Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 3

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Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 3

The final component of a three-part Q&A with Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

In case you missed it: Part 1 Part 2

Question: Has it been good to have time together as a staff, spending lots of time together?Mark Jackson: Its been good. I think really thats overrated. I read about coaches and Im not your norm because youll probably never hear this from a regular coach but getting in at 6 in the morning and still going into the office late and Im like Really?I mean thats nice and its great to write about it and all that but at the end of the day what is it doing? Im dropping off the kids, Im having a good time, Im enjoying life. Im going to be prepared and were going to be prepared as a staff when this thing goes up.Like I told these guys, theres no sense coming in at 6 in the morning. Its fake hustle. I appreciate it. But for what? Enjoy life and make sure youre ready. This is not life. This is basketball. And Ill never get caught up in believing this is life.Question: Do you think that could come back and bite you with people saying he isnt as committed as he should be or its not important enough to him?Mark Jackson: They can write whatever they want. The bottom line is Im 100 percent committed in everything I do. You can get caught up in believing Im 20 percent head coach, 20 percent pastor, 20 percent husband, 20 percent dad, whatever. No, Im 100 percent all of those things.I dont shortchange or cheat any one of those labels. No. Im totally committed -- just because Im not going to slit my wrist because we lost three straight games or cuss guys out just because they didnt get back on defense.There are ways to do things. I truly believe that as a head coach if I cuss you out then you have every right to cuss me out. Youre a grown man with a wife and kid, and even if youre not youre a college student.How come you have the right as the head coach, just because you have that title, to cuss me out? Thats where we get it twisted. Well respect one another, well hold one another accountable, but were going to be professional. If I ask you to be that way then I should be that way. It makes it tough for somebody to cuss me out if Ive never cussed them out.Question: Did you ever have a coach that didnt cuss?Mark Jackson: No. I had some that cussed less than others. But no. But really, heres what the catch was. If I didnt say I havent said a cuss word in 20 years you would have never noticed. Youd overlook it.It wouldnt hit you till later on. And what it does, it challenges the people around you, too. I dont have to say Hey, I dont cuss, dont cuss. No. People around me all of sudden realize and, just out of respect, they start adjusting. I dont demand it because I understand that that could very easily be me, but its not. So I truly believe that youre either a thermostat or thermometer. You either control the environment or it controls you.Question: Talk about (assistant coach) Wes Unseld Jr.?Mark Jackson: Hes a great guy. He knows his stuff on both sides of the ball. Great personality. Hard worker. Another guy I hired on the spot. Interviewing him in L.A., I basically offered him the job. He took a couple of days to consider it. Being who he is and how good he is he had options.Im thankful and blessed that he took that job. I wanted loyal guys, I wanted committed guys, I wanted enthusiastic guys that knew their stuff. And he fit the mold.Hes a guy who didnt have two options, he probably had three or four options and some in the same seat would have taken what they thought was a better job with a better organization with a more proven situation. And he decided to take this one because he saw where were headed and what we were doing.Question: Unseld and Malone supposedly turned down jobs with the Lakers to come to Golden State.Mark Jackson: You think about it, those guys could have gone there and you could make the case that Mike made more money. Hed tell you today it had nothing to do with money and knowing him, I know thats right. We took two guys from them that really completed us and sent us to where were going. Just great hires.Question: You talk about leadership as a player do you ever see there being another player coach in the NBA?Mark Jackson: If it were up to me Id say yes. I think people are afraid of it. But Ive been on teams, with all due respect, I was the lead assistant. I ran the offense and I was the leader.There are guys that can do it. I just think people are locked up in a box and refuse to go another way because of what the norm seems to be. I would probably say no, but if it were up to me Id say it can and should be done.Question: It seems like a big part of it is managing personalities.Mark Jackson: If youre the leader of the team, youre doing a better job of managing the players than the coach. Im not going to name names, but leaders of teams manage players better than the coach.Question: Would it have to be the highest-paid player?Mark Jackson: No. Not at all. I cant name names, but there are guys who are leaders of their team and their voice is more impactful than the coach. I was a guy who wasnt the highest paid and I played with guys who were superstars and I was the voice. And I controlled those guys also.If youre a leader it doesnt have anything to do with the amount of money youre making. You just be that leader. Its even more challenging and more of a statement to your leadership ability that you dont make the most money. Because what does that have to do with it?Question: Are you born with that or can it be taught?Mark Jackson: I always thought you were thats a great question. I was born that way. Ive seen guys that have learned how to have leadership qualities by watching leaders and watcing what they do. I truly believe, in order to be successful you need to have great leaders or great followers because its the ones in the middle who get you killed.So if Im asking a guy on my team to be a leader, one way for him to do it is for me to instill in him leadership qualities. And to tell him how to do it. And if hes an extension of me then hes a leader. I really believe that by challenging guys you can birth that leadership ability thats already in them. But theyve never been challenged to be it. And were going to do that.Question: Have you discussed how youll name captains, and are captains overrated?Mark Jackson: To a certain extent. But sometimes being a captain releases something in you and forces you to get to the level youre supposed to be at. I believe the first year I was actually captain which is funny because Rick Pitino had the guys write who they thought should be captain on a piece of paper and put it in the basket. I always thought: was that the way the voting went or did he pull a fast one?But by any means necessary. I think its important who the leaders of your team are going to be. No matter what theyre talking about they cant just say it, they have to do it. And it doesnt have to be your best player. It has to be the right person who is doing, saying and acting on how things should be done.Question: Have you ever seen a guy who is the ninth or 10th man on a team who is a leader?Mark Jackson: Ive been on a team where that guy is crucial and plays a big leadership part. But hes not the leader. Weve seen teams be successful l cant say todays guy, but Kevin Willis. The spurs win a championship. Kevin Willis isnt the leader but hes a big man at the end of the bench thats making sure things are being done the right way -- through his experience, through his know-how, through understanding what the system is. So hes certainly a leader on that team. But hes not the leader and hes not the captain. In an ideal world its a guy whos getting it done in a major way.Question: Do you think youll play guys big minutes? Will you heavily monitor minutes?Mark Jackson: No. Its really a read and a feel. Obviously there are guys that can play big minutes in this league. But Im a guy that believes if were going to get it done on both sides of the basketball its going to take a lot of energy, some fresh guys at times to give others a breather.Ive been in situations where Ive played 40 minutes but I really took a breather on the floor at different spurts. No sense in us doing that if were trying to get to where were expected to get to.In all honesty, defensively if youre doing it right then at all times my foot is not on the gas pedal. So if the ball is on the strong side, Im just on the weak side in help position. Thats a time when I can get a breather.Im on alert but Im in a relaxed state, as opposed to chasing Reggie Miller around three screens and all of that.There are times and places within a game where you can get your rest. And even offensively even staying away from a guy, having him spaced out or in the corner, hes not in the action. You can get guys breathers during the game. So you can get a read.

Rewind: Warriors' dominance over Clippers in 'rivalry' continues

Rewind: Warriors' dominance over Clippers in 'rivalry' continues

LOS ANGELES – Once robust, the fabled Warriors-Clippers rivalry is rapidly going the way of the typewriter.

When the Warriors strolled walked into Staples Center Wednesday night and laid a 115-98 mashing on LA, prompting much of the sellout crowd streaming toward the exits in the fourth quarter, it was seventh consecutive time they have throttled the Clippers.

More deflating for the Clippers and perhaps the rest of the NBA is that this much-hyped game, with LA’s new and improved defense ranking No. 1 in the league, was supposed to be more competitive than the previous six losses.

It was, instead, a 17-point victory, the biggest Warriors rout yet.

Though the Warriors shot a respectable 47.7 percent (but only 23.3 percent beyond the arc) and also lost a tight rebounding battle, 46-45, they did most everything else so well the Clippers were done before the first quarter was over.

They had 32 assists and only 11 turnovers. They held LA to 39.6-percent shooting, while forcing 14 turnovers, leading to 16 Warriors points.

“Defensively, that’s where we won the game,” Kevin Durant said.

“If we defend like that and take care of the ball, even on a night when shots aren’t going in, we have a chance to win anywhere,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Even on the road against a great team.”

The Warriors (19-3) locked up star forward Blake Griffin, holding him to 12 points on 5-of-20 shooting – and an unsightly seven turnovers – mostly under the unyielding defense of Draymond Green.

In a game circled on their calendar, the Clippers’ starting five finished with 41 points – less than the combined totals of Klay Thompson (24) and Green (22).

The Clippers (16-7) lost this game on merit, perhaps more than the Warriors won it. Committing nine first-quarter turnovers, which the Warriors turned into 8 points, LA looked like a team that was not prepared to play an NBA game, certainly not under the microscope of national TV.

The game was advertised never materialized, partly because the Clippers were so bad and partly because the Warriors were appropriately ruthless in taking it.

“It happens,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “You go into a game that you really want to do well, things don’t go well for you, and you lose it sometimes.”

Largely thanks to Clippers turnovers, the Warriors smoked LA in paint points, 58-38, as well as fast-break points, 27-11. The Warriors had 12 steals, including a career-high-tying seven by Stephen Curry.

“When we get a steal, especially live-ball turnovers, it’s three-on-one and you’ve got to pick your poison,” Durant said. “We were getting layups, we were getting wide-open 3s – although we missed a lot. But for the most part, when we get out and run that kind of ignites us, no matter if we miss or make the shot.”

So it didn’t matter than Curry failed to make a 3-pointers for only the second time this season, or that Durant endured his worst shooting night as a Warrior, going 5-of-17 from the field.

With Curry, Durant and Thompson all shooting under 50 percent, it was left to Green to operate the efficiency department. He mastered it, going 8-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-5 beyond the arc.

“It was great to get some shots to fall,” Green said. “(My shot has) been feeling good the last couple days, so I said if I got a shot that I would come in aggressive. But still focus in on the defensive end. That’s always my No. 1 focus, especially against a team like this.”

To locate the genesis of the Warriors recent domination of the Clippers, look no further than Green. He suffocates Griffin, who tends to come apart. The Warriors have faced the Clippers nine times since Green was installed as the starting power forward. They’ve won eight of them.

“If you want to take a positive away from this experience, it’s that this isn’t the playoffs,” Griffin said. “So we have some work to do, obviously. It’s a good lesson for us and I think we’ll be better off because of it. We have to allow ourselves to learn from it.”

It’s a theme very similar to that which was expressed the last time the Clippers lost to the Warriors, as well as the time before that, and so on and so on and so on, going back to the days when this was a real rivalry.

The Warriors simply take the W and keep quiet. No gloating. Maybe that will come in the playoffs.

Instant Replay: Warriors in control from start to finish, beat Clippers

Instant Replay: Warriors in control from start to finish, beat Clippers

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES – Shredding the league’s top-rated defense, the Warriors sprinted ahead of the Clippers early and raced to a 115-98 victory before a bipartisan sellout crowd Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by 24 points from Klay Thompson, as they defeated Los Angeles for the seventh consecutive time, dating back to March 2015.

Draymond Green scored 22 points, Stephen Curry 19, Kevin Durant 16 and Andre Iguodala 10 as the Warriors (19-3) emphasized ball movement and crisp passing to shoot 48 percent from the field, posting 32 assists on 42 field goals.

Curry consistently disrupted LA’s attempts to create rhythm on offense, as he nabbed seven steals, tying a career-high and also posting the individual high for the NBA this season.

Veteran guard Jamal Crawford scored 21 points to lead the Clippers (16-7), who lost for the fifth time in seven games.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Green provided his usual buoyant energy and dirty work but also turned in a highly efficient scoring night, resulting in a season-high.

Green’s line: 22 points (8-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, 3-of-4 from the free throw line), five rebounds, four assists and two steals. He played 32 minutes was plus-25.

TURNING POINT

After a DeAndre Jordan dunk gave LA a 10-9 lead with 6:58 left in the first quarter, the Warriors responded with an 18-3 run to go up 27-13 with 2:38 left in the quarter.

The Clippers got no closer than seven (53-46, 2:21 left in the second quarter) after that, as the Warriors led by 13 at the half and by 16 after three quarters.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: No injuries listed. C Anderson Varejao was a healthy inactive.

Clippers: G Raymond Felton (family matter) was declared out prior to tipoff. Clippers: F Brice Johnson (lower back herniated disc) is listed as out.

ROSTER NOTE

Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the D-League.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors left LA immediately after the game, bound for Utah, where on Thursday night they will play the Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:05 Pacific.