Andrew Bogut

Mark Jackson asks media, “Please don’t twist my words,” says pregame Bogut controversy is “nothing”

Mark Jackson Golden State Warriors

When it was learned that Andrew Bogut and Jermaine O’Neal would miss Monday night’s game against the Sixers, the prevailing wisdom said the Warriors would need to go small because they had no choice. Interestingly enough, Mo Speights dusted off the part of his game that meant scoring in bunches, coming out of nowhere with a career-high 32 points in a 123-80 blowout of the Sixers.

Sunday night featured the fun sidelight of watching the Clippers/Sixers score to see if Los Angeles could win a game by the widest margin of all time. The Sixers actually staged a comeback of sorts in the fourth quarter to make the final score closer than it was throughout most of the second half.

The Clippers won by a score of 123-78.

Philadelphia isn’t just tanking, they’re an embarrassment to the game. A pox. The less time spent watching Spencer Hawes pretend to get back in transition, the better.

The true story of this game has to do with comments Mark Jackson made before the game, about Bogut’s shoulder injury.

Here’s more from Jackson’s pregame comments, via Diamond Leung of the Mercury News:

Jackson said before the game he did not know how Bogut got hurt before offering these comments:

“As far as I know, it was not on the court,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t in practice. It wasn’t in a game. I’m not really sure. It may have been sleeping, and I say that in all seriousness, but it’s important for us to make sure we continue to treat him, it’s legitimate, and then let’s be smart with it. We’re looking ahead at a whole week of rest and recovery, and we need him.”

Before tipoff, word of those comments got to Bogut. Not surprisingly, the Warriors starting center sounded pretty upset:

Bogut responded: “I just wanted to address that the sleeping comment is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know if I should read between the lines with it. The frustrating thing is: I don’t know when I hurt it against Utah (on Jan. 31). I just know after that game, it was a little sore. It hasn’t gotten better.”

Bogut said he’ll decide in the next couple of days whether to get a cortisone shot, and he plans to talk to Jackson about his comments after Monday’s game. The center didn’t want to interrupt the coach’s pregame preparations.

“I don’t know where (the sleeping comment) came from or if he heard that from the trainer or from somebody, but it’s definitely not the case,” Bogut said. “It’s not like I just woke up after sleeping on my shoulder wrong. I have a bone bruise and swelling in my shoulder. That coming from sleeping is very highly unlikely, I believe.”

Jackson’s postgame press conference began with a question about Speights, but the Warriors head coach instead had an opening statement about the Bogut situation.

“Before I get to Mo I just want to address something from earlier. I made a statement about Andrew Bogut. My statement said ‘legitimate.’ My statement said I had the same thing. My statement said that he was hurt. Please don’t twist my words. Understand this also — you will never see a problem in my locker room. You will not see a problem in my locker room, with my group. We are tied together, we are committed. This is not the old culture. This is a new culture. Thank you.”

After some questions about how well the Warriors played, Ethan Sherwood Strauss went back to Jackson’s comments at the beginning of the press conference, and I followed up with another question. Here’s the full transcript, so no words get twisted.

Strauss: On the Bogut situation, when you say “please don’t twist my words,” how do you feel your words were twisted?

Jackson: Well, you can make it seem like I said something against Bogut. That he slept and got hurt. I understand how you can take that and think, “Coach just took a shot at him.” I said he legitimately was hurt. I expressed how it happened. So please put the whole thing in there, and not half the story. I was part of the media. I understand how you can make it much more appealing, and go for the home run. But in three years, in the 23-win season, I didn’t throw anybody under the bus. And you can wait and wait and wait, and it won’t happen here until somebody else is sitting here. That’s not my M.O. And contrary to the choir, it won’t be my M.O. I believe in every one of my guys and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do. And I’ll go down being me. I can’t be anybody else.

BASG: Bogut said that he was going to wait until later to talk to you because of pregame preparation. Did you guys talk about it before the game and get it sorted out already?

Jackson: There’s nothing to sort out. My office is always open. We did talk. It’s nothing. My only point is, let’s talk. It’s nothing. You can go to anybody in my locker room. Pick who you want, there’s enough people to cover each and every one of them and ask them how the environment is. It’s a fun time (laughs). I mean, we are 10 games over .500. Some of you guys haven’t seen that in a long, long time. So keep on acting like you have. We’re going to continue to work our tails off and continue to try to be a good basketball team and celebrate how far we’ve come and how much further we’ve got to go.

Here’s a video that shows both the second half of the opening statement and the two questions detailed above:

Just our luck, Strauss was already scheduled to join us on our next edition of BASGcast tomorrow afternoon. I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about, including …

“This is not the old culture. This is a new culture.” — We’ve heard this quite a bit over the last few years. It’s pretty much a different version of “hey, it could be a lot worse,” which is true but probably not enough for fans (and perhaps ownership) who came into this season with dreams of contending for a title.

“I mean, we are 10 games over .500. Some of you guys haven’t seen that in a long, long time. So keep on acting like you have.” — Ditto, but directed more toward the media.

“And I’ll go down being me. I can’t be anybody else.” — There’s been some talk about Jackson being on the hot seat lately, and comments like this make it sound like he’s feeling some pressure.

It’s getting pretty interesting on Warriors ground these days. The team has one game left against the Miami Heat before the All-Star break commences and the real pressure of the 2013-14 season begins for Jackson and his squad.

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