Why Rick Welts credits Mark Jackson with helping change Warriors culture

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Alex Didion
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Why Welts credits Jackson with helping change Warriors culture originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors were far from the NBA powerhouse they are today when Rick Welts took over as team president in 2011. It had been five years since the organization qualified for the NBA playoffs, and was coming off four consecutive losing seasons.

Just a few months before Welts announced he was joining the Warriors' front office, the organization had hired Mark Jackson as head coach. The Warriors' new ownership group, led by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, hoped to utilize Welts' lengthy experience around the NBA to help transform the culture of the franchise.

Welts joined NBC Sports Bay Area's Grant Liffmann on the latest episode of "Dubs Talk," and explained why he credits Jackson with being part of that cultural turnaround.

"To Mark Jackson's credit, it was the same process in the locker room," Welts told Liffmann. "Guys expected to lose, not make the playoffs and he changed that expecting to lose mentality to expecting to win mentality, and that was my job to do with the business organization. Mark made that pivot with our basketball team, so you have to talk about winning, you have to talk about what it takes to get there, and you have to get people on board and pulling in the same direction to try to make it happen."

The Warriors went 121-109 in Jackson's three years as head coach, leading the team to two playoff appearances. 

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After Jackson was let go following the 2013-14 season, Steve Kerr led the Warriors to a title in his first season as head coach, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals.

Jackson hasn't coached in the NBA since, returning to the broadcast booth following his stint with the Warriors.

The circumstances around why he ultimately was let go by the organization remain murky, but there's no question that he helped the Warriors grow and laid some of the foundation for what became the NBA's most unstoppable team over Kerr's first five seasons.

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