Jackson: 'We've done absolutely nothing'

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Jackson: 'We've done absolutely nothing'

OAKLAND – Mark Jackson has no problem with his players being proud of a franchise-best 6-1 road trip. But he also wants the members of his team (and everyone else) to know that now is not the time to rest on laurels.

After returning to the Warriors’ practice facility following wins in Detroit, Brooklyn, Washington, Charlotte, Miami, and Atlanta, Jackson praised his players’ ability to keep their brief glimpse of success in perspective.

“You notice the confidence level rising; you know there’s a sense of accomplishment,” Jackson said Monday in Oakland. “But it’s also a group that understands we’ve done nothing. That’s what I love about this group. They understand that we’ve done absolutely nothing. So we’re going to continue to work our tails off and continue to do the things that we’ve been doing to put us in position.”

So when will Jackson acknowledge that the Warriors have done something?

“When it’s all said and done and we’ve maximized who we are as a basketball team, individually and collectively. When it’s all said and done, like I’ve said from Day 1, and our tank is glaring an orange light revealing that we are on empty, that’s when we can take a deep breath and say well done.”

While Jackson won’t say ‘well done’ for the Warriors’ surprising start to the season, he was impressed with Monday’s practice.

“They looked good,” Jackson said. “I got a group of guys that embrace coming in the gym and putting their work in. We got a good crisp workout in and will get ready for tomorrow. Thought it was high energy and intense and quick.”

Jackson hopes the hard work will carry over into Tuesday night’s matchup with the New Orleans Hornets, who arrive in Oakland with a seven-game losing streak in tow. Despite the Hornets’ struggles, Jackson knows not to take any opponent lightly.

“The thing that’s important for us to realize is we have to do the things that we preach every single day to put us in position to win,” Jackson said. “And if we don’t, we can be beaten. We don’t have the luxury to just show up and win ballgames. That being said, the elite teams lose to the Orlando Magic. The elite teams have lost to the Hornets; they’re good enough. So it will be a challenge for us. They present certain challenges individually and collectively. They’re well coached and they work hard.”

David Lee, honored with the Western Conference Player of the Week award Monday, isn’t looking past the Hornets either.

“We’ve proven that we can go do it on the road and we need to continue our success,” Lee said after practice. “Typically we’ve been a good home team and we have a couple teams coming here that have records that aren’t as good as ours. As San Antonio was talking about the other night, the key to being a playoff team is beating the teams you’re supposed to beat.”

Both Lee and Jackson expressed excitement about playing in front of the home crowd at Oracle Arena for the first time since Dec. 3.

Lee did so first on Twitter after Saturday’s 115-93 win over the Hawks capped the historic seven-game swing.

Great team win to cap a 6-1 road trip! We can't wait to get back to Oracle Arena on Tuesday and finally play a home game! #GSW #Webelong

— David Lee (@Dlee042) December 16, 2012

“We’re really excited, as I said on Twitter, to get back in front of the Oracle crowd,” Lee said. “They’re going to give us a great boost tomorrow night.”

“We have the best fans,” Jackson said. “They’ve been incredibly supportive, even when this team – from a fan’s standpoint – didn’t deserve to be supported. They’ve been there through thick and thin. I look forward to a packed place and an enthusiastic place.”

Kerr befuddled by Barkley's criticism of Warriors: 'I think he goes overboard'

Kerr befuddled by Barkley's criticism of Warriors: 'I think he goes overboard'

As Charles Barkley continues to throw rubber darts at the Warriors, disparaging their style of play at every opportunity, sometimes going out of his way to do so, the Warriors continue to shrug them off.

They believe the only significant response to Barkley or any other critic is by producing successful results.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has known Barkley for years and he basically sees his act as perfect made-for-TV moments.

“Having worked with Charles in TV, for TNT, I understand that there’s a show that has to happen,” Kerr said Friday on The Warriors Insider Podcast. “There’s an entertainment value that he brings that nobody else can bring. I think Charles is hilarious. He’s really good at what he does.”

Yet Kerr is at least slightly puzzled when Barkley constantly singles out the Warriors for being a “jump-shooting team” or playing “little girly basketball,” as he said Thursday on TNT.

“I think he goes overboard with his criticism of us,” Kerr said. “Everybody is the league is basically doing what we’re doing. Cleveland takes more 3s than we do. They beat us last year in The Finals by going small and shooting 3s and LeBron (James) playing the 4. The series came down to Kyrie (Irving) making a 3.”

It’s apparent to those paying attention that Barkley, who retired in 2000, has not made the observational transition to basketball as it is played in 2016.

The Warriors average 32.2 3-pointers per game, behind the Rockets (37.0) and defending champion Cavaliers (34.8). Only one team, the Pistons, at 19.8, averages less than 20 shots beyond the arc per game.

When Barkley retired in 2000, only the Kings, at 20.2, averaged more than 20 3-pointers per game. The Rockets were second, at 19.8, and Barkley was a member of that team.

“This is just the way the game is played these days: spread the floor, very few low-post plays,” Kerr said. “The game has changed a lot. I don’t know why Charles continues to crush us. But the game’s changed, and almost everybody is playing like this now.”

Whereas the big men of yesteryear – Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson etc. – tended to operate in the low post, those of today are more likely to venture out beyond the elbow, and even the arc.

“The big guys that you see now who are coming into the league, the best players, guys like Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns, they’re out there shooting jump shots, because they grew up handling the ball,” Kerr said. “They grew up as guys who wanted to be Kevin Durant, and not Charles Oakley.”

Though some of the transition is due to bigger players being more versatile, it’s also a matter of coaches understanding new rules and finding rosters that can exploit them. Gone is the hand-check, as well as the days of zone defenses being illegal.

“We do what we need to do to be successful,” Kerr said. “. . . Our players are suited to play the way we play, and we’re not going to apologize for that. But we know that criticism and judgment are just part of the deal. It really doesn’t bother us.”

Kerr acknowledges marijuana use for chronic back pain, advocates for change

Kerr acknowledges marijuana use for chronic back pain, advocates for change

There were days and nights when he was in agony, when no medication – and he tried many – could stop the headaches from corroding his mere existence.

So Steve Kerr tried something once considered radical.

The Warriors coach sought relief in weed.

“I guess maybe I can even get in some trouble for this, but I’ve actually tried it twice during the last year and a half, when I’ve been going through this chronic pain that I’ve been dealing with,” Kerr said Friday on The Warriors Insider Podcast.

“(After) a lot of research, a lot of advice from people and I have no idea if maybe I would have failed a drug test. I don’t even know if I’m subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA.”

During the summer of 2015, Kerr underwent two surgeries on his back, the latter procedure in part to alleviate the pain from the first. Still, the pain continued. He arrived at training camp to coach the defending champions and two days later realized he was not up to the grind.

Kerr, now 51, took a leave of absence that lasted nearly four months, during which time he sought comfort through various painkillers and treatments.

He returned to coaching in January 2016, but it was during his absence from the team that he reached the same conclusion as many medical professionals.

“I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” Kerr said. “I’ve tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.”

Vicodin (hydrocodone) and other pain relievers come with side effects – including nausea, vomiting, constipation and blurred vision – that can be even more damaging to the body. Moreover, painkillers invite the risk of addiction that, for some, can lead directly to death.

“I know enough, especially over the last couple years, having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff – Vicodin is not good for you,” said Kerr, who still has experiences discomfort. “It’s way worse for you than pot, especially if you’re looking for a painkiller and you’re talking about medicinal marijuana, the different strains what they’re able to do with it as a pain reliever.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball realize that.”

Marijuana has been legalized in some form by 26 states and the District of Columbia. It has been used to treat patients suffering from chronic or acute pain. Yet it remains stigmatized in certain segments of American society.

“There’s this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine, but pot is bad,” Kerr said, explaining that some folks continue to resist the notion that pot is somehow more treacherous than, say, alcohol, while others have studied the subject and become advocates.

“I would hope,” Kerr said, “especially for these NFL guys, who are basically involved in a car wreck every Sunday – and maybe four days later, the following Thursday, which is another insane thing the NFL does – I would hope that league will come to its senses and institute a different sort of program where they can help these guys get healthier rather than getting hooked on these painkillers.”