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Thursday / February 23.

Mark Jackson Says Big East Breakup is ‘Very Disappointing’

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NEW YORK — Mark Jackson says he doesn’t have the time to follow his alma mater of St. John’s all that much now that he’s an NBA head coach, but is “very disappointed” about the impending breakup of the Big East and St. John’s eventual move to the Catholic 7.

“I’m not a guy that wears my red shorts underneath my suit,” said Jackson, whose Golden State Warriors will be without David Lee for tonight’s game with the Knicks at MSG. “With all due respect, my son [Mark Jackson Jr.] goes to Manhattan College so I don’t follow [St. John’s]. I got too much work to do.

“But that being said, I do know the breakup of the Big East and that’s disappointing when you talk about the history, the great players, the great programs, the great moments. That’s a tough pill to swallow and very, very disappointing. 

“College basketball is a big-time business but everybody’s benefitting and getting paid than the players and I don’t agree with that.”

Jackson, who played at St. John’s in the mid 1980s and helped them reach the Final Four in 1985, said he got lost in the renovated Madison Square Garden but was happy to be home playing in front of family and friends.

“This is a special place and it was part of my dreams as a kid,” he said. “To have that opportunity to fulfill those dreams as a player, announcer and now as a coach, it makes it even more special. It’s an incredible blessing.”

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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.