To Jackson's surprise, the moment his face appeared on the video board, both he home crowd and players erupted into cheers and gave him a standing ovation.
The Warriors' players, led by Stephen Curry gave a heartfelt welcome back. Even CEO Joe Lacob got out of his seat to applaud.
The anticipation for the game against the Cavaliers had been building all day for Jackson — now a highly regarded color commentator for ESPN who still is being paid by the Warriors — and he was hoping LeBron James would steal the spotlight.
When James backed out of the game with an injury, the night belonged solely to Jackson.
Mark Jackson got a standing O in his return to Oakland, which felt a little odd. http://t.co/zWPkmg5xEl https://t.co/HRDlxVVCOY
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) January 10, 2015
"Incredible blessing," Jackson said on the national telecast of the game. "I'm humbled by the support of the fans and the reaction. Three years ago, this was a team that had a history of losing. To think right now to be a legitimate team to win it all, I'm extremely proud."
Stephen Curry leads the Oakland crowd in a standing ovation for former coach Mark Jackson! pic.twitter.com/XsvKt5N7zX
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 10, 2015
"You cannot direspect the caterpillar and rave about the butterfly." Mark Jackson
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) January 10, 2015