OAKLAND -- The Warriors fired coach Mark Jackson on Tuesday, after a season in which he led them to 51 wins and a second straight NBA playoff appearance.

Less than 72 hours after the Warriors were eliminated by the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of the first round, Jackson was let go. General manager Bob Myers said it was a difficult but unanimous decision by team executives, adding that they had discussed the matter extensively.

Jackson had one year left on his contract. His assistant coaches also were fired.

"Mark did win, but moving forward we want to continue to win in bigger ways if we can," Myers said. "That's what people expect. That's what we expect."

Jackson, 49, compiled a 121-109 record in three seasons. He was informed of his firing at a 90-minute meeting Tuesday morning that he said was "respectful."

"We accomplished a lot in three years, and we should be proud," Jackson said. "I wish them nothing but the best.

"But to me, now the pressure's on for them to get a championship. It's not the time for them to be patient anymore. This is a championship-caliber team."

Jackson, who often spoke of a culture that he had to help change so the Warriors could reach heights not seen in years, said the season was "taxing and draining."

The Warriors' 51 wins this season tied for the third-most in franchise history. It was the first time since 1992 that they had made the playoffs for a second straight year.

Now the search for a new coach begins, and Steve Kerr, the TNT broadcaster and five-time NBA champion, could receive an interview.

"I've known him for 20 years," co-owner Joe Lacob said, adding he would consider hiring a second straight coach with no coaching experience. "I think very highly of him as an individual -- a great human being as well as a great basketball mind and a great pedigree."

Myers said a coach who embodies the values and core beliefs of the organization, and who has had success working with ownership and management, would be desirable.

Lacob said the next coach likely will face high expectations from both Warriors management and the fans.

"Someone who comes in scared of that probably isn't the right person for the job," Lacob said.

Differences had emerged over the season between Jackson, who can be brash, and an organization that had higher expectations than a No. 6 seed in the playoffs. Lacob had expressed concerns about home losses in February. Two of Jackson's assistant coaches abruptly departed before the playoff run, with Darren Erman being fired after secretly recording team-oriented conversations, according to reports.

"I think Mark in his next job probably needs to do a better job managing up and sideways," Lacob said, adding that the 51-win season, while not unsatisfactory, did not meet the organization's goals.

Said Myers: "When you factor in everything, although he accomplished quite a bit, we wanted to move in a direction where maybe we were possibly more aligned as an organization entirely."

Lacob said the meeting with Jackson was instructive for the ex-coach and the organization.

"We both could do better maybe in another situation, another time," Lacob said.

"We just didn't excel at the level that we had hoped to," Lacob said, adding Jackson would agree they all expected to do a little bit better.

Myers, who grew up a Warriors fan, acknowledged that fans might jump to conclusions over the controversial firing because of the franchise's past woes.

"Trust us," he said. "We are moving in the right direction."

Myers said that every Warriors player he got in touch with in the wake of Jackson's firing expressed trust in the organization. Many had publicly supported Jackson, most notably guard Stephen Curry. Myers said he did not consult Curry before the decision on Jackson was made.

"Over the past three years, Coach Jackson has challenged me as a player and person," Curry said in a statement. "His experience and guidance has helped each of us grow in this league. Can't thank him enough for all he did for me. I wish him all the best as he transitions to the next chapter."

Said Myers: "We believe after speaking to him, we know he's going to play hard whoever the next coach is. He recognizes the organization has been a part of his success, as has Mark Jackson. But ultimately, he does trust us."

Columnist Tim Kawakami contributed to this report. For more on the Warriors, see the Inside the Warriors blog at ibabuzz.com/warriors. Follow Diamond Leung on Twitter at twitter.com/diamond83.

JACKSON'S RECORD
A look at Mark Jackson's season-by-season record and playoff results in three seasons with the Warriors
Season Record Playoff result
2011-12 23-43 Did not qualify
2012-13 47-35 Lost in 2nd round
2013-14 51-31 Lost in 1st round


ON A1
This is a tease to Thompson on A1
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