Starting this post off on a light note …
This photo produced a funny moment in practice. I asked Randolph about this photo, which if he’d seen it. I phrased the question as did he see the picture in which he is Liston and Baron Davis is Ali.
RANDOLPH: “Why I gotta be Sonny Liston? Why I can’t be Ali?”
Clearly, Randolph hadn’t seen the picture. So I explained it was of him on the ground and Baron over him, looking down at him, grimacing.
RANDOLPH: “Oh, I was on the ground? (pause) I was selling the call.”
So, I pulled up the picture on my iPhone off WarriorsWorld.net so Randolph could see it. He walked to the side so he could look at it privately. He laughed. Especially while he was reading the thread.
So, Jackson expresses his disappointment in his teammates for not having his back. Imagine he was expecting at least them to publicly say how Kobe was playing dirty, if not voice their disapproval in the coaching staff’s handling of him, if not break Kobe off a hard foul or sharp words.
JACKSON: “Nobody reacted but me so the team didn’t have a reaction. It was only me standing up for myself. I don’t think anybody else stood up for me. But if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have stood up for somebody on my team. And they didn’t do the same for me.”
Jackson took his beef with Kobe to a public level. I don’t think he’s ever been a fan of Kobe. Especially to an official street dude like Jax, Bryant isn’t going to get the benefit of the doubt. So if he really called Jax young fella (though they’re the same age), better believe Jax really didn’t like that. In essence, Jax got dissed by a suburbanite. On top of what he thought was some dirty play.
JACKSON: “I’m not going to bow down. I’m not a fan of Kobe. I’m not somebody who looks up to him. I’m a grown man myself. So when I go out there and play the game, I play the game. I feel like I’m just as good as him. I might not get the publicity or notoriety he gets, but I feel like I can play with anybody in the NBA any given night.”
Yes, you read that right. Jax said he’s as good as Kobe. See, that is machismo taking over. But he did qualify it. By the end of the quote, he was clearly saying that he feel like he can match-up with Kobe and even give him the business.
JACKSON: “I think everybody should feel like that. Everybody should be a competitor and I don’t back down from anybody. I’ve never been like that and I’m not going to start today. … It ain’t envy. I ain’t jealous of anybody. At the end of the day I’m still blessed to be in this game, taking care of my family. I think it’s just the fact that what’s fair is fair and I want to be treated fair as a man. Just like anybody else would.”
Certainly, Tuesday’s match-up with Kobe in Ontario should be pretty intense.
C.J. Watson said he expects to play on Saturday at Sacramento. As does Randolph, who said his sore back — which he sustained in that play with Baron Davis — is improving and he feels pretty good after a couple of days rest.
Nellie said something interesting Wednesday. He was asked about where Monta’s game was at this point, prompting a confusing exchange.
NELLIE: “I don’t know if he’s ready to open, but we don’t have to. We’ve got another couple of weeks. But he’s pretty close. I thought he’s improved. We’ve been playing quite a bit. … We probably overplayed him last game a little. I know he was fatigued. But he’s going to have to play a lot of minutes this year. I would say he’s on schedule.”
The confusion was over what Nellie meant by Monta’s readiness to open. It sounded like Nellie was saying Monta wasn’t ready to play at the start of the season. At first I thought he meant his ankle wasn’t ready and he may have to start the season on the bench. I quickly dismissed that because Ellis’ ankle hadn’t been a problem. So I thought maybe he was talking about Ellis’ readiness to be the starting point guard when the season begins.
NELLIE: “He may not be ready to open today. But we still ahve two weeks. So I would imagine he will be ready in two weeks. He’s got to continue to push his conditioning.”
I think this ties into a different issue. Nellie has commented about Monta’s lack of conditioning. He said earlier that Ellis didn’t come into camp in the best shape. Wednesday, he added the line about how Ellis had to push his conditioning to be reayd in two weeks. It sounds to me like Nelson has an idea of where Monta should be physically, conditioning wise, in order to be most effective when the season begins. And he was saying, I think, Ellis isn’t at that point yet, but he expects him to be there when the season begins on October 28.
Either way, pretty interesting take from the coach.