbelievably) Chris Ford, among others, and then hired another semi re-tread in Eddie Jordan. I mean, the last coaching job that Jordan had ended with him losing control of a young squad and giving off a tangible “whatever” vibe from the bench. Great! Sign him up to coach my young team!

So now the T-Wolves are in a spot where their situation can only get better. Why not let it ride with Jax? He would have a great foundation to build on with a dominant post player in Al Jefferson and potentially multiple young point guards with super upsides to mold with his own PG wisdom.

The trick would be for the T-Wolves franchise to have patience with Mark, to let him grow with the squad, instead of pulling the plug on him too soon because of a rough year or two as everyone figures this thing out. It happens all the time in the NBA (Reggie Theus immediately comes to mind) and we never get to find out if these young coaches have what it takes.

So if Mark is the man in Minnesota, good for the T-Wolves. At least they did something right this summer.

Source: TwinCities.com

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  • sh!tfaced

    Damn. No more “Mama there goes that man!”. ‘Twas fun watching games having him as a broadcaster.

  • the cynic

    Good to see Minnesota isn’t hiring a retread, but hiring a coach with no experience what so ever isn’t exactly a good thing. It will get the TWolves plenty of media attention though

  • Patrick

    This concept is annoying. You don’t want to hire a retread, but in the current era of basketball no teams give the coach room to grow. SVG is a retread and he just took the Magic to the Finals. Phil Jackson is basically a retread, but that is an unfair example. If all you want running a team is an NBA point guard with a good basketball IQ I say go grab someone new every time. Mix it up. But in basketball just like in every other industry experience counts. Unfortunately there are 27 coaches on the hot seat every year(excluding the champs, Sloan and Popovich) so they move around. Would you want Doc Rivers? How about Byron Scott? Both retreads.

  • Kobeef

    @the Cynic

    Mark Jackson has some experience running a basketball team…as one of the greatest PG’s to ever play the game (2nd on the all-time assists list – 10,323).

    My guess is that someone like Jackson, Chris Paul or Steve Nash could step on the sideline now and become one of the best coaches in the NBA.

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    Well if this means he isn’t going to be announcing games then I’m all for it. He is by far one of the worse announcers ever. Mama there goes that man again…. seriously he overused the shit out of this shitty line. He was embarrassing to black culture as a whole. Mama there goes that man again….? so lame. Not only that, but he was a dyck rider and can almost make you hate Kobe Bryant without ever watching a game. He and Jeff van Gundy should never be analyst. I’m amazed that anyone thinks he’ll be a good coach, but hey I could be wrong. We’ll see what happens.

    I feel sorry for Al Jeff and KLove. They could have done something together.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @ Patrick,

    No, I wouldn’t necc want Doc or Byron. Everyone thought Doc was a clown until Ray Allen and KG showed up in Boston – then he suddenly because a genius. Byron has also spent his fair share of time on both sides of the fence.

    A team that hires a guy like Tom Thibodeau would be making a great move. He’s no re-tread, but he brings tangible skills to the table (he’s everyone’s favorite defensive genius).

    The Pistons hiring John Keuster is a great move too. He’s been successfully orchestrating offensive schemes in the League for a very long time.

    Does Mark Jackson have those X’s and O’s credentials? No, but he has other credentials. He’s been a winner on every level, is smart, is well-respected, and clearly wants to be a coach very badly.

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    I wonder if he will hire Escalade to be the big mans coach. I’m sure KLove and Big AL could learn a crossover or two from him.

  • robmo35

    The reason that retreads are popular is because retreads at least have some experience running a team, or more importantly in this case teaching young players. Jackson was a point guard in the NBA, but so was Isiah Thomas, and would you want Zeke anywhere near your team? This may give Jackson some experience, but honestly in this industry it is not a question of if, but when a coach gets fired, and after that happens to Jackson he will be one of your apparently hated retreads.

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    Winner? He won a title? I thought MJ&Pip, Kobe&Shaq, stopped him from winning a title. Every level? He was a PG on that St. Johns team with Chris Mullin and Bill Wennington. But I don’t think he started did he?

  • http://www.solomonlieberman.com Solomon Lieberman

    Add Bill Laimbeer to the mix as AC, and I’m happier than a pig in poop.

  • AdvancedMind

    Dime i love the headline… I wondered where you guys where based out of, location wise, but now i know.. Holy santa claus shit. Breaking News: Minnesota on Verge of Doing Something Right????????? Please explain how hiring someone who never coached “A DAY IN HIS LIFE”, is a good step forward? Thats like the equal of the Chicago Bulls hiring “MR. T”, and us being extra excited about it. Please quickly find one of your corprate office window and jump out of it.. You just passed SLAM for the most NYC butt piracy.

  • QQ

    Most athletic PG in the NBA currently?


    Who would you guys say?

    Also, who’s the most athletic PG of all-time?

    Stevie Francis?

    Who else?

  • The Real Deal


    are you serious about Jeff Van Gundy being a bad analyst? his banter with marc jackson was hilarious. The dude speaks his mind, and i think he’s one of the better analysts out there

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @ Chicagorilla –

    Pretty much every team that Mark Jackson was ever played for became instantly better the second he stepped on the court. Because he couldn’t get past Michael Jordan doesn’t mean he’s not a winner.

    @ AdvancedMind –

    So if the T-Wolves had re-hired Flip, or hired Paul Westphal, or someone along those lines, you would consider that a better step forward than hiring Mark Jackson? Come on now …

  • dk

    @5 For once I agree, get this idiot out from behind the booth. Hes also an embarassment to white culture and integrity.

  • Dagomar

    Yeah, heaven forbid coaches with proven track records get more chances to coach. Flip Saunders? Only one of the best coaches in the league. Eddie Jordan? That man knows how to run an offense. Are you seriously saying they are worse options than a guy who has never coached an NBA team in his life?

    Jackson is a good choice in this case – in part because there are so few other options who would work well with young ballhandlers – but I’m happiest about this because it would get him out of broadcasting. Maybe the most annoying analyst/announcer on TV, and that’s saying something.

  • http://dime sure

    Currently: D Rose and Will Bynum

    All Time: Steve Francis, Penny, KJ, Old Marbury

  • AdvancedMind


    I think a coach should have some type of coaching experence on some type of level.. Actually the better choice for them would have been Pat Summitt but she would be a little to tuff on these current players and they would cry. Now if this headline read, Breaking News: Minnesota on Verge of Doing Something Right by hiring Marc Jackson as assitstant coach, it wouldnt be so bad.
    bottum line is i dont care about the T WOLVES, and as long as i dont have to hear his ignorance in the playoffs then im cool with him failing after half a season.

  • George W Kush Sr

    A bad decision is a bad decision, we can’t start saying hiring new blood is better, just look at Michael Curry.

    Just like there are players that somehow keep getting work it’s the same way bad coaches keep finding work, it’s a stupid ass GM’s fault.

  • d’Antonio

    Stop the Kahn bashing!
    When Pritchard piles up assets in Portland he’s a genius. When Kahn does so he’s the new Chris Wallace…

    Dime, I love you guys but you’re worth more than that…

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla


    “Win on every level” usually means RINGS. So that’s what i was responding to that.

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla

    Bill Lambier, Patrick Ewing, Bill Cartwright, and several other guys who are paying their dues on NBA benches right now, deserve more of a chance than M.Jackson. I have no hate towards him (outside of his terrible announcing), but he should at least be an assistant somewhere. He hasn’t coached an Elementary school, High school, AAU, college, WNBA, or NBA team ever before. And they want to give him the keys to lottery picks and a franchise player.

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @ Kush –

    We’ll never know if Michael Curry is a good coach. Like I pointed out in the post, the Pistons pulled the plug before he had a chance. Now maybe there was something going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about, but on the surface, they traded Billups for Iverson at the start of the season and everyone on their roster, led by Rip Hamilton, whined and cried about it for the entire season. He never had a chance.

    @ Chicagorilla –

    There’s a reason Laimbeer, Ewing and Cartwright haven’t gotten a shot yet.

  • mike

    going to miss him a JVG in the booth together for sure

  • http://www.f-the-refs.net Chicagorilla


    That’s interesting. They (Cartwright and Ewing) don’t get a shot at HEAD coaching but they are spoken of highly in the media. Looking at how Ewing seems to help Dwight Howard (also Yao Ming before that) and Minn has their own young big man in Al Jefferson, seems like a perfect match.

    What’s the resume on Mark Jackson? What players credit him for their success? Reggie Miller? None!

    Lambier took the Detroit Shock team from worst to first in the WNBA. Won a chip after having the worse record in the L the year before. He’s doing all this without a superior athlete to take over games (Kobe, Lebron, and Dwight). He did this by making the team winning brand of ball while staying within his system. that’s what a real coach does—Tex/Phil(Bulls and Lakers), Greg Pop(San), Jerry Sloan(Utah), Patt Summit(TENN), Geno(UCONN), Dean Smith (UNC),Roy Williams (UNC,Kansas).

    And I HATE bill Lambier, I’m just being unbiased in my opinion.

  • Rizwan

    Chicagorilla, you’re an idiot.

  • Kobeef


    Apparently Rubio is on the verge of inking a 5 year deal with a spanish team….so yeah…unless that changes I’ll continue to join others and bash Kahn for wasting a lottery pick on a player who will never play in Minnesota.

  • George W Kush Sr

    I agree that the moves Joe Dumars made did not support the hiring of a new coach, trading Billups did fuck everything up and the team did throw it in.

    I’m just saying its wrong to say that new coaches are better than old ones, just as it’s incorrect to assume ALL old coaches are better than new ones, it’s a stupid asssumption to make.

  • the cynic

    @ kobeef

    playing basketball and coaching basketball are not the same thing. I liked Mark Jackson as a player, a very good player, but one of the greatest PG’s of all-time? Maybe stat wise. Of course he will get better with time, but he could get better by being an assistant coach without being a trainwreak. If I was Mark Jackson I would take the job even if I was under qualified; but since Im on the outside looking in, I say he isn’t ready

  • Patrick Cassidy

    @ Kush –

    I didn’t say that all new coaches are better than old ones. My point was that instead of hiring guys who have been with a bunch of different teams over the years who have done nothing to distinguish themselves, give a look to a young guy who might have some new energy and ideas.

  • Big Island

    Van Gundy is great as an analyst. Mark Jackson, in my humble opinion, will be a good coach. The guy ran teams that won, whether or not it was a championship you can debate forever, but nobody says Stockton wasn’t a winner. That argument is weak because of guys like Jack Haley or Brian Scalabrine have a ring or two among themselves. He played on good teams with good coaches and surely picked up some pointers. He has credibility more than anything, credibility within the lifetime of the players he is possibly going to coach. Thomas was better than almost anyone he was coaching, whereas Jackson doesn’t have that same ego. He was a better player than some other guys who did well (Avery Johnson, Del Negro) but not someone like Thomas who was a score first guy when he played. Give the guy a chance before you knock him.

    I don’t even know where I was going with that.

  • sh!tfaced

    What’s up with David Kahn and Point Guards? He picked another Point Guard as his coach. LOL.

  • d’Antonio


    You telling me Rubio is never going to play in the NBA? Please…

    Minnie owns Rubio’s rights for as long as necessary, and with all the hype surrounding him, they’ll get value far superior to anything they could have had with this pick.

    I stand by the man. But I sure hope Walsh manages to land us Rubio (and Lebron…)

  • QQ

    “Mama there goes that man!”

    Definitely the stupidest and most predictable line he ever used. Used it almost every game like it was new and flashy. Really it just sounded retarded and premeditated.

  • Samza

    I’ll try to be even-handed about this. Mark Jackson was a player that had to get by on his smarts, since he had very limited athletic talent, and he did pretty well. I suspect he knows a great deal about the game.


    His announcing was just pure shtick, like a slower, lower energy Stephen A. Smith with the oh-no-you-di’n’t cadence. Yuck. JVG has character and convictions that come out over the course of a game. Jackson was spewing pure b.s. at all times.

    I think players will get mighty weary of his know-it-all demeanor. He constantly points out little things players should be doing better, as if his career, which ended with LOSSES every single season, was an error-free glide to superstardom. He’s a nag who imagines players in his era were perfectly prepared for every play. It’s not true, of course, and these players will tune out within 30 games.

  • robmo35

    All of you who think you will miss him in the booth. Don’t worry he’ll be back sooner than later

  • dagwaller

    I love it when people suggest new coaches. Yea, cause that works all the time (Terry Porter, Michael Curry).

    Meanwhile, Eddie Jordan gets attacked even though his entire team was wracked with injuries, and Flip Saunders gets attacked after going to Conference Finals countless times. Yea, those two are bums.

  • yentron

    Hey hey hey don’t knock Eddie Jordan. He was doing a good job with the wiz until half the squad got hurt, he just took the fall.

  • http://www.imeem.com/dialogs/standaloneplaylist/?p=ztKqfEZj smoove chips

    his commentating sucks
    i’m one to give chances to people though.avery johnson wasn’t all that to begin with.annoying voice,rabid temperament,bla blah.
    by the time he got canned he’d earned my respect.with that being sed i don’t think doc rivers is all that,and rick aldeman is a maestro.but then again,that’s just my opinion.

    lakers in 2010.

  • Hoops Fan

    Absolute mess of the draft?? What are you smoking? Dumping Randy Foye & Mike Miller for the rights to Rubio (either signed or traded) is a steal. Jonny Flynn will be a solid player and possible all star in his career. Wayne Ellington is a shooter that will compliment Flynn (or Rubio) for years to come. Just about everything I have read from NBA execs say the Wolves had a smart draft – especially for a team in a rebuilding year who have admitted they don’t anticipate an above .500 season.

    I expect a little more then random, poorly thought out comments like that from Dime.. come on, lets put some effort into our articles.

  • Saku 39

    I’m not bold enough to predict how Jax will do but I think he is doing himself a disservice by not accepting an assitant position first. A little experience can only help.

    Also, what can he teach about defense?

  • doc

    I think Minny had a dam good draft.And I fuck with Mark Jack and think he’ll be a hell of a coach.I wouldnt say Doc Rivers was known as a clown he did win coach of the year in Orlando.I think the Sixers should’ve got Mark instead of Mike Jordan cousin from the slavery days.