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Brian Scalabrine: Warriors ownership offered chance to interview for job after Steve Kerr’s hiring

The Warriors let go Mark Jackson and his entire coaching staff after the season, but the team showed interest in retaining Brian Scalabrine for a position on new coach Steve Kerr’s staff, Scalabrine told a Boston radio station Tuesday.

Scalabrine, whose differences with Jackson led to his reassignment to the Santa Cruz Warriors in March, told 98.5 The Sports Hub there was no shortage of coaching jobs available to him as he returned to Comcast SportsNet New England to broadcast Boston Celtics games in order to spend more time with his wife and three children.

“At the end of the day, when they hired Coach Kerr, the ownership offered me a chance to interview, and at that point, I realized they really wanted me to stay within the organization and be a coach at whatever position, whether it was a bench coach or player development,” Scalabrine said in his first statements to the media since his reassignment. “And I just felt like at the time, it probably wasn’t the best move.”

While Scalabrine thanked Jackson for the opportunity and said he enjoyed his time with the Warriors, the 36-year-old former NBA player referred to his one season of being an assistant as his “fiasco with coaching” and indicated that he knew three months into the job that it wasn’t the right one for him.

“Mark gave me a great opportunity to be on the bench, and then when I got there, I think to win in this league you have to drive and push, and I feel like the players will respond to that,” Scalabrine said. “And I think that was the biggest thing about this disappointment in our staff as a staff, right? We could have done more, and we didn’t, and I think he kind of sensed that.

“At the end of the day, to say it was a difference of philosophy, a difference of opinion, I mean, that’s really what it was. And I’m so used to seeing like a Doc Rivers and a Tom Thibodeau (his former coaches), and it kind of threw me for like kind of a loop and a surprise that it was not as hard-pressing as I thought it was going to be.”

Jackson had cited philosophical differences when he removed Scalabrine from the bench midseason and after his firing said the former NBA championship-winning player showed him “disrespect.” Scalabrine said he decided on taking a “less stressful” job in broadcasting Celtics road games that offers a better quality of life after going to Santa Cruz as an NBA Development League player development coach.

“You’re back to like the basics, right, where man, it’d be so great to make it to NBA again, and it brought some perspective to my life,” Scalabrine said of his time in Santa Cruz. “I really enjoyed being around them, coaching them. I didn’t enjoy the travel. It literally was the worst compared to what I’m used to, but I think it was a good thing for me to go through. It really helped solidify my decision.”

Diamond Leung