The atmosphere was noticeably light after the Golden State Warriors practiced on Thursday. That’s because the team got a chance to celebrate after Draymond Green knocked off Mark Jackson in the team’s three-point tournament.
Everyone was ecstatic … except Jackson.
“A lot of the guys weren’t too happy with the cockiness coach was bringing to the shootout, so it was nice to see him go down,” said Andrew Bogut, who fanned Jackson with a towel after his upset loss to Green while the rest of the team danced and jumped for joy after Jackson lost his matchup and dropped to the floor.
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Jackson complained about his team’s behavior during his final round, which apparently ended the tournament. Then he made another joke about the “d-word” that’s gotten so much play this week.
“I take my first shot and Steph Curry’s dancing and shooting underneath the hoop while I’m shooting. I take another shot and Draymond Green gives a defensive slide in the midst of it. That’s not part of the rules. I’m just disappointed in the way they conducted themselves and it certainly shows dysfunction,” said Jackson with a smile.
“I looked at the footage. Some of my coaches were jumping around. And they say now the tournament is over with. Their sole goal was to knock me out. I can’t believe it. I’m so disappointed right now.”
The relationship between Jackson and certain assistant coaches may have been strained, and while speculation abounds, nobody really knows how the front office feels about the team’s head coach. But Jackson has a point when it comes to the idea of a “dysfunctional atmosphere” probably having no basis in reality as far as the players are concerned. These guys definitely have a lot of fun, which is important as the team ends an abnormally long break period before fighting for playoff seeding (or even a spot) in the Western Conference.
Bogut talked about the shooting contest in relation to what he’s experienced with past coaches.
“Terry Stotts used to have shooting contests and stuff like that. Skiles, not so much. He’d shoot around a little bit, but never a formal setting where we’ve put together a bracket and actually had matchups, which is pretty cool,” said Bogut.
“It’s something different to keep it lighthearted at this point of the season. Practices aren’t as long and physical. You still want to enjoy this part of the season, and these kinds of things help keep the team together, I think.”
— Andre Iguodala (knee tendonitis) practiced today. David Lee (hamstring) was working on midrange jumpers and pick-and-roll footwork after practice, but nowhere near full speed.
“He hasn’t done anything with the team yet,” Jackson said of Lee. “If I had to say who’s more likely (to play tomorrow night) right now, Andre’s more likely.”
— Tomorrow night brings about a tough battle against the Memphis Grizzles. This is going to be a major challenge for four reasons.
- The Warriors are only a game ahead of Memphis and 1.5 games ahead of the ninth place team (Dallas).
- The Warriors beat the Grizzlies in Memphis the last time they played, but that was after the Grizzlies beat the Warriors 11 straight times.
- Five-day breaks are rare in the NBA. Rest is beneficial, but rust could be an issue.
- The Warriors haven’t exactly been dominant at Oracle Arena this season.
— I shot a photo of Jackson chatting with Bob Myers after practice (and the three-point contest).
— Despite their credentials, Bogut said Curry and Klay Thompson were not the prohibitive favorites in the three-point tournament. Not with Jackson around.
“You know what they say, when you’re retired, you shoot better. That’s definitely true with coach. He shoots the three-ball in these contests very, very well. He beat Steph in Indiana the other day,” Bogut said.
I brought up the “retired” remark to Jackson.
“If I didn’t know any better, I would think that’s a compliment. But that was actually shots fired,” Jackson said.
“You do become a better shooter later on in your career. The hours and the time that you put in. I started as not a good shooter and improved as time went on and many hours of practice. With that being said, just like Steph felt when I beat him, I will say when Draymond upsets me – notice the trick with the words right there – I’m still the best guy out there.”