Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 2

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Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 2

This is Part 2 of a three-part series with Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

In case you missed it, here is Part 1 of Matt Steinmetz's conversation with the first-year head coach.

Question: Were coming up on the one-year anniversary of Joe Lacob and Peter Guber officially taking over the team. Did you meet them before the interview process?Mark Jackson: I didnt meet them. I could remember at the end of the season, doing a Warriors game (for television) where I saw Joe from a distance. But I never met him, sitting on the front row, excited, enthusiastic. I can remember sitting there calling a game saying man, this is a great situation.You have a passionate owner looking to change things, excellent young talent, an incredible fan base, a great area. I thought this was pretty special. But I didnt meet either one of them, personally, until the interview process.Question: And meeting them lived up to that?Mark Jackson: Absolutely. I tell people and hes (Lacob) been quite honest about believing that I was his guy during the meeting. And after the meeting, I felt the exact same way. Sitting at the table talking to him, it was love at first sight. As far as the passion, the commitment, the belief, the vision, we were totally into it.Question: What did you think of the Jim Harbaugh handshake thing?Mark Jackson: Hes done a great job. Both guys in this area have done a great job making their teams relavant. Im proud to be part of this area and watching the work that theyve done. I totally understand the edge of a head coach, basically saying its us against them.Obviously, its not the way to do things. But as a player, Im thinking Yeah, thats my coach and thats why I love him and thats why Im ready to run through a wall for him. So, I can relate, I can appreciate. At the same time, thats not the way to do it. Hes acknowledged it. But I love his edge and I love the way hes going about coaching his team.Question: What do you think your sideline demeanor will be like?Mark Jackson: Calm Im not going to be cussing any referees out. Thats not going to happen. Youll never see that. Professional and demanding. I wont be cussing my players out. Im going to treat guys with respect and Im going to hold them accountable, and were going to be in this thing together.Question: Will you be standing up the whole time?Mark Jackson: I dont know. No, I do know. Im not going to be standing up the whole time. If Im standing up it will probably be just to get loose a little bit. If Im sitting down it will be just to get a rest.Ill be pretty calm and relaxed over there. I truly believe that you coach the guys in practice and work on things and put them in position -- sort of like Phil Jackson only he goes a little bit overboard. Hes a little too relaxed over there.But you let the guys play the game. So it will be a combination. But Im going to be excited. We showed this I had the (video coordinator) put together clips of winning plays. And one thing I watched was about 10 or 12 offensive fouls, rotations, where defensively and it was hard to find our guys got it done in the past.And as we watched it and you look at the bench and it was almost like (coaches and players were ambivalent). I told the guys I really dont care what the other coaches in this league feel about me as a coach. Whether Im too exited, too laid back. I dont care. I dont work for them. I could care less. But we, collectively, will celebrate those kinds of plays.As a team and as a staff we will be up, recognizing winning plays. And that may be against what the norm is. But Im not the norm.Question: So you dont use profanity at all?Mark Jackson: I havent said a cuss word in over 20 years.Question: So you know exactly when you stopped using profanity?Mark Jackson: I would say probably 1989. Two years into the league maybe. My kids have never heard me utter a cuss word. So Im not going to cuss anybody out. Its just not going to happen.Question: Are practices open to the media?Mark Jackson: Great question. No. There will be segments of practice when the media will be allowed in. I was born during the day but not yesterday. There will be segments of the practice when the media can come in.Question: Free throw only?Mark Jackson: Depends on how you guys are writing it. No, it will probably be more than that. Im a guy who understands the media side and what your guys job entails. And Im going to be more than happy to make life as easy for you guys as possible. Im not here to be a jerk.Question: Tell me how you came to know coach (Darren) Ermann?Mark Jackson: Doing a lot of Celtics games (as analyst). Hes a Louisville guy (Jacksons son attends Louisville). I spent a lot of times before Celtics games, talking to (Brian Scalabrine), who was friends with Erman. And every time we would talk, Erman would be there. So I talked to Doc Rivers about him, talked to Tom Thibodeau about him.Both guys raved about him, and we brought him in, interviewed him. And really hired him during the interview. Just absolutely passionate, a different guy, committed.He loves the game of basketball. There are certain reasons why you hire a person and certain reasons why you dont. He was absolutely funny. If he never gave me anything basketball-wise, which hes going to, hes still a heck of a hire. He keeps it light. A million stories. Funny. If we had a camera rolling during the interview you guys would say: you said that during the interview? Just very comical. But the guy is as hard of a worker as Ive been around.One of the first assignments I gave him by the time a 24-hour period was over he had immediately gotten back to me and was done. And it wasnt an easy thing. This guy gets it. Really a great guy who wants to be a great coach. Like I said, I pretty much hired him on the spot.Question: Can you tell us anything about the assignment?Mark Jackson: I gave him an assignment to come up with a slogan for us as a basketball team -- something to live by from Day 1. And I had been tossing and turning and obviously didnt want it to be corny. You like some things, you sort of love some things and he sent me something early the next day and it was like: That was it. Hes the brains behind it and it was a home run.Question: Well Mark Jackson: Obviously, if I give it to you guys the players wont know it.Question: Will it be all over the place?Mark Jackson: It will be all over. It will be in my offices, it will be in the locker room, it will be at the facility. I dont want to build it up like its Dr. (Martin Luther) Kings speech. But it sums up pretty much if we want to be successful whats got to be the mindset.

Suns' Watson counters Kerr, preaches caution with marijuana rhetoric

Suns' Watson counters Kerr, preaches caution with marijuana rhetoric

While players like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut offered support for Steve Kerr on Saturday, one NBA coach wants to pump the breaks on the conversation surrounding marijuana use.

Suns coach Earl Watson preached caution during an interview with ESPN after the Warriors beat Phoenix 138-109 on Saturday night.

"I think our rhetoric on it has to be very careful because you have a lot of kids where I'm from that's reading this, and they think [marijuana use is] cool. It's not cool. Where I'm from, you don't get six fouls to foul out. You get three strikes. One strike leads to another. I'm just being honest with you, so you have to be very careful with your rhetoric," Watson told Chris Haynes.

Watson doesn't appear to be a fan of Kerr advocating for the use of marijuana.

"I think it would have to come from a physician -- not a coach. And for me, I've lived in that other life [of crime and drugs]. I'm from that area, so I've seen a lot of guys go through that experience of using it and doing other things with that were both illegal. And a lot of those times, those guys never make it to the NBA, they never make it to college, and somehow it leads to something else, and they never make it past 18," Watson told Haynes.

Watson highlighted a potential problem of leagues legalizing the use of marijuana.

"So when we really talk about it and we open up that, I call it that slippery slope. We have to be very careful on the rhetoric and how we speak on it and how we express it and explain it to the youth," Watson said.

Watson finished the interview with a message for the kids who might have been emboldened by Kerr's comments.

"I've never been a fan of the use, but I'm also not a medical doctor. So for the kids who are reading this and they might take the headlines and run with it, don't run anywhere with it. Understand that if you're from an environment or social area where a lot of luck and a lot of blessings is your only way out, you cannot risk that opportunity ever. Ever. It's just the way it is. It's not the same everywhere. I don't know as far as the pain [and how marijuana could help], but I think we have to be careful how we present that to the public," Watson said.

Rewind: Warriors continue to show why they are masters of self-correction

Rewind: Warriors continue to show why they are masters of self-correction

OAKLAND – Stephen Curry paused, scanning his memory, and came up empty.

Draymond Green sank into deep thought, taking even more time before conceding he was “stumped.”

Neither could remember the last time the Warriors lost consecutive regular-season games, perhaps because it was 19 months ago.

The Warriors are specialists at self-correction, and that was the case again Saturday night when, following a tough loss two nights earlier, they stepped onto the floor at Oracle Arena and played one of their more effective games this season.

Their 138-109 smacking of the Phoenix Suns was a rather comprehensive effort, with some players performing superbly and others merely well. The scoring load was shared among Curry (31 points), Klay Thompson (26) and Kevin Durant (20), while everyone brought something useful to the proceedings.

“It didn’t turn out to be a great night on the stat sheet,” coach Steve Kerr said, noting the Warriors committed 17 turnovers, off which the Suns scored 25 points. “But maybe around the nine-minute mark in the first quarter until about two minutes of the second quarter, we were fantastic.”

The Warriors (17-3) trailed by as much as six in the first before going on a 25-4 run, taking an 18-point lead, and taking command early in the second quarter. Though they stumbled enough for Phoenix to get as close as eight in the second half, there never was a sense the Warriors were facing real trouble.

With Curry and Thompson leading the scoring charge, forwards Draymond Green and Durant excelled in playmaking roles, combining for 21 assists, the most in a game by two Warriors starting forwards since 1970, when Elias Sports Bureau began tracking starters.

“It’s a little unorthodox, but our guards are great shooters, so playing them off the ball and getting the ball to KD and Draymond seems to work well,” Kerr said. “And those guys seem to enjoy playing that way.”

The victory extended to 106 their NBA-record number of regular-season games without consecutive losses. The Warriors last lost back-to-back regular-season games in April 2015, dropping games at San Antonio and then New Orleans.

So long ago that neither Curry nor Green could remember.

“Um . . . let’s see . . . I think it was my second year in the league,” Green finally guessed, wrongly.

It was his third season, and the first under Kerr.

“There’s a resiliency to our team that, obviously in this league, anything can happen,” Curry said. “So for us to be able to correct mistakes and find ways to bounce back quickly and not have multiple games in a row where we don’t show up to play says a lot about the character we have on this team.”

Though Green cited the team’s heightened focus after a loss, there is one thread that runs through Curry and Thompson and Green. All three have been dismissed at some point and, therefore, carry a burning desire to validate their status.

Perhaps no one on the team carries that edge more than Curry.

“I’d be interested the see the numbers of Steph, after we lost,” Green said. “He has incredible games after we lost. It’s just a focus level, guys really lock in and come out and do what it takes to win the next game.

“I think guys do get a little pissed off as well, which definitely helps. That is probably the biggest thing. Guys get mad about it, and it carries over.”

Perhaps feeling Phoenix was poised for a run in the third quarter, Curry rang up 20 points in that 12-minute stretch, hiking the lead beyond the reach of the Suns. It was the 16th time he has scored at least 20 points in a quarter.

There would be no ending of this underappreciated streak. Not on this night, and not with Curry and his friends on watch.