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The Golden State Warriors fired coach Mark Jackson on Tuesday.
Golden State plans to pursue several top coaching candidates, with Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy at the top of the list, league sources said.
The possibility of reaching out to the Chicago Bulls for permission to speak with coach Tom Thibodeau will also be a consideration, league sources said.
The Warriors will likely move quickly to reach out to Kerr, who has strong relationships with owner Joe Lacob and president Rick Welts, league sources said.
Kerr’s preference is to advance into negotiations with New York president Phil Jackson on coaching the Knicks, sources said, but he hasn’t ruled out discussing the Warriors’ opening.
The Warriors also have interest in Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg, but he’s been consistent in saying he wants to remain in college for the near future.
Nevertheless, the Warriors have a deeply talented roster that makes this an attractive job.
Jackson, who had one year left on his contract, posted a 121-109 record in three seasons, including two trips to the Western Conference playoffs. The Warriors were eliminated in seven games by the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs this season. Golden State had a 51-31 record this season.
Jackson is owed $2.75 million for the final year of his contract.
Jackson clashed constantly with management and struggled to manage his coaching staff during his Warriors tenure. Jackson’s lack of interest in game preparation and reluctance to practice despite a mostly young and gifted roster played a part in management’s reluctance to commit long term to him, league sources said.
Jackson relied on an assistant coach, Darren Erman, to build a top-five defense, but Erman was fired late in the season after an incident that involved the taping of a conversation among the coaching staff.
Jackson had been a popular figure with most key Warriors players.