Kings Reaction

Why Jackson made ‘difficult' decision to leave Kings for 76ers


Former Kings guard and G League head coach Bobby Jackson is heading to Philadelphia to join Nick Nurse's staff after 23 years in Sacramento.

The news left many Kings fans sad and in shock but with no choice but to be happy for Jackson as he works toward his goal of becoming an NBA head coach someday.

"Everybody's happy for me," Jackson told FOX40's Sean Cunningham on Tuesday. "I think it's a great chapter for me in my next step toward trying to become a head coach. I'm super excited to be going to Philadelphia."

After his playing career ended, Jackson became an assistant coach for the Kings in 2011 under former coach Paul Westphal. The 50-year-old spent the last two seasons as head coach of the Stockton Kings, Sacramento's G League affiliate, compiling a combined 40-25 record and leading the team to first place last season.

Nurse was hired by the 76ers on June 13 after he was fired by the Toronto Raptors on April 21.

Jackson said he and Nurse have maintained a close relationship for years that ultimately led to this hiring.

"Relationships that I've had with Nick that I built with him over the last couple of years. I was kind of intrigued on how he came through the G League, became a coach, Coach of the Year, won an NBA championship," Jackson explained. "So a couple years [ago] when I took the G League job, I reached out to him and from there, our relationship just continued to grow.

"I'm learning from one of the best coaches to touch this surface, but also coaching in the NBA. And I think that's something that you want to be a part of. He's done a phenomenal job picking his staff and I'm super excited that he gave me the opportunity to come to Philadelphia and he sees something and I'm not going to let him down."

While Jackson is excited to move forward with the 76ers for his own personal development as a coach in the league, his ultimate goal is to win a championship with his new squad.

He believes his experience in Stockton can transfer over to Philadelphia.

"I've learned a lot these last two years being a head coach," he said. "I think I have that ability to learn even more. I think once you jump in this role, you should never say you're old enough or you're big enough to not learn anything.

"So my process is going in, work my butt off, adapt to the coaching style that Nick Nurse is going to bring to the table, but also add a little bit of experience on the playing side but a lot of experience on the coaching side -- what I've been doing over the last 14 years."

Jackson is excited to get to work with reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, but he's sad to leave the place he's called home for over two decades.

"It's difficult," he said. "I've been in Sacramento for 23 years. Sac is always going to be home to me. I'm going to keep my house here. I'm still a true Kings fan. I want to see them do well. ... I'm a Sacramento native. I've been here longer than North Carolina, which is originally where I'm from. So Sac is home.

"Tremendous people here. Great organization and the community is solid. Beautiful. They treat me with respect, they love me. I don't have anything but great things to say about Sacramento and the Sacramento Kings."

Stockton will now look for its new head coach, but Jackson is confident the organization is in good hands.

Mike Brown, the unanimous 2022-23 Coach of the Year, taught Jackson plenty in just his first year as head coach of the Kings. And even from the city of brotherly love, Jackson will always be rooting for the Kings.

"I think Stockton is an amazing city. I think Sacramento is an amazing city," he said. "And number one, I think Mike has done a tremendous job of changing the culture, giving his blueprint on what things should look like and how successful you should be. But how things should be done.

"I've learned a lot from him in this last year. I'm super happy that the Sacramento Kings are headed in the right direction."

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