When speaking to the media on Saturday, Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson was adamant about the fact that his 5-10 team will be playoff bound, showing no lack in confidence despite the poor start to the season.
Question: If you guys are going to have to have a successful season – the kind of season you’ve talked about — then you guys are going to have to start winning games and that has to start happening soon. So, you still believe that’s going to happen?
Jackson: I would have to believe that’s what’s going to happen if my answer to you is nothing has changed (laughter).
There doesn’t seem to be much laughter from here on in:
Question: Is there a point when it could change or you don’t allow yourself to think that way?
Jackson: I don’t think that way. I believe in our system, I believe in our guys. We’re going to turn it around.
Question: Could there be a point when you start thinking about that (protected) draft pick and that might play into the season?
Jackson: I don’t think that way. That’s not my thought process at all. When we play the way we’re capable of playing, execute the game plan and take care of the basketball and defend, we’re a very good basketball team. And until I see otherwise, I’m going to continue to believe it.
Question: Somebody asked me the other day about you and I said that reality might be setting in with this team, that you might be realizing this team isn’t as good as you thought. Would that be incorrect?
Jackson: I guess you lied to them. … What is reality?
Question: That this team isn’t as good as you thought … That this team can’t be as good as you thought.
Jackson: No, that’s not true. In my opinion we have the best backcourt in the business, we have an all-star caliber power forward, we have solid role players, and we are a defensive-minded basketball team. We are grinding and we’ve been in position to win in eight of our 10 losses and we’ve beaten some of the best in the land. The reality is that we’re very close to being who I am convinced we are. Tell your friend I said ‘hi.’ … You are trying today.
Question: …There is a segment of people out there saying’ we’ve heard all this before.’
Jackson: The reality is I’ve got a bunch of guys that have never won that are playing winning basketball that have changed their ways from an offensive juggernaut to defensive principles where we battle, compete and give ourselves a chance. Winning in this league is a process and in that process you’ve got to be extremely patient to see the other side. It gets tough being that salmon swimming upstream. But as long as your persistent and don’t quit, you will get to the other side.
As long as the L’s keep coming, Jackson will have to deal with these kinds of questions. What he is trying to do takes time, and it’s likely to be a work in progress for a while longer.
For more on the Warriors, head over to Golden State of Mind.