Twenty-five years ago, Mark Jackson won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award for his hometown New York Knicks. The Brooklyn native played his first five seasons in Manhattan and spent two more seasons there later in his 17-year career. A true New Yorker indeed, and today he’ll make his first appearance as a coach in the hallowed grounds of Madison Square Garden.
Today’s game against the Knicks is the Warriors’ second trip to the state of New York this season, and nobody in Dub Nation will be complaining if they come home with similar results. In December, the Warriors posted a 109-102 win in their first-ever game at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That victory was part of a historic 6-1 road trip for the Warriors, who again find themselves on the East Coast for an extended road trip.
For a guy who was born and raised in New York and played high school, collegiate and professional basketball there, it’s no surprise that Coach Jackson has no shortage of friends in the Empire State. Slam Magazine’s Ben Osborne is certainly excited for Jackson to be back at the Garden, and that’s hardly the only media report chronicling his return to New York City. The USA Today and New York Daily News are each featuring Jackson in today’s editions, and there are sure to be other stories in the days ahead.
Homecomings are nothing new for Jackson, as he had another one on Tuesday when the Warriors visited the Pacers. Jackson enjoyed tremendous success in six seasons with Indiana, helping lead the Pacers to the NBA Finals in 2000.
Great 2 be back in Indy! Had some Awesome times! instagr.am/p/WNBusAGSk9/— Mark Jackson (@JacksonMark13) February 26, 2013
"It’s great to be back; the fans are incredible," Jackson said after Tuesday's game. "The fans have been great to me; I had a blast here. I have a lot of great memories; a lot of great teammates that are friends for life."
As good as Jackson was in Indiana, he’ll always be known as one of the great point guards in the proud history of New York City basketball. Even though his playing days are far behind him, he is still greatly appreciated in the Big Apple, and the warm reception he receives during pregame introductions will certainly reflect that.