OAKLAND – Marreese Speights of all players scored 32 points. The Warrior beat the 76ers by 43. Oracle Arena turned into “a rock concert,” according to David Lee.
It was such a laugher that some players tricked Ognjen Kuzmic into thinking coach Mark Jackson had called his number to be put into the game. Jackson said he found it hilarious and got him on the court anyway.
After the game, Jackson changed the tone of the conversation as he disputed the notion in his mind that in pregame comments he had called into question center Andrew Bogut’s shoulder injury and that there were any issues between the two.
“Please don’t twist my words,” Jackson said. “And let you understand this also: we will never see a problem in my locker room. You will not see a problem in my locker room with my group. We are tied together. We are committed. This is not the old culture. This is the new culture.”
Jackson before the game said he didn’t know the cause of Bogut’s left shoulder inflammation that would sideline him for a third straight game. He said that he was being serious in saying it might have happened while sleeping.
It’s unclear how Jackson thought his words were twisted. Bogut quickly heard about the sleeping comment without having a reporter mention them to him directly and in the locker room laid out a timeline of how he first felt discomfort after playing at Utah and said that after playing through it the next game, he later woke up in more pain. Without having yet spoken to Jackson at that point, he said the sleeping comment was “absolutely ridiculous.”
Bogut hadn’t missed a game due to injury this season until the shoulder acted up after a season in which most of it was lost due to various injuries. Where his explanation might have gotten lost with Jackson isn’t exactly clear.
While defending his comments and blaming the media for twisting them, Jackson widened the scope of the discussion at a time when his team has the same record as a Dallas team for the seventh and eighth best records in the Western Conference.
“You can make it seem like I said something against Bogut that he slept and got hurt,” Jackson said. “I can understand how you can take that and think, ‘Oh, Coach just took a shot at me.’ I said he legitimately was hurt. I expressed how it happened. So please put the whole thing in there and not half the story.
“I understand. I was part of the media. I understand how you can make it much more appealing and go for the home run. But in three years, in the 23-win season, I didn’t throw anybody under the bus. And you can wait and wait and wait. And it won’t happen here until somebody else is sitting here. That’s not my M.O., and contrary to the choir, it won’t be my M.O. I believe in every one of my guys, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do, and I’ll go down being me. I can’t be anybody else.”
Jackson said there was nothing to sort out with Bogut and that the two had spoken.
“It’s a fun time,” Jackson said with a laugh. “I mean, we are 10 games over .500. Some of you guys haven’t seen that in a long, long time, so keep on acting like you have. We are going to work our tails off and continue to try to be a good basketball team and celebrate how far we’ve come and how much further we’ve got to go.”