Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 2

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Q&A with Mark Jackson -- Part 2

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.

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

OAKLAND -- Now that the Warriors have gone through a full-squad scrimmage for the first time in three weeks, there is only one issue to be resolved before they get back to the business of the playoffs.

Whom to play? And when?

As of Friday afternoon, the Warriors had no idea of either.

They will face the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series, in which Utah took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 Friday night in Salt Lake City.

“Why are we talking about Utah like the Clippers are done?” Draymond Green wondered after fielding several Jazz-related questions after scrimmaging.

Well, because the Jazz won Games 4 and 5 and is favored to win Game 6 at home. If they win, they’ll come into Oracle Arena Sunday afternoon to meet the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

If the Clippers win Game 6 to even the series, those teams will meet for Game 7 Sunday in Los Angeles, with the winner advancing to face the Warriors in Game 1 of the conference semifinals next Tuesday night in Oakland.

In any case, the Warriors appear about as healthy has they have been at any time since February.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out with a finger/hand injury since Game 1 (April 16) of the first-round series against Portland, participated in the scrimmage, as did veteran forward Matt Barnes, who last played on April 8, when he sustained a bone bruise atop his right foot.

“They practiced today and they even went through the scrimmage,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “But we’ll wait for our training staff to clear them, after they see how they feel today and (Saturday).”

In short, if swelling is minimal, both will be available for Game 1, regardless of when.

So, too, will Kevin Durant. After a strained left calf kept him out of Games 2 and 3 against the Trail Blazers, he started and played 20 minutes in decisive Game 4 without any ill effects.

Nothing changed during the scrimmage Friday.

“It felt great out there,” he said. “Nothing bothered me. It was definitely good. I’m just trying to hopefully put that injury stuff behind.”

Durant conceded that he continues to receive treatment and ice, but mostly to minimize potential swelling.

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant wishes more NBA officials had a better grasp of the language of the game.

They don’t seem to understand that “trash talk” almost always is little more than an act in which healthy emotions are released. It’s as much of the game on the court as pointing out a bad haircut or a fashion error in the locker room.

“I was raised that if you weren’t talking on the court, then something (bad) is going on,” Durant said after Warriors practice on Friday.

Durant caught a glimpse of the chatter earlier this week between former Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook and Houston guard Patrick Beverley in decisive Game 5 of the Thunder-Rockets series and was disappointed when the officials slapped each with a technical foul.

“I was like, ‘Man, just play on. It’s a part of the game,’” Durant said.

Though Durant himself is not a premier trash-talker, he plays alongside one in fellow forward Draymond Green.

“That’s why we started playing, to talk a little s--- here and there,” said Durant, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area. “Draymond is really good at it. There are a lot of guys in the league that are good. More guys are quiet now than before.

“But s--- talking is a part of the game. I love it. It’s fun when you’re on the same team as a guy that does it. And then, when you’re playing against it, it’s even better because it brings the best out of you.”

For Durant, there always will be a place for trash talk on the court. Not only did he experience it while growing up but he also was indoctrinated in the practice from the moment he arrived in the NBA in 2007.

He recalls, with fondness, being targeted as a rookie by Kevin Garnett and a few other Celtics.

“When I came into the league, that’s when the Celtics had just got together,” Durant said. “Paul Pierce and KG and those guys talked bad to me as a rookie. I was 19. And they talked so bad to me. And I was talking right back. It was just a fun exchange. That’s what basketball is about.”

Now if only he could get officials to realize this.