When you talk to Mark Jackson he looks you in the eye. His voice is sincere and he comes across honest and straightforward and when you walk away from him you think this is a good man.
Jackson may in fact be a very good man. But he got himself into trouble, acted foolishly and now he looks bad and so do the Warriors. I am not here to condemn Jackson. I’m sorry he was the victim of an extortion attempt and I hope he and his family are OK.
But I have this to say. I don’t know the first thing about him. I don’t know the first thing about sports figures. I don’t even know the ones I think I know. I spend much of my life around athletes and coaches and I know only what they want me to know — only what they show me.
But I cannot vouch for a single one.
When OJ Simpson was a player, the media loved him, thought he was the tops. Shows what we know.
I believe Bruce Bochy and Bob Melvin, to name two, are forthright honorable men. Would I bet the mortgage on it? No way. I don’t really know them. I only know what they show me.
Again, Mark Jackson may be a very good man. But he had a back story, something he was concealing. I wonder if he told the Warriors about it when he applied to be coach. I wonder, if he told, whether they would have hired him. There is so much more to him than the stoic face he gives the media and the fans.
One more thing. If I don’t know sports figures, you sure don’t. You know less than I do. If you’re in love with Tim Lincecum — Timmy — it’s because of how he seems to be and what you project onto him. He may be a lovely person to his intimates. But I don’t know and you don’t either. I’m not picking on Lincecum. I’m using him as an example of our collective ignorance.
Anyway, that’s what Mark Jackson made me realize all over again.