Last season, new Warriors head coach Mark Jackson felt pretty good about his team. He was probably a little naive and maybe still excited about his new gig, but his enthusiasm got the best of him and he went and did just about the dumbest thing a coach can do.
He guaranteed a playoff berth.
In case you’ve been unconscious for the past year, the Warriors didn’t make the postseason. Shocking, I know.
This time around, Jackson is a little more guarded in his predictions. Last week, Jackson held a press conference, which much of the Bay Area media contingent attended. The San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami was there, and here are a few highlights from his coverage, including Jackson’s refusal to take the playoff guarantee bait.
On that playoff guarantee:
“No, I’m not going to say it…Not because I don’t believe it, but ultimately there comes a point where, enough of the talking, go out and do it.”
On feeling added pressure with an improved roster:
“I don’t care who I’m coaching, the pressure’s always going to be to win and do the job…Certainly we have a better basketball team, and I think there’s added pressure across teh board. I don’t run from it, I embrace it.”
On Andris Biedrins being the ONLY Warrior not already working out at the team’s facility:
“At the end of the day, it was a long year last year—it was a tough year for a lot of players. But I’ve got everybody in here, other than Andris Biedrins.”
What can we take away from these snippets?
First of all, Jackson’s already in midseason blowhard form. Good for him. He continues to showcase his ability to talk a lot and say little. At the very least, he’s learning that making bold promises isn’t good for anyone. And that’s a pretty big step for a guy who continued to guarantee a playoff berth well into the Warriors’ rapidly deteriorating season last year.
Let’s just hope that’s not all he’s learned.