Basketball announcer, analyst and ex-Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is still bitter about getting eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Jackson was calling Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors when he mentioned Richard Jefferson cost them the series three years ago.
According to Awful Announcing, Jeff Van Gundy was just talking about Jefferson’s play with the Cavaliers and his strong performance in the game. The 35-year-old played good in the 116-78 win over the Raptors and Cleveland is a win away from another trip to the NBA Finals.
“Don’t talk about what you need to do to win. Do what you need to do to win. Richard Jefferson, great loose ball play and has always been a terrific finisher on the break,” Van Gundy said.
However, Jackson followed it up by blaming his former player for their Western Conference semifinals series loss against the Spurs. He said that Jefferson is a good player who missed two free throws that led to their elimination from the playoffs in 2013.
“Guy’s a pro. Stays ready. Played for me in Golden State. Cost us a series in San Antonio, missing two free throws, but I’m not holding onto that. Still has plenty in the tank and playing at a high level for this Cavaliers team,” Jackson said.
Some people watching at home caught what the former Warriors head coach said about Jefferson. They immediately took to Twitter their reaction about Jackson’s comments.
Mark Jackson just threw Richard Jefferson under the 18 Wheeler! More than the bus! Haha #NBAPlayoffs
— Kelvin Washington (@Kdubblive) May 26, 2016
@netw3rk thoughts on Mark Jackson throwing Jefferson under the bus on national TV? Are we just gonna leave him under there?
— Nathan Courtright (@NateCourtright) May 26, 2016
The play Jackson was talking about was the two free throws Jefferson missed in the last two minutes of Game 1 of the 2013 Western Conference Semifinals. The Warriors were up by eight at that point and those two free throws could have iced the game.
But the Spurs caught fire and forced a double overtime where they won 129-127 with a Manu Ginobili game-winner. If Golden State managed to hold on for the win, they had a realistic shot of advancing since they won Game 2.
Nonetheless, the Spurs went on to win that series 4-2 and Jackson was fired after a year before signing a multiyear deal with ESPN.
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