NEW YORK — Before Mark Jackson's Golden State Warriors battled the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center way back on Dec. 7, Jackson swore up and down that the game against the Nets was "just another game."
As a Brooklyn native, however, many thought that Jackson was simply trying to downplay the significance of coaching in his hometown in a brand new arena. After the game, those thoughts were confirmed. Jackson let out a huge sigh after his Warriors pulled out a 109-102 victory.
"It feels good to be home," he said. "But it feels even better to leave with a victory."
That proclamation came after Jackson reminisced about being born in Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, attending Bishop Loughlin High School and after Jackson got emotional while thanking his team for winning the game for him in his post-game address.
Stephen Curry spilled the beans. "He talked about it before," Curry said after the victory. “He talked about this being a dream of his and we just wanted to come out and make [a win] happen for him. He had so much passion after the game, you can tell how much this meant to him.”
The obvious question then becomes whether Jackson, who proudly claims his Brooklyn roots, felt the same way about coaching at Barclays Center as he felt before his team took the floor against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
"Playing for the Knicks was a dream," he said. "As a kid, I wore number 15 until I got to high school and the guard in front of me, who was older than me wore number 15 and I had to change it. I was an Earl Monroe guy, still love him to this day, so it was a dream of mine to put on a Knick jersey and it's something that was very, very special to me and something that I will always cherish."