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Mark Jackson explains ties to alleged drug kingpin


Warren Braithwaite was arrested in Arizona last month, accused by the DEA of heading an international drug-smugling ring.

That sent shockwaves through some circles as Braithwaite was friend of people such as Jamie Foxx and Lady Gaga, among many other celebrities.

You can put new Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson in that group, too. Braithwaite was an usher at the Los Angeles area church where Jackson is a minister, and Braithwaite was Jackson’s guest at his introductory press conference in the Bay Area. Jackson’s first reaction when the news came out was to defend the man he knew saying he had not seen evidence tying Braithwaite to the crimes for which he is accusd.

But in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Jackson clarified his stance.

“At the end of the day, Brother Warren doesn’t have a relationship with Mark Jackson, the head coach of the Golden State Warriors,” Jackson said in a phone interview Wednesday. “He wouldn’t say, ‘Mark Jackson, my friend’ or ‘Mark Jackson, my coach.’

“He would say, ‘Pastor Mark, my spiritual father…' "

“In fairness to me, as a pastor, I’m going to be linked to drug dealers, drug addicts, liars and fornicators,” Jackson said. “The church is a place for sick people to be healed. I’m going to help them, but I’m not going to co-sign on their troubles.”

As we said before, we don’t know if Jackson knew about Braithwaite’s “business.” Jackson very well may not have, if he knew he likely would have distanced their personal relationship. And this should not impact Jackson as coach of the Warriors. But we’re passing along the comments.