SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Mark Jackson is trading in his television job to become coach of the Golden State Warriors.
The former NBA guard, who ranks third on the league's all-time list for assists, has no head coaching experience, but the Warriors said his lack of experience was not a factor.
"He epitomized leadership as a player in this league for 17 seasons and we think that characteristic, and many other positive traits, will translate very well into his coaching duties with our young team," Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in a statement.
Jackson, 46, will replace Keith Smart, who went 36-46 in his only season as the Warriors' coach.
He will join the team at the conclusion of the NBA Finals, where he is serving as a television analyst.
"We're going to be an up-tempo basketball team that is going to be very exciting. But first and foremost, we're going to be a defensive-minded team," Jackson told ESPN television.
"I'm totally convinced that if you want to win in this league, then you have to defend."
Jackson played for seven NBA teams, the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets, before retiring in 2004.
He helped teams to the playoffs in 14 of his 17 NBA seasons and his 10,334 assists rank third only to John Stockton and Jason Kidd.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh; Editing by Julian Linden)