W's Jackson: Bay Area 'will never be the same'


W's Jackson: Bay Area 'will never be the same'

June 10, 2011

Follow @MSteinmetzCSN
Matt Steinmetz

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mark Jackson said some of the same things at his introductory press conference on Friday that a lot of Warriors coaches have said over the years at the beginning of their tenures.

The Warriors will defend; the Warriors will play uptempo; the Warriors will be successful; and at some point the Warriors are going to compete for an NBA title. Could have been P.J. Carlesimo, Dave Cowens, Eric Musselman or Don Nelson saying those things, quite frankly.

But it was Mark Jackson, and for some reason, when Jackson says those things, they almost sound well, believable. If Jackson can coach anything like he speaks or holds an audience, then maybe the Warriors can turn things around.

RELATED: Q&A with Warriors coach Mark Jackson

Jackson, who is working the NBA Finals for ABC, said he sees no reason why the Warriors can't get to the level of the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks, the only two teams playing in the NBA at this point.

"Why are these two teams in the NBA Finals even though they both have limitations?" Jackson asked. "Flat-out outstanding coaches. Flat-out outstanding game-plans and finding a way of beating the odds.

"You don't stumble into that, and truly this Warriors' team won't stumble into it. We're going to prepare ourselves to be in this position and be in this position quickly."

RATTO: Lacob hires Jackson, expects Doc Rivers

Jackson, who has never coached on any level, reiterated his promise of a few days ago that the Warriors will make the playoffs next season.

He said Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry can play together. And at one point, Jackson even said "the Bay Area will never be the same again."

Later on when Jackson was asked exactly what that meant by that, he brought up the Oakland A's, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders titles and said that now is the Warrriors' time.

"When you begin to hold guys accountable and make there be a price to be paid when you don't do it, then they'll get it done," Jackson said. ""The ultimate weapon is playing time. We'll find out right now who really wants to win and who is acting. Because the actors are going to be exposed. This is going to take a full-time commitment across the board."

Jackson wasn't long on details in terms of how he's going to implement his plan -- whether the Warriors will be uptempo or defensive-minded or how much man-to-man they'll play as compared to zone.

INSIDER GALLERY: Warriors head coaches through the years

But on Day 1, details aren't really what's called for. What Jackson wanted to emphasize was that it's not the same old Warriors anymore. Time, of course, will tell. But it sure sounded all good on Friday.

"I can't talk about the organization prior to these gentlemen (co-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber) assembling this dream team," Jackson said. "I can tell you what it's going to be going forward. We're not going to accept mediocrity. We're not going to accept not getting it done on the floor. We're going to hold each other and this team to a different standard.

"We're going to be professionals and it's going to be a lot of fun. This is going to be a beautiful time so you might as well latch onto the back of the bandwagon because things be changing in the Bay Area."

Durant finds motivation in those doubting his hunger

Durant finds motivation in those doubting his hunger

NEW ORLEANS – It’s early Thursday night and practice is over and the Warriors, one by one, have filed out of Smoothie King Center and onto one of two team buses.

Only one player remains: Kevin Durant, the 6-foot-9 forward, a nine-year NBA veteran with four NBA scoring titles and an MVP trophy among his possessions.

Durant at one end of the court continues to go through his vast arsenal of offensive moves. The drop-step. The step-back. The swipe. The spin-and-dunk. Sweat drips from his chin, his arms and his gray Warriors T-shirt. He’s talking to himself. He’s destroying Chris DeMarco, a 6-8 former small college power forward who has evolved into a valuable but oft-abused assistant coach.

“They say I’m not hungry,” Durant barks out at one point, before sprinting into a corner and launching a 3-pointer and then sprinting to the top of the key for another trey.

By now DeMarco, also soaked his perspiration, is watching from a seat on the bench. No matter. He rises yet again to go back at Durant in a matchup that feels very much like championship fighter and sparring partner.

Durant finally ends the functional torture of DeMarco and flops into a seat.

“How much fun do you have beating up on DeMarco,” he is asked.

Durant breaks into a grin.

“Those are people that you don’t really get to know, get to see, that contribute to success,” Durant says. “DeMarco, ever since I got here he’s been helping get better. He lets me beat up on him and work on my game. It’s easy to just go out there by yourself. But just having another voice and having token defense out there definitely helps. I’m just trying to get better, man.

“That’s what I’m all about.”

When asked about his “hungry” remark, Durant reveals a bit of himself. Like many sports superstars, he hears the chatter and absorbs the slights. Though the comment was made in earshot of a few reporters, it shines a light into the psychological games he plays with himself.

“That’s what I say to myself when I’m working,” he says. “I hear it all the time. You hear the noise. You hear what they say about you. Everybody hears it.

“So it’s a little extra motivation when I’m out there. Nobody in this arena right now, and that’s when you get better. Nobody sees you when you’re doing this stuff right here. But luckily, y’all were in here watching.”

Durant is on a roll now. He’s loose, he’s feeling good and he’s pulling off the mask.

“You hear that stuff and you just use it fuel,” he says. “You don’t let it affect you, obviously, but when you’re out on the court you just try to use it as fuel. And keep getting better. That’s how I am.”

Asked if he reads the criticism, Durant takes only a fraction of a step backward.

“It’s not that I read it,” he says. “It’s just in the air. It’s in the atmosphere, and people tell you and you hear about it and (reporters) ask me questions about it all the time. So, obviously, I know.

“But I’m not losing sleep on it. It’s just wood on that fire. You just keep always wanting to get better.”

Which opens the door to the subject of opening night, when the Warriors were manhandled in a 129-100 loss to San Antonio, prompting spirited debate among street-corner coaches and general managers.

“Obviously, you’re going to hear everything,” he says, grinning. “ ‘The season is over.’ ‘The team is the worst team in the league.’

“You thought it was going to be easy? It’s one game,” he adds. I remember losing in the playoffs by 30 or beating someone by 30 in Game 1 of the playoffs, and you say it’s only one game. And it’s one game in 82, and you (expletive) guys are making it feel like the world is ending.”

Durant is out of his chair. Still sweating, walks toward the exit to get on the bus.

He did what he felt he needed to do to get better. He said what he felt he needed to say, responding to critics. And he did it all with no less than a trace of a smile.

Harbaugh could make over $10M in 2016, more than Saban


Harbaugh could make over $10M in 2016, more than Saban

When USA Today released their annual series on college football coaching salaries, it wasn’t a complete shock to see Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh top the list given how much the school has invested in him since he returned to Ann Arbor from the NFL.

What was a little surprising was the total compensation figure listed for the Wolverines’ head coach at a whopping $9,004,000. That’s a figure that’s more than $2 million more than the second highest paid coach (Nick Saban) and $3 million more than Big Ten rival Urban Meyer.

READ MORE AT CollegeFootballTalk.com