Mark Jackson still has no doubt about Warriors

January 22, 2012, 5:40 pm
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The Warriors are 5-10, but make no mistake: Coach MarkJackson continues to believe. While many fans are saying this season is nodifferent than many of the past seasons, Jackson says youre wrong.Jackson predicted the playoffs, and he still thinks theWarriors will get there. No ifs, ands or buts. You dont believe me? Heres atranscript of some of Jacksons post-practice interview on Saturday:Question: Are you still as optimisticabout this team now as you were a month ago or when you took the job?Jackson: Havent changed.Question: Would that ever change, even ifthe season continues to go like its going?
Jackson: Were going to continue tobattle, grind and get better every single day. Our thought process has notchanged and were excited about the rest of the way. Weve lost 10 games and Iwould say two teams beat us: the Philadelphia 76ers and the Charlotte Bobcats.Every other game we were in control with a real opportunity of closing the doorand we did not. So that is extremely encouraging.Question: If you guys are going to haveto have a successful season the kind of season youve talked about -- thenyou guys are going to have to start winning games and that has to starthappening soon. So, you still believe thats going to happen?Jackson: I would have to believe thatswhats going to happen if my answer to you is nothing has changed(laughter).Question: Is there a point when it couldchange or you dont allow yourself to think that way?Jackson: I dont think that way. Ibelieve in our system, I believe in our guys. Were going to turn it around.Question: Could there be a point when youstart thinking about that (protected) draft pick and that might play into theseason?Jackson: I dont think that way. Thatsnot my thought process at all. When we play the way were capable of playing,execute the game plan and take care of the basketball and defend, were a verygood basketball team. And until I see otherwise, Im going to continue tobelieve it.Question: But cant every team say that,that when they do that theyre a good team?Jackson: No. No. No. Some teams donthave principles like we have, some teams dont buy in and some teams are goingthrough the motions. Some teams make excuses. Everything I see if we do what were supposed to dowere going to be just fine.Question: Somebody asked me the other dayabout you and I said that reality might be setting in with this team, that youmight be realizing this team isnt as good as you thought. Would that beincorrect?Jackson: I guess you lied to them. Whatis reality?Question: That this team isnt as good asyou thought That this team cant be as good as you thought.Jackson: No, thats not true. In myopinion we have the best backcourt in the business, we have an all-star caliberpower forward, we have solid role players, and we are a defensive-mindedbasketball team. We are grinding and weve been in position to win in eight ofour 10 losses and weve beaten some of the best in the land. The reality isthat were very close to being who I am convinced we are. Tell your friend Isaid hi. You are trying today.Question: Not at all, lets cut to the chase.Youve been optimistic about this team but youre 5-10. This is a region thathas seen it and heard it all before and you talking like this is like a salmonswimming upstream. Youre fighting conventional wisdom. Some fans are sayingthis is no different than before. Jackson: I havent heard a fan say itsno different. Clearly, its different. Clearly its different. Question: Why do you say that? Its notapparent. Jackson: Were getting after it. Werebattling, were a defensive-minded basketball team. Were a professionalbasketball team and we have no quit. Were a no-excuses team even when excuseshave been there for the taking. It is a different basketball team, no questionabout it. Very easily we could make excuses. Even that salmon swimming upstreamwould tell you that its different. Question: There are probably a lot ofpeople out there, seeing the way the season is going, and at some point theysay you will have to acknowledge you were wrong about this team. But obviously,you dont even think about that at all, right?Jackson: No. Now, would you like anotherattempt at it? I think youre asking the same question six different ways untilyou get whats not coming. Were excited about watching film. Were excitedabout the direction were headed. There is evidence that we are very, veryclose to being that team I envisioned. Question: I think you believe that, butwhat Im saying is there is a segment of people out there saying weve heardall this before.Jackson: The reality is Ive got a bunchof guys that have never won that are playing winning basketball that havechanged their ways from an offensive juggernaut to defensive principles wherewe battle, compete and give ourselves a chance. Winning in this league is aprocess and in that process youve got to be extremely patient to see the otherside. It gets tough being that salmon swimming upstream. But as long as yourpersistent and dont quit, you will get to the other side.

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