When Mark Jackson was hired as the Golden State Warriors head coach back in June, he and team ownership made their own individual promises to the fanbase of making the playoffs. Joe Lacob and Co. created a promises contract with season ticket holders in which they promised an All-Star player and a playoff berth, neither of which happened.
As for Jackson, he made a verbal covenant of making the playoffs, which was mathematically made out of the question after Wednesday's loss to Portland. Jackson spoke with the media Friday, discussing why he made the promise, noting it was for more than just the fans.
Question: Do you regret the playoff promise, maybe setting bar too high?
Mark Jackson: "No. Not at all. I'll take the heat, the criticism that comes with it. But I came in here with a mindset of changing the culture and we're changing the culture. There's going to be some tough spots and obviously it hasn't been the season we've wanted it to be but we're excited about what the future holds. If I had to do it all over again I'd come in talking the same mess."
Question: Was the prediction about attitude or the statement itself?
Mark Jackson: "I think it was a combination of both. I wouldn't have said it if I didn't believe it. But it also raised the bar across the board as far as our expectations. It'd be easy to come in and say it's going to be a long process and we need time to get it right.
"That's not what I signed up for. But I'm really excited about what lies ahead. But no regrets. Absolutely no regrets about a declaration."
What does it really mean to "take heat," though? You're not really taking heat
Mark Jackson: I'm saying if that was the case I'm fine with it. I wasn't saying I was taking heat for saying that (prediction). If that's the case, I'm fine with it, I'll own it, I'll embrace it. But I've said what I believed and I think what we're looking at is a process to get where we want to get to. I'm really pleased with what's in the locker room and what lies ahead for us."
Question: Do you think this team will make the playoffs next season?
Mark Jackson: Growing and maturing. No comment."
Hopefully with a healthy Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry and a solid season from guys like David Lee and Klay Thompson, the W's may have their most legitimate shot at a playoff berth in years. But I think most W's fans will wait to see it to believe it.