Warriors name Mark Jackson head coach

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

OAKLAND -- The Golden State Warriors have named Mark Jackson, who played 17 seasons in the NBA and was working as a broadcaster, their new head coach.

Jackson, 46, replaces Keith Smart, who was not retained after the Warriors went 36-46 in his first season.

Golden State general manager Larry Riley said in a release that the club viewed Jackson as the best option after an extensive search and a "great deal of consideration."

"He will bring a youthful and fresh approach to our team and the fact that he enjoyed a stellar playing career, where he served most of that time as the leader of some very successful teams, will prove invaluable in the long run," Riley said. "We were looking for a coach with leadership ability and a strong personality and believe Mark possesses those qualities."

Jackson, who will assume his duties at the conclusion of the NBA Finals, enjoyed a long and successful NBA career as a point guard. He guided his team to the playoffs in 14 of his 17 seasons, and ranks third all-time in assists (10,334) while averaging 8.0 for his career.

His hiring is the latest piece placed into the Warriors' leadership puzzle.

In April, the club announced Riley would stay on as general manager and executive vice president of basketball operations, while naming Bob Myers assistant general manager and vice president of basketball operations.

NBA legend Jerry West joined the Warriors as a member of the team's executive board in May.

"I have sensed that [owner Joe Lacob] is committed to winning and building a team and a culture the right way," Jackson said in a release. "I think we all witnessed that with some of the recent front office additions as well and some of the other positive things that have been done in recent months."

Jackson will take over a team flush with young talent. Guards Monta Ellis, 25, and Stephen Curry, 23, were the Warriors' leaders in points and assists last season. Forwards David Lee and Dorell Wright -- 28 and 25 years old, respectively -- were also significant contributors.

"I am really elated about this opportunity and I'm looking forward to the challenge of building the Warriors into a perennial contender," Jackson said.

Jackson averaged 9.6 points in 1,296 career games with seven teams. The New York Knicks selected him 18th overall in the 1987 NBA Draft, and Jackson went on to win rookie of the year honors. He was also named an All-Star in 1989.


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