When ABC/ESPN NBA color commentator Mark Jackson returns to Oracle Arena to broadcast the Golden State Warriors-Phoenix Suns matchup on Dec. 16, he knows what to expect.
Fans are going to sympathize with him and question why he's forced to work a game of the team that fired him. Anything critical he says about the Warriors will be analyzed under a microscope.
But as Jackson told it in a recent radio interview with ESPN Los Angeles, he's fine with that. He's enjoying life right now, and can't complain with how things have gone since the Warriors fired him in 2014 (via Inside The Warriors):
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Jackson had nothing but positive things to say about the Warriors, who won the franchise's first championship in 40 years last season under first-year head coach Steve Kerr.
"I look at people on Twitter or wherever, and they say or write a story, 'How could ESPN have Mark Jackson do this game? That's brutal, and that's abuse,'" Jackson said. "It is absolutely hysterical to me. I was a kid dreaming of being an NBA player. At the same time, dreaming of being the announcer. I was Earl Monroe and Magic Johnson on the court. I was Marv Albert announcing the action while I was on the court in the park. And at the same time, I was Red Holzman, the coach of the Knicks. So I was a guy that dreamt about being all three at one time.
"To live my life, to have played 17 years in the NBA, to have coached for three years for a team, and to have the privilege to call NBA games and announce the NBA Finals, I am absolutely winning. There is no reason at all for me to be upset, discouraged or depressed. It is a blessing to be in my position, and I'm having the time of my life covering the best game in the world."
Now, standing a historic 23-0, Jackson says the Dubs look like like a team that you have to play near perfect basketball to beat.
"They're a great basketball team, and you're not going to be 'em putting together 12 minutes of quality basketball," Jackson said. "You've got to play 48 minutes, be disciplined and pay attention to detail to have a legitimate chance. And even when you do that, they still can beat you. They're that good."