Jackson, who has no coaching experience, is one more signature hire of new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. After new executives Jerry West and Bob Myers took over in the Warriors front office, Jackson's candidacy ascended from a large group of potential head coaches.
The Warriors are dedicated to spending money to hire a strong group of assistant coaches for Jackson, league sources said. New Orleans assistant coach Mike Malone spurned an offer to join new coach Mike Brown's coaching staff with the Los Angeles Lakers to become Jackson's top assistant with the Warriors, a source told Yahoo! Sports late Monday night.
Golden State had interviewed Malone for their head coaching position and came away incredibly impressed with him. They were determined to hire him and made it clear that they wouldn't be denied in their pursuit by offering a significant financial package. Malone has become one of the game's rising young stars and his hiring is a coup for Jackson.
Jackson played 17 seasons as a point guard in the NBA and most recently worked as a TV analyst. He had interviewed for several coaching jobs without receiving an offer. He was in the running for the Atlanta Hawks job that went to Larry Drew a year ago, and also met with officials from the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers in recent years.
As he's pursued a head coaching job from the television chair, Jackson has used the model of Celtics coach Doc Rivers. He had believed the leap was possible. And so had Jackson's coaching agent, Steve Kauffman, who represented Rivers during his playing career.
"When Doc was 28, I remember telling him that he would be a head coach someday," Kauffman said Monday night. "And when I got to know Mark Jackson, it felt to me like Doc all over again."
Jackson replaces Keith Smart, who was not retained by the Warriors at the end of the season. His contract also includes a team option for a fourth season.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Was controversial Team USA goalie a victim of sexism?
• BCS strips USC of its 2004 title
• HS teen basketball star killed at party
- Mark Jackson
- The Warriors