OAKLAND – Out of nowhere, Mark Jackson started to act like a desperate head coach on Monday night.
Before the Warriors played the Philadelphia 76ers, Mark Jackson informed the media that his starting center, Andrew Bogut, would miss his third game in a row with a shoulder injury. A reporter asked Jackson how Bogut got hurt.
Jackson said, “As far as I know, it was not on the court. It wasn't in practice. It wasn't in a game. I'm not really sure. It may have been sleeping (Jackson shrugged his shoulders), and I say that in all seriousness (Jackson shook his head). But it's important for us to make sure we continue to treat him. It's legitimate. And then let's be smart with it.”
Jackson admitted he wasn't sure how Bogut injured his shoulder, so why did Jackson guess? And why would he have to say the injury was legitimate? Was there a question about its legitimacy? And why would Jackson raise the sleeping issue or that Bogut might be brittle or unlucky? Why even go there? Is that a coaching tactic?
A confident coach doesn't talk like that. A confident coach knows the story and controls the narrative. He doesn't guess out loud at press conferences.
Jackson could have said, “I'm not really sure, please ask the trainers,” or, “I feel uncomfortable commenting on a player's injury before I know everything about it.” Those are acceptable answers.
Big surprise, Bogut didn't like Jackson's answer. Shortly after Jackson made it, Bogut hailed reporters in the Warriors' locker room before the game to set the record straight. Bogut said he hurt his shoulder against the Jazz on Jan 31, not in his sleep. “The sleeping comment is absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “I don't know where it came from. I don't know if I should read between the lines with it.”