On the day he was hired in early June, Warriors coach MarkJackson promised the team would make the playoffs.After Wednesdays loss to Portland, it became official theWarriors wouldnt.On Thursday, Jackson addressed making that promise and aboutthe fact he wont be able to deliver on it. Heres what he said:Question: Do you regret the playoff promise, maybesetting bar too high?Mark Jackson: No. Not at all. Ill take the heat,the criticism that comes with it. But I came in here with a mindset of changingthe culture and were changing the culture. Theres going to be some toughspots and obviously it hasnt been the season weve wanted it to be but wereexcited about what the future holds. If I had to do it all over again Id comein talking the same mess.Question: Was the prediction about attitude or thestatement itself?Mark Jackson: I think it was a combination ofboth. I wouldnt have said it if I didnt believe it. But it also raised thebar across the board as far as our expectations. Itd be easy to come in andsay its going to be a long process and we need time to get it right.Thats not what I signed up for. But Im really excitedabout what lies ahead. But no regrets. Absolutely no regrets about adeclaration.Question: What do you think would have been thedifference had you made that playoff promise in New York City rather than theBay Area?Mark Jackson: I think it would have beendifferent had I made that promise in New York City and they were coming off ofsuccess. I think, in fairness, one time in 17 years in the playoffs (with GoldenState) in New York City, it probably would have been a pass. Id have gottenhammered. But it would have been a pass, understanding I came in talking big,bad and bold. (Jets coach) Rex Ryan promised a championship. Still no jewelryand hes survived.What does it really mean to take heat, though? Yourenot really taking heatMark Jackson: Im saying if that was the case Imfine with it. I wasnt saying I was taking heat for saying that (prediction). Ifthats the case, Im fine with it, Ill own it, Ill embrace it. But Ive saidwhat I believed and I think what were looking at is a process to get where wewant to get to. Im really pleased with whats in the locker room and what liesahead for us.Question: Do you think this team will make theplayoffs next season?Mark Jackson: Growing and maturing. No comment.
After sending four players to the NBA All-Star Game last season in New Orleans, the Warriors are halfway to repeating the feat this season.
Point guard Stephen Curry and small forward Kevin Durant were voted in as Western Conference starters for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the NBA announced on Thursday.
Though Curry has missed 15 games -- nearly one-third of the season -- it has not hurt his popularity; His No. 30 is the NBA’s best-selling jersey for the third straight season. He is averaging team-leading 27.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and 1.65 steals per game.
Curry is the first member of the Warriors to be named a starter for five consecutive All-Star games. As the player with the most fan votes, Curry becomes a captain and is in position to select the members of his team.
Durant, who has missed eight games this season, was named as a starter for the sixth time, the first four coming when he was a member of the Thunder.
Durant is averaging 26.2 points (fifth in the league) 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.05 blocks (fourth in the league) per game.
The Golden State Warriors celebrated their first championship in 40 years by being condemned as “lucky” because they stayed healthy when most of their competitors did not. They missed 34 man-games to injury and/or rest, fewer than any other contender by a significant amount, and this was cited as one of the ways that the Warriors didn’t actually win the title as the other training rooms lost them.
This is, of course, idiocy of the first magnitude, As we have lectured before, “luck” of this kind is like any other form of luck – it is to be welcomed, no matter how much it may offend people who prefer their sports to be conceptual rather than real.
Put another way, there are no asterisks on the trophy in Joe Lacob’s foyer.
That argument cannot be made this year – well, it can, but not if you want to be correct.
Jordan Bell’s ankle issue is the latest annoyance in a season of them, and the Warriors’ core rotational players have missed a higher percentage of games this year than in any of the other three (15 percent, rather than five in 2015, eight in 2016 and 10 in 2017).
What this means is that their superior depth is being challenged as never before, but that’s really all it means. They endure the loss of one of their main players quite well, in fact. Without Stephen Curry, they are 12-3, 14-4 over the past two seasons and 20-6 through three; without Kevin Durant, 7-1 this year 25-5 over the last two; without Draymond Green, 7-0, 12-1. Only Klay Thompson (0-1 this year, 1-3 last year, 6-6 since 2015) seems to bother them.
That’s 52-16 without at least one member of the Gang of Four.
But it does mean few minutes and games off for Andre Iguodala and David West and Shaun Livingston, and more minutes than ever for Kevon Looney. It plays a bit of mischief with Steve Kerr’s rotations, but he’s an adult and has an army of fellow thinkers to make any required adjustments.
In short, waste no worry, pity or scorn on them. They remain relentlessly unmoved by misfortune or pain.
But at least this year, they’re having some of each, if only to silence those who still want to think, if only for their own amusement, that things have been improperly easy for them.