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Warriors ‘forced to act’ in firing assistant coach Darren Erman due to violation of company policy

OAKLAND — The Warriors fired assistant coach Darren Erman due to what the team called “a violation of company policy,” making him the second assistant to leave the bench in as many weeks.

General manager Bob Myers said firing Erman was not a basketball decision, but rather one made by the organization and unrelated to the recent reassignment of assistant coach Brian Scalabrine. Myers would only indicate that the 37-year-old assistant had committed a serious violation that he declined to reveal.

“Something like this needed to be discussed with general counsel, (human resources), as we would with any other employee. It took a couple days to go through the proper channels,” Myers said, adding that all employees are held to the same standard.

“We were unaware, and when made aware, forced to act.”

Myers, who said the decision to fire the 37-year-old Erman was made Friday, called the timing “unfortunate” as the Warriors look to clinch a playoff berth with six regular-season games remaining.

Coach Mark Jackson said he remained confident in his staff, which now is down to three assistant coaches following his decision to remove Scalabrine from the bench last week due to a “difference in philosophies” and Erman’s firing.

“He made a mistake,” Jackson said of Erman. “He owns it. He’s done a lot for me, he’s done a lot for this organization, and I’m pulling for him to make a comeback. I’m pulling for him to move on and become a great coach, and I believe that that can happen.

“It’s just tough. I’m pulling for him. The right decision was made, and we move forward, but certainly I’m pulling for him to bounce back and get back on the road that he was on.”

Erman, who did not immediately return a message seeking comment, had been highly regarded in the organization as Jackson and Myers expressed appreciation for his contributions. He spent three years with the Warriors, including the past two seasons as an assistant coach. He served as the Warriors’ head coach at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and led that team to an undefeated record. Previously, he spent four years as a Boston Celtics coaching assistant.

Jackson felt his team would continue to be successful despite the loss of the two assistants.

“This is not the norm,” Jackson said. “That’s OK because really in both decisions, the right decisions were made. You move forward. To me, I think it’s a great time for us as a team and an organization. To still be standing, this isn’t new. It’s new to you guys. It’s not new to us. So to still be standing, still winning and still in our right minds says a lot about this culture.

“A great pastor said, ‘You cannot fix the foundation in the middle of a storm. It’s too late then’. The foundation has been laid, and it’s going to hold up. There’s no question about that. I love that line.

Myers addressed media members during practice and then afterward practice concluded gave a vote of confidence for Jackson.

“We believe that Mark is fully capable, and we’re confident in his ability to keep going in the right direction, keep propelling us like he has all year, and we believe that he’s going to continue to be successful like he has been,” Myers said. “We believe in his ability the rest of the way.”

Diamond Leung