Mark Jackson is excited about the upcoming season for the Golden State Warriors. His team added three talented rookies in Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes in the draft this offseason. Andrew Bogut is also getting healthier and should be ready for the start of the season. Let’s not forget about the backcourt with Stephen Curry as well. The Warriors point guard will look to lead this young team. Jackson knows the Warriors can take the next step this season toward a playoff berth.
Mark Jackson joined KNBR in San Francisco with Tom Tolbert and Eric Byrnes to discuss Golden State Warriors practice starting this week, Andrew Bogut’s health status heading into camp, which first round draft pick will make the biggest impact for the Warriors, the new flop rule in the NBA and not guaranteeing a playoff berth for his team this year.
Practice starts tomorrow. Here we go, right?
“Very excited about it. We are certainly a much better basketball team and I give credit to our ownership, led by Joe Lacob, and our front office, led by G.M. Bob Myers, of putting together and making decisions whether it be via draft choices, free agency or trades. They certainly put us in a better position, so we are excited about what lies ahead.”
What’s Andrew Bogut’s health status heading into camp?
“He’s progressing very nicely. We had to play 5-on-5 today. He’s not ready, but we are very pleased at where he is and I think the target date is opening night. Certainly doing everything he’s been asked to do, as far as the doctors are concerned, that it looks like that is a real date.”
Out of the rookies drafted in the first round: Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes. Which one will make the biggest impact in training camp?
“I really believe all three of those guys. We couldn’t have gotten a better group of guys as people, as professionals. They certainly work extremely hard. Harrison Barnes was the No. 7 pick for a reason. He’s going to have a real chance at starting. He’s the one guy. if everyone is healthy, he has a legitimate chance of coming in and earning a starting position. Those other guys, you are talking about having to beat out Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli you are thinking in your mind no way in the world. That’s not going to happen. You’re 100 percent right, but all three of those guys will have legitimate chances to play and play right away.”
What do you think about the flop rule?
“These guys are so good at doing it and when people think about the flop rule you automatically think about a guy taking a charge, but they have elevated their game of flopping on the offensive end. You can flop and pretend you got hit in a pick and roll or you can pretend you got hit going to the cup, so I think when Jeff Van Gundy, when I was doing TV … he suggested the rule and I immediately said, ‘It makes no sense.’ I understand that guys have gotten so good at it that they trick the referees and possessions of games can be won or lost. It certainly has become time to make a rule and it’ll be interesting to see how they determine it.”
So we are not going to guarantee playoffs this year? Are we?
“No we are not. We are going to guarantee great energy, passion — a team that is going to compete and leave it on the floor. We are going to have a lot of fun.”