Warriors Owner On Jackson, Thompson, Barnes

Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob didn’t necessarily expect to contend for a title this year, but he did envision the team becoming a “serious competitor” for a top-four finish in the Western Conference, as he tells Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. Golden State is in sixth place, four games back of the Clippers and Rockets, who are tied for fourth. The Warriors are just two and a half games up on ninth place Memphis. It’s left Lacob a “little disappointed,” but “not overly concerned yet,” he says. With plenty of trade rumors surrounding the Warriors, Lacob had much more to say to Kawakami, and while the entire piece is worth a read, we’ll share the highlights here:

On coach Mark Jackson:

“Of course there’s pressure on him. Just like there’s pressure on the players, there’s pressure on Mark, too. There’s on me, pressure on (GM) Bob Myers … and you know what? We should all be happy we have that pressure, because the truth is that means we’re relevant. If there’s no pressure and no expectations, that means we’re in rebuild mode and still coming. I don’t think that’s the case. We’re good. Whether we are achieving our expectations or not, we’ll look at the end of the year and see what we did. Maybe he is feeling it a little and he should be feeling pressure. That’s a good thing. I feel the pressure for this team to perform. We’ve invested a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of thinking, a lot of effort, and we’re going to continue to do so. I certainly feel pressure and some weight of expectation and I’m very happy to feel those things because it means we’ re getting somewhere.”

On how he’ll assess Jackson and others:

“I think you’re always evaluating everybody, whether it be the players, the coaches … it’s hard to know, if you don’t quite win a few games you should, is it the coach’s fault? Is it the players’ fault? It’s hard to say. I think we’ll have to look back on a body of work at the end of the season and look at that and make an evaluation. I do think our coach has done a good job; we have had some big wins, a lot of wins on the road, and that’s usually a sign of good coaching. But some things are a little disturbing; the lack of being up for some of these games at home, that’s a concern to me.”

On the team’s approach to the trade deadline:

“Very aggressive. I don’t think I would answer that differently any year. Honestly, I don’t even know how you think about it any other way. You should always be very aggressive, should always be looking to improve your team. Now it’s not clear we’ll be able to do that. There’ve been a lot of discussions, that’s what I hear around the league, but we’ll just have wait and see. We’re not going to make a move just to make a move. Certainly there are certain parts of the roster that we’d like to improve. No matter how good we are, we’d probably have that attitude. There’s no real limit on what we can do. Bob Myers has the ability, he knows, to propose anything to ownership, even if it means going into luxury tax, if means using those trade exceptions. We’ll consider all things.”

On the assertion that everyone except Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut is available for a trade:

“That specific statement has been out there. But I think we’d be very reluctant to trade any of our core pieces; we like our core. And our young core players–Curry, Klay (Thompson) and (Harrison) Barnes — a lot of teams like them because we’re getting specific trade proposals on a daily basis about those players. We are not anxious nor are we likely to make a move involving those players. Everyone wants what we have, young pieces. And we also have some important veteran players in our core and you need a mix of the two. … It’s obvious we need to get a little better, need a little more bench production and we need to jell a little more. We just haven’t quite hit our stride. Hopefully we hit that; we’ve got 30 games left to do it and make a strong run to the playoffs.”

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