Here is a link to my Monday column about Mark Jackson. The full text runs below:
OAKLAND — Here is the Q & A from Mark Jackson’s pregame press conference before the Warriors beat the Jazz 130-102.
Jackson has lost two assistant coaches in the past two weeks, the latest Darren Erman for unspecified transgressions, and there is talk about dysfunction on his staff and his job security not being secure.
This transcript has a few sentence fragments. Conversation is like that. Call it Jackson Raw. I indicate where I asked the question.
Cohn: The two times this happened with your assistant coaches, there’s been talk about you. I’m reading and hearing your future depends on how you do in the playoffs. Is that how you understand it?
Jackson: I don’t understand it any way. My job will be determined on winning. I’m fine with that. That will play itself out. The talk about what these two guys (assistants) have done, that has nothing to do with me.
Cohn: I understand. I’m talking about you now. You said your job depends on winning. Does that mean winning in the playoffs? If you went out in the first round, would you be vulnerable?
Jackson: That’s not my call. What I will say is there are 10 good to very good teams in the Western Conference. There are two teams that will not make the playoffs. They will be good teams. There are four teams that will not get to the second round of the playoffs, which will be very good teams who have very good coaches. There are four guys that’s going home with good teams and nothing to be disappointed about other than the fact they lost. I’m absolutely fine moving forward with this group and the job we’ve done collectively. It’s a great time. So judging me, I don’t lose sleep over that because, whatever way you decide to judge me and whoever it is, that’s on them. My job is to lead this team and to do what’s best for this organization.
Q: How would you describe your relationship with (owner) Joe Lacob?
Jackson: You know, it’s interesting. I’m reading the dysfunction or whatever the term is for my relationship with this front office. That’s brand new to me. And I’d be the first to tell you if it wasn’t. If I saw Joe Lacob like I saw him in the lobby in San Antonio — I stood for 15 minutes talking to him. Or anybody in this front office. I see (general manager) Bob Myers, there is no friction at all. If there’s friction, maybe there’s friction when I leave the building and I’m departed and other stuff is being said. There is absolutely no friction. I humbly submit to you if you’ve got a problem with me as a person, then it’s your problem. I’m low maintenance. What you see is what you get. And I’m going to be a fun-loving, enjoyable guy that’s easy to talk to. I have no issues with anybody in this organization and it’s been that way from Day 1. Unnamed sources? I say, “Come on out. Please. Pretty please with sugar on top.”
Q: If you don’t get through the first round, is it unfair to say you’ve taken a step back?
Jackson: If the No. 1 seed loses to the eighth seed or the No. 2 seed loses to the seventh — that very well could happen in this Western Conference where you’re dealing with some outstanding teams. I’m not (talking about) my job. I’m saying anybody’s job. I don’t anticipate it being mine. I’m speaking on behalf of somebody else that’s going to be home. They could have done the best job possible and lost the series.
Q: How are your players dealing with Darren Erman getting fired?
Jackson: We understand there’s a member of our group that’s no longer here. To me this is ministry. There’s tears shed. There’s pain. There’s hurt. There’s disappointment. There’s also disappointment looking at me like I did something wrong. That’s for another day. I hurt for Darren Erman. My guys hurt. But the mission remains the mission. The assignment remains the assignment. In spite of all the talk and all the chatter, we’re going to handle our business. We’re not going to be caught up in that.
Cohn: Does it sadden you that at the end of a very successful season, we’re sitting here talking about your future and a coach that’s gone? It’s not what you’d expect. You used the term the other day the “norm.” It’s not the norm what we’re doing right now.
Jackson: Before the coach was gone, the talk was about my future. A week ago, my future was talked about. Two weeks ago, my future was talked about. I’m not caught up in that. Believe it or not, I am absolutely convinced my future is just fine.
Someone asked about the state of the Warriors’ bench.
Jackson: I’ve been on teams where a guy like Mo Speights says, “You haven’t called on me all year. Forget you, Coach. Forget these guys.” I’ve watched guys lay down because they felt like they were getting a bad hand. You talk about Jordan Crawford. I’ve watched guys in his situation see Steve Blake come to this building and see the writing on the wall and lay down and not be prepared. I’ve watched guys like Draymond Green say, “You need me. You don’t need me.” There’s no issues. There’s no drama. Despite the choir singing dysfunction, these guys continue to show high character and continue to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time. I’ve got a feeling everything is going to be all right.
FYI: Lacob declined to be interviewed for this column. If he had agreed, I would have asked: Does Jackson’s job depend on the playoffs? Are you pleased with how he’s coaching? Do you have a good relationship with him?
For more on the world of sports in general and the Bay Area in particular, go to the Cohn Zohn at cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. You can reach Staff Columnist Lowell Cohn at firstname.lastname@example.org.