Wherever the Warriors are -- in a month, a year, three years -- this will be the starting point. For this was the day Warriors management tempted fate.

The Warriors fired coach Mark Jackson, the architect of the franchise's rare success on the court. After three years of building a cohesive locker room, crafting a top-ranked defense and molding Stephen Curry into a top-10 player, Jackson was shown the door Tuesday.

Warriors management is now at a critical juncture. The upward trajectory of this franchise is now in jeopardy. The Warriors are looking to build a new arena, in a new city, with a newly energized fan base. And all that is virtually on the line if this decision comes back to bite them.

And make no mistake about it, this crossroads is courtesy of co-owner Joe Lacob and general manager Bob Myers. The very people who resurrected this franchise now have it spinning on their finger while tap dancing on a cliff.

They took a risk by handing the team over to a former player who had never coached on any level. And though it worked, for every reason Lacob and Myers thought it would, they took a bigger risk firing him not even three years later.

They looked at 98 wins in two seasons, the most in consecutive seasons since the early 1990s, and said it wasn't enough. Jackson racked up nine postseason victories in three years -- the only Warriors coach to do so other than Al Attles -- with a great chance for more. Yet management sent him packing in search of even better.

"I would say it's less based on performance that is win-loss record," Lacob said, "and perhaps slightly more based on overall philosophy."

As much as you can respect his audacity, this is the kind of logic that reminds you of the very years the Mark Jackson era helped you forget. If it works, Lacob and Myers are geniuses, gutsy visionaries. If it doesn't, and the Warriors end up looking for another coach not too long from now, they become in-the-way managers holding the team back.

That's what the Warriors are risking -- becoming the same ol' Warriors. The franchise that can't get out of its own way. That makes a habit of grabbing success long enough just to drop it.

Once again, basketball fans around the country are looking at this franchise and scratching their heads. Once again, they have frustrated their players with unpopular decisions, maybe even tampering with chemistry.

Once again, they're starting over. Because what they had wasn't good enough.

"We said we wanted to be better than we were last year," Lacob said, "and a reasonable expectation for better is to be in the top four. And to obviously have home-court advantage.

"You have to understand that going forward," Lacob explained, "there may be a different task or a different goal than there was in the last three years."

The Warriors have been here before. More times than not, they come away with egg on their face.

When they traded Mitch Richmond, now a Hall of Famer, to Sacramento for Billy Owens. When they shipped Chris Webber to Washington. When they drafted Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant. When they replaced Eric Musselman with Mike Montgomery. When they broke up "We Believe" by trading Jason Richardson and not signing Baron Davis.

Now, Lacob and Myers might be joining the Warriors' rich history of bad decisions. Because in their quest for offense, they might lose the defense necessary to win. In their search for submissiveness, they might get a coach who can't lead through adversity.

In their hunt for a philosophy they prefer, they could lose the team chemistry on which they have thrived.

That's a hard pill to swallow. This is different from failing to win. This is winning, then taking your earnings and putting them back on the roulette table.

If this doesn't work, all the favor that Lacob, Myers and co-owner Peter Guber have garnered will be squandered. If the next coach -- Steve Kerr or Stan Van Gundy or whoever wins them over -- doesn't exceed what Mark Jackson did, it will set the franchise back considerably.

And we will look back at this day as when the demise started.

Read Marcus Thompson II's blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/thompson. Contact him at mthomps2@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ThompsonScribe.

JACKSON'S RECORD
A look at Mark Jackson's season-by-season record and playoff results in three seasons with the Warriors
Season Record Playoff result
2011-12 23-43 Did not qualify
2012-13 47-35 Lost in 2nd round
2013-14 51-31 Lost in 1st round


INSIDE
Second straight playoff appearance not good enough. Page 3