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OAKLAND – April's innuendo became November's accusation and Mark Jackson says he's fully aware of the darts thrown at him by former Denver coach George Karl.
The Warriors coach is not going to run in the other direction.
"I heard him say I'm a bush-league (coach)," Jackson said after practice Monday. "I just responded."
One storyline in the runup to the Warriors-Nuggets first-round playoff series last spring was the status of Denver power forward Kenneth Faried. Karl was vague about Faried's role before Game 1 and wound up starting Evan Fournier. Karl remained unclear prior to Game 2, in which Faried did play.
Yet it was Karl who chided Jackson about announcing one lineup 90 minutes before the game and changing it the moments before tipoff.
"Maybe we forget that I wasn't the first one (to use this tactic)," Jackson said. "When Faried was hurt, we didn't know whether he was playing. Fournier started, we didn't know whether he was starting. So it is what it is.''
Jackson then paused and said Karl was a great basketball coach, a great basketball mind, someone for whom he has nothing but respect.
"So I will take the high road," Jackson concluded, "and hopefully it becomes contagious."
Karl, in an interview last month, criticized Jackson's tactics as unprofessional. Specifically, Karl said Jackson's manipulation of his starting lineups was "bush' league," "high-schoolish'' and "beneath the NBA level."