It’s not usual that the team on the winning end of a 43-point blowout is the one in the crosshairs of a player-coach spat via the media, but there were the Golden State Warriors Monday night.
In his pregame press conference, Jackson said in reply to a question about Bogut’s shoulder injury (h/t San Francisco Chronicle):
“As far as I know, it wasn’t on the court. It wasn’t in practice it wasn’t in a game. I’m not really sure. It may have been sleeping and I say that in all seriousness.”
For a guy with an injury history and a sensitivity to being perceived as fragile, you can imagine the “sleeping” remark didn’t exactly fill Bogut with glee.
“I just wanted to address that the sleeping comment is absolutely ridiculous,” Bogut said. “I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know if I should read between the lines with it. The frustrating this is: I don’t know when I hurt it against Utah (on Jan. 31). I just know after that game, it was a little sore. It hasn’t gotten better.”
Jackson did say Bogut’s injury was “legitimate,” but you can guess which comment was run with by the guys with the recorders and the notebooks.
Then the coach blasted the media (h/t CSNBayArea.com):
“I made a statement about Andrew Bogut. My statement said legitimate. My statement said I had the same thing. My statement said he was hurt. Please don’t twist my words.”
Here’s where it begins to go off the rails for me. Follow along for a minute, if you would.
Jackson was a member of the media for years when he called games for ESPN. He knows how the game is played. If he didn’t want his statement to be twisted, he wouldn’t have left a statement so easy to twist hanging out there.
I could be wrong. But Jackson wouldn’t be the first coach to use the media as a conduit to send a message to a player, then turn and scold the media for delivering the message.