Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 2

Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 2
October 28, 2011, 5:04 pm
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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.

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