June 10, 2011
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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.
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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."
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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.
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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."