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Andre Iguodala Says Mark Jackson Is Being Blackballed From The NBA

Photo: Marcio Sanchez (AP)

Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala is currently out promoting his new book, and this morning he stopped by the Breakfast Club to chat about everyone’s least favorite ESPN NBA commentator, Mark Jackson. Jackson coached the Warriors for three seasons until he was fired in 2014, one year before Steph Curry won MVP and Golden State won the 2015 championship. Despite his hand in improving Golden State’s record by 28 wins over three seasons, it seems Jackson was fired because he was extremely preachy on the job and also everyone in the building reportedly hated him.

Jackson hasn’t coached since then (despite his efforts), and on the show this morning, Iguodala claimed that Jackson was being blackballed by the league.

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Iguodala was asked about Jackson about halfway through the interview, and after praising him, he explained that one “widespread” conflict between Jackson and openly gay Warriors president Rick Welts was Jackson’s view on, in Iguodala’s words, “what the Bible says on your sexuality.” Later in the interview, at 34:28, a co-host asks Iguodala is he thinks Jackson is being blackballed, to which Iguodala replied, “I do, yes. Absolutely.”

Here’s a transcript:

One particular issue was his views on gender or marriage or what the bible says on your sexuality, and the head of our business ... Rick Welts ... He’s celebrated as one of the top execs in sports, on the business side, and he’s gay, so there was conflicts with that that was widespread.

[...]

Someone mentioned it to me, people can express themselves, but are you allowed to express yourself that you don’t agree with it? You should accept it, because we should all accept each other, but it’s like we’re afraid to really say our beliefs now. You may not believe in something, but you still have respect for them, as long as you don’t disrespect them or judge them.

Iguodala—who reportedly said he didn’t want his daughter playing basketball because he was worried she might “turn into a lesbian”—also chalked up the firing of Jackson—who reportedly said he didn’t want a gay player in his locker room—to a bad relationship with ownership, which Warriors boss Joe Lacob certainly would not dispute.

If Jackson really wants to get back into the coaching game, maybe he should try anointing himself in that magic oil he used to heal Curry’s ankles in 2012.

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