Klay, Steph show love for former Warriors coach Jackson

Mark Jackson, Klay Thompson

A few years before Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were NBA champions, their coach at the time bestowed some serious praise upon the Warriors' duo.

“In my opinion, they’re the greatest shooting backcourt in the history of the game,” former Warriors coach Mark Jackson said in April of 2013 (H/T The Mercury News).

A year later, the Warriors replaced Jackson with Steve Kerr, and the team took the next step by winning the 2014-15 NBA title and then appearing in the next four NBA Finals.

Despite what has happened since the Warriors made the coaching change, Curry and Thompson haven't forgotten the impact Jackson had on their careers.

Jackson was at Chase Center in San Francisco on Friday calling the Warriors' game against the New Orleans Pelicans for ESPN, and Thompson joined the broadcast for a few minutes while riding a stationary bike.

After expressing how being snubbed for the NBA's 75th Anniversary team is the fuel he needed in his return from two straight season-ending lower leg injuries, Thompson made sure to shout out Jackson.

"Give Coach Jackson credit," Thompson told Jackson and play-by-play announcer Ryan Rucco. "Before anybody else, before anybody believed in us, Coach Jackson did when he called me and Steph the greatest shooting duo of all time, and that couldn’t have been more true. And it’s kind of a testament to your ability to read the game. They called you crazy at the time."


Jackson had a quick retort.

"They still call me crazy for other reasons," Jackson said. "I appreciate the love, man."

During the Warriors' 126-85 win over the Pelicans, Curry had two blocks, which is unusual for him. When asked about the rejections after the game, the reigning NBA scoring champ brought up his former coach.

"Yeah man, sometimes you just have the good timing in the right place at the right time," Curry said. "But I actually looked at Mark. I said I couldn’t do that when he was the coach here, so he had a good laugh out of that when he was on the sideline.

"For me and [Jordan Poole], especially if we’re in the backcourt together, until Klay gets back and even when he is back, we have to do our part to play position defense, be aggressive on the ball and allow [Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney, Draymond Green] and our bench to do what they do defensively."

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Jackson never got any hardware for what the Warriors accomplished immediately after he was let go, but the players who were there during his tenure know the impact he had on them.