Game 74 rewind: Warriors’ Jermaine O’Neal baffled by negativity, recommends cherishing ‘special teams’ like this one

DALLAS — The Warriors escaped Dallas with a 122-120 overtime win, and with the victory came co-owner Joe Lacob shaking Jermaine O’Neal’s hand after the game.

The 35-year-old O’Neal had played 33 minutes, scored 20 points and came through with the last-minute block that enabled Stephen Curry to go down on the other end and win the game on a buzzer beater. Some love from ownership was in order.

“He’s very emotional about his team, and rightfully so,” O’Neal said of Lacob, who he said was one of the NBA’s best owners. “He spent a lot of money on it, so we love to see our owner excited and high-fiving and energetic about it.”

What O’Neal is sick of seeing is negativity surrounding the Warriors and coach Mark Jackson that the veteran big man finds unfair. O’Neal has pointed out that some in the media and along some Warriors fans have gone too far with it. He mentioned those concerns last week while strongly defending Jackson.

And Tuesday, O’Neal brought up the issues himself when Warriors TV host Laurence Scott asked about Jackson saying the team was “tied together.”

“We’re tied together, especially when so many people around us are trying to tear us apart,” O’Neal said. “I’ve never seen even in your own town so much adversity and so much negativity around a team that’s really striving to do special things. It baffles you a little bit, but it says a lot about our head coach and our staff and our organization.

“Everybody’s trying to sell a paper. Everybody’s trying to get ratings for their talk shows or TV shows or whatever it may be, but the fact of the matter is that the city of Oakland and the city of San Francisco’s been through a lot of tough times in the basketball world. I would highly recommend that we cherish special teams.

“The negativity that’s out there in our home city, I’m just asking for people to hold their evaluation until the end of the year when the season’s over with. We’re going down the stretch run when we need all our fans.”

Diamond Leung

  • Stan

    The players love Jackson,that’s obvious. But they havent done well in “sure win” games this year though. My feeling? Mark Jackson is sort of like Zito..for all the (deserved) complaints,the Giants had their best years with him around. Same with Jackson. Don’t even start to tell me subbing all the starting five is a good coaching strategy. Its not. But,the Warriors turn around and own Dallas and Miami,Clippers..go figure.
    And,that’s how it STANds.

  • Howard Benner

    They don’t ‘own” anyone; they are certainly competitive against most of the upper echelon teams, but what about the Spurs with whomever is in their lineup? What about Houston? Until the last game in oracle the Griz were in that regard. . .

    Meanwhile, teams like the Raptors now present problems & up & comers like the Suns & the Jailblazers command the jellyfish’s attention & require more of an effort. Oh, don’t forget the Thunder. . .the W’s still have yet to ace them with Westbrook in the lineup. . .

    Of course all could be completely different in the playoffs but I still don’t forecast advancing past the first round. Worst case scenario? They face off against the Spurs, who possess a commanding psychological advantage against the jellyfish. The Thunder? Don’t see Golden State advancing past them. The Clips? Well, that will be a war but have to give the edge to Doc Rivers over Mark Jackson. . .I think the Jailblazers hang onto the #5 seeding, so a matchup against the rockets isn’t really fathomable. . .

  • Vonteego cummings

    JON, Ignore the negativity. we are passionate fans here in the bay and always have been. we take our wins and losses seriously. every win is huge, every loss miserable. After years of misery, please allow us to fall from grace every now and then. Bottom line, we love this team and only want the best for it. As fans we consistently debate what the best is. that’s just part of the passion. Thanks for being here. You have been fantastic.

  • Stan

    Terrible loss tonight vs SA. Just no effort..a lot of jogging and then walking, and watching SA just go by them. A self fulfilling prophecy loss. Even Fitz called it a loss half way through the second quarter. Pretty obvious the team quit.-

  • Commish

    I believe Tim K was right when he said Jackson’s fate is in the hands of the players by how many games we win from here on out, including the playoffs. Lacob hasn’t spent all this money to finish 6th and go out in the first or second round. Have the players underachieved or overachieved? I think both. That probably has to do with the coach and his ability to bring more consistency and game readiness to the club. That doesn’t seem to be Jackson’s strength. Obviously players loving him is his forte. Management did pick up his option. They might be willing to “eat” that if we go out in the first round. But then who would fill his shoes? Steve Kerr was one named mentioned. All it can say it will be an interesting month more or less.

  • Howard Benner

    Now you know why I call them the “jellyfish. . .” quotation marks are NOT required.

    This team is spineless; they feel entitled; why? I don’t know. . .because they made it into the second round of last year’s playoffs?

    There is this big part of me that wants to see them NOT make the playoffs; they aren’t going to make any noise anyway.

    There won’t be any draft choices that can come in & make a difference; missing out on the playoffs & creating the ultimate embarassment might be jsut the tonic to wake the jellyfish from their slumber.

    They need a heart transplant & a transfusion in the very least. This team is too immature; too petulant. . .too hung up on themselves. .

    I’ve been saying it the entire season. When you see Jeff Hornacek & Terry Stotts cajoling their players onward & upward one ha to be just a bit envious. Mark Jackson? What a hot air full of shyt. . .he can’t reach this team, let alone motivate the jellyfish. . .I’m done with this pile of garbage.

  • Howard Benner

    You as local fans & the lot that frequent Oracle deserve better. The jellyfish are paid to play; that means more than just “show up” & throw their jocks on the floor like the entitlement babies they are. . . they don’t deserve your passion & dedication. They surely are bereft of that apparatus. . .

  • Howard Benner

    They fade to eighth & finish the season like the underachievers they are. .

    Their fat going forward rests in the hands of (mis)management. .

    Mark Jackson should just be put out of his misery. . .the jellyfish have revealed themselves as who they really are. . .a farce; a facade; pretenders; now, what do they do to learn from this debacle?

  • Vincent

    I lived in Oakland for the past 15 years. I now live in Dallas. And I have to say, the folks calling for Jackson’s head as a coach — you guys are disturbingly spoiled as fans. There’s a sense of entitlement regarding the W’s performance that is seriously sick.

    They are on the cusp of a 50 win season. They are at the time of this writing the team with the 8th best record in the ENTIRE LEAGUE. In a year where their talent is suspect, often injured, and the overall competition in the Western Conference is EXTREMELY high, where the team had to reinvent itself because of free agency… and we’re talking about firing the coach.

    And ironically one of the reasons being given is the team’s lack of consistency… because replacing a coach (and probably implementing an entirely new system) is the best way to achieve consistent results.

    Have some @#$@$$% patience Warrior fans. If we had managed to get Dwight Howard AND Andre Iguadola in free agency, or even playing the majority of their games healthy, I could understand being hot and bothered as a title contender. But at this point, this is a team with giant warts on its resume, and while the coach is a factor in some losses, he’s also a factor in many of their wins and keeping that squad in the locker room together.

    They all need time to grow, but even then, relative to the rest of the league, it may not be enough. Be realistic about what you have. It’s not remotely on the coach.