The Clippers-Warriors NBA playoff series has been notable as much for things that have happened off the court as on it.
There was that thing where an NBA owner was banned from ever coming near his team again. That was newsy, and it drowned out that other thing, where the Warriors have turned into a circus, and not the fun kind with clowns and lions and trapeezes.
Here’s Zach Lowe at Grantland:
The Warriors in the last six weeks demoted one assistant and fired another, and ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard today reported that the team fired Darren Erman after learning Erman had recorded at least one coaches’ meeting. Multiple league sources confirmed the gist of Broussard’s report, and that Erman was concerned Mark Jackson and other coaches loyal to Jackson were insulting Erman to other players behind Erman’s back.
The team had no choice but to fire Erman. However, the front office is fond of Erman and was upset at having to let him go, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The Erman firing and demotion of Brian Scalabrine have raised tensions throughout the Warriors’ organization.
Jackson made a show of firing Scalabrine in front of players and other coaches, but he had no real grounds, and the front office made Jackson find a compromise, per a source familiar with the matter: demoting Scalabrine to the D-League. In addition, Jackson has asked that Jerry West, a high-level adviser in Golden State, not attend most practices and team activities, sources say.
The tension with Erman got weird. Midseason, the team moved Erman’s parking spot to a less convenient place, likely at the behest of Jackson or one of Jackson’s allies on the staff, per multiple sources familiar with the matter. They began changing his duties in strange ways.
Despite all this, and the fact that many expect Jackson to get the ax after the season, Golden State can force a Game 7 on Thursday night with a win at home. Jackson has denied the stuff about West.