Oakland, CA – Media Day kicked off at the practice facility this morning! The usual routine of interviews and photos was interrupted by the anticipation for one player, the captain of the team. Stephen Jackson who voiced his opinion during the off season about wanting a trade had a table full of reporters anxiously awaiting his arrival. Walking with a smirk on his face Jackson slowly walked past his seat and then quickly looked back before jokingly addressing the media “what’s up “vultures”?
“You already now I got fined so don’t ask me questions I’ve already answered,” said Jackson. “What I said over the summer is how I feel.” I had a big part in helping this team over come hurdles and each player that has assisted (Baron Davis and Jason Richardson) have been traded.” “I feel like I’m next and we’re not getting better, I want to win!” “We need to focus on winning and work hard to be successful.”
Jackson made it clear that he stands by his comments of wanting a trade but will do his part as a player and a captain by continuing to get this team back to the playoffs. The controversy surrounding Jackson’s trade demands had no effect on the remaining players on the roster. Only a few players had remarks regarding Jackson’s comments.
“You guys (media) make it seem like he’s going to take a hit for his comments but I guarantee you that tomorrow morning in practice everybody will be focused on winning,” said Ronny Turiaf. “Our job is to focus on winning games and we leave the rest to management.”
Turiaf along with new and returning players have high hopes for the upcoming season and is excited to get back on the court! “I’m super excited about this season because we have guys who want to be here!” Turiaf explained that he kept in touch with majority of the players in the off-season and that everyone had a sour taste in their mouths regarding how the season ended. But this year everyone is driven to make a change for the better.
One of the major concerns at media day was coach Don Nelson’s “run and gun” type of tempo on the court. The Warriors are known for their shooting and putting points on the board however, the defense has not been a factor for this team.
Stephen Jackson said, “defense has been a big problem in the past and I can’t guard everybody.” “Our defense will definitely have to pick up a lot and I credit myself for being able to play at both ends while many players aren’t able to do that.”
Corey Maggette, who was injured last season is healthy and ready to play. He also gave his thoughts on concentrating more on defense this year. “We have three of the best 3-point shooters in the league and we can all put up points.” “This is my 2nd year with the team and moving assistant coach Keith Smart on the defense side will help us put more pressure on other teams.”
One player many did not recognize in uniform was former NBA player Steve Smith! Smith is a TV analyst for NBATV, he donned a Warrior uniform while taking photos and gave interviews. “We are showing the fans Media Day, what players are doing and what goes on behind the scenes,” said Smith. “In my day we didn’t have the opportunity to be apart of a video game nor have so many people in attendance during Media Day.”
This segment will air before the season starts so check your local listings. The Warriors will open up the Preseason against the Los Angeles Clippers on October 4th at Oracle Arena.
Written by: Malaika Bobino