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View Count: 138 |  Publish Date: April 06, 2014
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Is patience of Warriors' owner wearing thin with Jackson?

For several days now, the question has been whether the Warriors are a dysfunctional organization, as reported by Yahoo.com in the wake of assistant coach Brian Scalabrines demotion. Now we have another bizarre incident - assistant Darren Erman was fired Saturday - and a definitive, two-part answer to that question.
Part one: Of course theyre not dysfunctional.
Part two: Oh, but they are.
And it puts more pressure on head coach Mark Jackson than ever before.
To be clear, there is no correlation between the sudden absence of two coaches. Scalabrine clashed with Jackson on basketball matters, and according to multiple sources, Erman was dispatched for an egregious violation that would have found him canned by any corporation. The Warriors emphasized that he ran afoul of company policy, not the teams, so this appears to be entirely out of Jacksons hands.
For fans taking an objective view of things, it still doesnt alter the big picture. Jackson helped orchestrate a dramatic revival of the franchise. The players love him and dont mind saying so. He has the team headed for its first 50-win season since 1994. The real issue isnt Jacksons coaching, but the fact that Andrew Bogut, David Lee and perhaps even Andre Iguodala wont be fully healthy for the playoffs, which lends the disturbing hint of first-round doom.
Joe Lacob is not an objective-thinking fan. This is his show, and all reports suggest hes losing his patience with Jackson: over embarrassing home losses, over strategical decisions, over the fact that when it comes to assistant coaches, he does not choose well. Lacob also likes to reach his lofty goals in a hurry, and should the Warriors lose in the first round - even to a clearly superior team - that would represent a letdown from last years second-round appearance.
Lacob isnt such an unreasonable man. He vigorously defended Monta Ellis when his star guard faced a sexual harassment suit in 2011 (a settlement was eventually reached). He stood behind Jackson when the coach became the target of extortion (related to an extramarital affair) in 2012. He doesnt turn on his cherished employees without good cause.
Still, Lacob cant be thrilled by the image of his organization in chaos behind the scenes. Winning tends to take care of such matters, and for Jackson, that just might be a necessity.Around the NBA
Its all about playoff positioning now, and a simple proposition for the Warriors: Be content with the No. 6 slot and a first-round series against the Clippers, or try to pass No. 5 Portland (the gap is just 1 1/2 games) for what might be a more favorable matchup against Houston.
-- The Atlanta Hawks, battling New York for the eighth slot in the East, are wondering if its worth all the trouble. General manager Danny Ferry admitted last week that the No. 8 seed isnt our goal, hinting that hed be satisfied with falling into the lottery for the teams benefit.
-- There was hearty approval throughout the league when Warriors icon Al Attles was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement. It took too long, and credit Scotty Stirling, the Warriors former general manager, for waging a tireless campaign on Attles behalf. (Nice memory, among many: Attles Warriors beating K.C. Jones Washington Bullets for the 1975 championship, the first time in U.S. pro sports history that two black coaches or managers competed for the title.)
-- A cushy first-round matchup should do wonders for the slumping Indiana Pacers morale, but this has become a dull, ineffective team, lacking leadership and torn apart by internal bickering. On-court play matters most, and as David West told NBA.com, Well have 10, 15 possessions where we dont make a single pass. When youve got four guys out there watching one guy, thats on us.
-- While baseball and football remain in the dark ages - managers taking forever to ponder challenges and referees huddled interminably inside a replay booth - the NBA is planning an off-site video headquarters to review all questionable calls, perhaps as early as next season. Enough with referees squinting into tiny TV monitors.
-- Not that we pay much attention to the stat, but the plus-minus number is designed to gauge a teams performance while the player in question was on the floor. Heres a real beauty: After shooting 6-for-22 from the floor and 0-for-10 from three-point range against Washington, Charlottes Kemba Walker earned a team-high plus-16.
-- There was a time when player-turned announcer Greg Anthony inserted basketball into every other sentence - a dreadfully common malady these days. He got over that, and his work alongside Jim Nantz on the NCAA Tournament has been exemplary.
-- Its been a long road, but the Clippers might be getting healthy just in time. Guard J.J. Redick has returned from a lengthy absence due to a bulging disk in his back, and both Jamal Crawford (sore left Achilles tendon) and Danny Granger (left hamstring) are expected to be ready for the playoffs.
-- The good vibes continue for Jason Collins in Brooklyn. He told Fox Sports the reception from his teammates has been incredible; he played 17 minutes in Friday nights win over Detroit, and the Nets are 10-0 at home since he came aboard.
-- Wow, was that an awful Sacramento team we saw in Oakland on Friday night, enough to drive a coach crazy. Heres ESPNs Tim Keown on his recent interview with Mike Malone, formerly of the Warriors staff: He talks the way a fullback runs, head down, straight up the middle, searching for something to hit. When things go wrong for the Kings, he clenches his eyes and pinches his nose with his right thumb and forefinger. He seems like the kind of guy wholl either succeed wildly or get worn smooth by the grind of living and dying with every game played.
Bruce Jenkins is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. E-mail: bjenkins@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @bruce_jenkins1

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Time: 0:48  |  News Code: 395610  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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