Jackson doesn't want to put a ceiling on win total
Mark Jackson met with the media on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Warriors' goals for the upcoming season.
Q: How would you sum up the offseason, coach?
Mark Jackson: Great offseason. Outstanding job done by our ownership and our front office upgrading the talent, not being satisfied with what took place last year and it's just been a lot of fun around here.
Q: When you look at the roster on paper, is it clearly better than what you had last year?
MJ: Well, if you look on paper, it's interesting. At the end of the day, last year's team got it done. We accomplished a lot in the regular season. We established momentum and then kept it going in the postseason. We had a lot to be proud of. But like I said, we didn't sit on a lead and we made some moves that were aggressive and we've got some players that have accomplished some things in this league so we like where we are right now and it's going to be a lot of fun.
Q: Steph said there's a sign in the locker room with a goal on it, starts with the number 5. Is 50 wins something that you're pointing towards? More than 50?
MJ: When did he say that?
Q: Not too long ago, in one of these sessions.
MJ: Yeah, I erased it. (Laughs)
Q: 30 wins now?
MJ: No, I mean, I was wondering who put it up there.
Q: It wasn't you?
MJ It wasn't me that put it up there, no. I saw it, and I erased it. I mean, it's good material but it's true. The reason why is, because if you put that up there, that's a target. I don't want any limits. And anything can happen where that could be a great number, or it could be a number where you're putting a ceiling on us. So I think, let's roll the dice, let's go out there and compete, let's gain chemistry and let's build on what we did last year. So I'm not a guy that would sell to the guys, 'let's put a number up there and go get it'. No, let's be the best that we could possibly be. And I think if we do that, like last year, end the season with our tank on empty, we'll be extremely satisfied with what takes place.
Q: Is it safe to say that a 50 win team is a general goal? Do you want to be that type of team?
MJ: I'm really not going to put a number on it. I want to be a very good basketball team with a chance to win the whole thing. Let's stay healthy, let's continue to build. And I like the progress that we've made since we got here. Let's slow down, let's continue to get better, and let's see where the chips fall.
Q: How big is it, for the second year in a row, you've got guys here early in training camp working out?
MJ: It's actually the third year but we weren't good the first year so it didn't matter. (laughs) The coaches wanted to play looking at those guys. (laughs) It's great, says a lot about our players, their makeup, how sold they are, how committed they are, and when you're that way--and not just showing up going through the motions, they're showing up working, and it says a lot about those guys. You win in this league with players.
Q: Was it everybody basically?
MJ: Everybody's been here, yes. You know, the last guy was Jermaine, but there was dialogue. He's a guy who's been in this league a long time, working his tail off in Vegas. He's a guy with a family, so that's totally understandable. What you don't want is a guy just being AWOL and not communicating with one another. It's really those guys, they police themselves. And our leaders really established this, but he was honest and when you're honest and you're getting your work in...I mean he's come in in great shape and looking very good. I'm awfully impressed with these guys and how committed they are.
MJ: We're gonna continue to hold them accountable defensively. There were nights when we were great, and there were nights when we could've been better. So we're going to continue to put our foot on the gas pedal and demand that we be an elite defensive team.
Q: Do you want your guys thinking you're one of the best teams in the west? Or do you want to lay low and let it happen?
MJ: I want us to believe that if we do what we are supposed to do then it's gonna be a lot of fun around here. My message to them is, 'make it happen'. There was a point where we talked about changing the culture, there was a point where you looked at, you look at us on paper and...make it happen. Don't talk about, lets go handle it. It's exciting for each and every one of our guys. It's going to be a lot of fun.
Q: Do you think that last year, the Warriors caught some teams by surprise, maybe flew under the radar, and maybe this year teams will look forward to you coming to town knowing what you're capable of?
MJ: I think at some point we caught some teams by surprise, they didn't expect what they were seeing, that's the nature of this game. But quite honestly, people are watching around this league. I think it's doing a disservice to our players to say that at some point we caught people by surprise. No, we were a very good basketball team and we beat good teams. Now, we're not the only team that got better. It's gonna be important for us to realize that we're gonna have to take care of business every night on the floor. So, we're not gonna sneak up on anybody that's for sure.
Q: Do you approach the season differently being the hunted and not the huntee[hunter]?
MJ: I don't know what we are. I just know we're a good team and it's gonna be a lot of fun. So, our mentality remains the same. That's somebody else's issue or problem if now, all of a sudden, they see us as a threat or a very good basketball team, that's not our problem. We know who we are and our mindset has been consistent since day one.