Stephen Jackson: on the ‘We Believe’ Warriors: his admiration for Don Nelson; smoking weed before games, and plenty more

Stephen Jackson is nothing if not honest. It’s what makes Stephen Jackson … Stephen Jackson. That honesty and straightforwardness came out big time on Wednesday during a 20-minute interview.

We talked to Jackson about a variety of topics, including his memories of “We Believe,” why Don Nelson was one of the best coaches he ever had, how often, if ever, he smoked marijuana before games and so much more.

Here’s link to interview with Stephen Jackson on 95.7-FM The Game.

–Jackson said he doesn’t believe there is any NBA team out there that can beat the Warriors. Too much firepower is pretty much what he said. Jackson also thinks that Cleveland’s LeBron James sees the writing on the wall — that the Cavs can’t get it done as presently constituted. That’s why, Jackson says, James has been lobbying to get him some help.

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DeMarcus Cousins traded to New Orleans; sets up possible Pelicans-Warriors first-round playoff matchup; Divac, Kings taking lots of heat; Alvin Gentry needs to get it done

 

What a fascinating day for the NBA and Sacramento Kings. In a blockbuster trade, the Kings sent DeMarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and a first and second-round pick.

We talked in-depth about the Cousins’ trade and what it means for each franchise with a few experts. First, we talked with Golden State Warriors’ television analyst Jim Barnett, then Sacramento Kings beat writer for the Sacramento Bee, Jason Jones, and, finally, Jennifer Hale, the Pelicans’ sideline reporter. Here are those links:

Link to interview with Jim Barnett.

Link to interview with Jason Jones

Link to interview with Jennifer Hale.

Among the topics that were discussed:

–Barnett believes the Pelicans now boast the two most talented big men in the league in Cousins and Anthony Davis. He also made a few parallels with teams of the past that acquired centers and then their fortunes turning around. Barnett believes there are similarities to the Kings trading Cousins to the Pelicans and Charlotte trading Alonzo Mourning to Miami.

–What does the acquisition of Cousins mean for a potential first-round matchup against the Warriors? Well, there’s absolutely no doubt about it, the Pelicans’ strength — size — is the Warriors’ weakness. But not just any size, mind you, talented size. Nobody is saying the Warriors are going to be an underdog if these teams meet in the first round, but it’s going to be a lot more interesting than it might have been.

–The perception is that the Kings got raked over the coals in this trade. General manager Vlade Divac said he had a better offer a couple of days ago but the deal fell through … something about “agents.” It’s difficult to defend this trade if you’re Sacramento. Cousins is perhaps the best big man in the league and Hield is an unknown and other two players are role players. Yikes.

–Jason Jones talked about how shocked Cousins was when he found out he was being traded. Jones has some solid insight into what’s been going on with Cousins the past day or so, and it’s clear Cousins wasn’t expecting this. Jones also talks about another aspect of this whole thing — how Cousins seems to be getting kicked to the curb by his old squad.

–OK, the Pelicans are not a playoff team right now. They’re 2 1/2 games behind the Denver Nuggets. Still, let’s be honest. This team should be able to make that up — for goodness sakes they have Cousins and Davis. If Jrue Holiday stays healthy, and the Pelicans don’t make the playoffs, you gotta believe Alvin Gentry may not be around next season.

–And by the way, what are the Kings thinking? Where are they going? It’s hard to tell. The question now becomes for Kings whether anyone else is going to be sent packing — a Darren Collison, a Ben McLemore, maybe a Kosta Koufos?

 

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Kings hoping the trade of DeMarcus Cousins is similar to when Detroit Pistons traded Grant Hill

The trade of DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans couldn’t have come at a better time. The reason? Well, it body-checked out of the way what had been the biggest story during All-Star Weekend: the Russell Westbrook-Kevin Durant feud.

Let’s face it, we were all getting sick of that and now we can move on. Conventional wisdom is that the Kings may have just made one of the worst trades in NBA history, sending Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans for rookie Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and first-round pick and second-round pick.

The move has been widely criticized as has been the Kings’ organization, their owner, Vivek Ranadive, and their GM, Vlade Divac. Few seem to have taken exception to the Kings trading Cousins, who has had his ups and downs in Sacramento. Rather, the issue is what the Kings got back — which many see as very, very little.

Here’s Link to my radio appearance on 95.7-FM The game, when we talked about the Cousins’ trade, All-Star Weekend and the second half of the NBA season. 

It’s tough to stick up for this trade if you’re looking at it from the Kings’ perspective. They just gave up perhaps the best center in the game for an unproven rookie and a couple of role-playing veterans along with a couple of picks. But what I do remember is a trade from way back in 2000, when another team was absolutely lambasted for what was perceived as an awful trade.

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Near-perfect third quarter paves way for blowout win over Kings 109-86; Draymond Green ejected after outburst; Golden State heads to break an NBA-best 47-9

The Sacramento Kings had a couple of things going against them on Wednesday night when they played the Golden State Warriors. First off, the Warriors were coming off a blowout loss on Monday to the Denver Nuggets. Second, the last time these teams played — less than two weeks ago — the Kings knocked off the Warriors in overtime.

To top it all off, Warriors coach Steve Kerr made it clear during the team’s shoot-around that he wanted this game — the final one before the All-Star break.

So it made total sense that the Warriors handled the Kings 109-86 at Oracle, and headed into the all-star break with an NBA-best 47-9 record. Only it wasn’t as easy as you might think. The Warriors were sluggish to start the game, and it lingered into the second quarter.

Link to “Warriors WrapUp,” the postgame show on 95.7-FM The Game.

It didn’t help that Draymond Green was ejected late in the second quarter after picking up two technical fouls.

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Emotional hangover for Warriors in loss to Denver; Golden State is vulnerable without all four ‘Stars’; some joy is missing this year for the Warriors and their fans

Had a chance to talk a lot of Warriors with Mitch and Pitch on ESPN Las Vegas 1100/100.9-FM. We touched on several topics, including the Warriors’ letdown against the Denver Nuggets, the reaction of Oklahoma City fans for Kevin Durant’s return and whether or not the passion is still there for the Warriors — and their fans, and plenty more.

Link to interview with Mitch and Pitch on ESPN Las Vegas 1100/100.9-FM.

We also hit on Warriors rookie Patrick McCaw, who played his college ball at UNLV.

–For as much as players try to downplay the importance of certain games, it’s obvious that Saturday’s Warriors-Thunder game was a biggie. How else can you explain both teams getting absolutely blown out in their next game? The Nuggets hammered Golden State and the Wizards drilled OKC on Monday.

It’s impossible to get up for every game. In the Warriors’ case, it wasn’t just beating OKC, it was beating Memphis the night before. Memphis had beaten the Warriors twice already this season, so that made it back-to-back emotional games for Golden State. They couldn’t muster one more big-time effort at Denver on Monday.

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Nuggets put on historic 3-point show in 132-110 blowout; Curry can’t get anything going; and yes, there’s a comparison to be made between Westbrook and Curry

If I played Stephen Curry 100 times in H-O-R-S-E, I might be able to beat him a game or two. OK, maybe not a game of H-O-R-S-E, but maybe a game of P-I-G. But I’ll bet there would be one game where Curry was just off, and maybe that one time, I was shooting the lights out. It’s possible.

What I’m saying is that every once in a while, Curry can struggle, he just won’t have it, he can’t buy one, if you will. Those games tend to be a tad infrequent and they mostly get lost amid his slew of good and great games.

I’ll link to “Warriors WrapUp when it becomes available.

Curry went 0-for-10 from beyond the arc against the Lakers earlier this season, and had a 1-for-11 against Milwaukee and an 0-for-8 against the Clippers. He’s also susceptible the periodic high-turnover game, though less this year because he’s handling it less. But he had an eight-turnover game against Detroit, including six in the first quarter.

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Lots of Warriors-OKC hype but we learned nothing: GSW clearly better than Thunder; Westbrook elite but needs help; Durant’s supporting cast unprecedented

Yeah, I gotta tell you, I’m not really psyched to put together a bunch of paragraphs on the latest Warriors’ win — the one in Oklahoma City on Saturday night … You know, Kevin Durant’s first trip back to that place most people have never been to.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I want to talk about the Warriors-OKC game, but that’s almost exclusively what I want to talk about. The game. Not really interested in Durant’s walk to the team bus from the hotel, Draymond Green getting into it with somebody, the restaurant that said no,  etc. Anyway …

Here’s link to “Warriors WrapUp,” the postgame show on 95.7-FM The Game.

The Warriors were in control the whole game against the Thunder, and wound up winning very comfortably. I can’t remember the exact score the Warriors won by right now, but I’m pretty sure it was by 15 or right around there.

Oh, real quick, before I go any further, there will be many who will be critical of Russell Westbrook, his 11 turnovers, and plenty more about his play. But Westbrook is the least   of OKC’s worries. Put me in the pro-Westbrook camp. I mean, you take Westbrook off the Thunder, they’re a bad lottery team. With Westbrook, they’re 31-24 in the tough Western Conference.

Here’s what I think of Westbrook and the people who nit-pick him.

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Chris Broussard, Howard Beck and Michael Cage discuss Warriors-OKC, the return of Kevin Durant and what’s going on in New York with Charles Oakley and the Knicks

Well, this one tonight is going to be a little different. The Warriors play the Thunder and this one isn’t going to look — or sound — like a run-of-the-mill NBA game. Kevin Durant visits Oklahoma City for the first time this season. You remember, Durant used to play for OKC. The atmosphere at Chesapeake Energy arena will be electric (get it? Energy … electric) tonight and everyone wants to see how the Thunder fans react to Durant’s return.

On the “NBA This Week” we had a variety of guests who talked about tonight’s game in OKC. Joining us were Fox Sports 1’s Chris Broussard, Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck and OKC television analyst Michael Cage. All three addressed a variety of NBA topics. The links to each of those interviews are below.

Broussard talked a lot about the relationship between Durant and Russell Westbrook, and how it’s more than nothing — which is kind of the way each player wants to treat it … like it’s nothing. Broussard was in the minority when it came to predicting how Oklahoma City might do without Durant. He thought they were still good enough to get a No. 4 or No. 5 seed in the West (which they still could). But most NBA observers had OKC falling off the map and missing the postseason. That’s not going to happen.

What’s going on in New York right now is pretty surreal. One the Knicks’ all-time greats, Charles Oakley, is now banned from Madison Square Garden for what James Dolan indicate is a pattern of abusive behavior. The other night, of course, Oakley was removed from Madison Square Garden by security during a game against the Clippers.

Both Broussard and Beck are media members who worked in New York, and had plenty to offer on the subject. Broussard and Beck have a terrific perspective on the franchise, the city of New York and what’s going on with management and the players. Both know the ins and outs of Knicks management, most importantly Dolan and general manager Phil Jackson.

Link to interview with Fox Sports 1’s Chris Broussard.

Link to interview with Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck.

Link to interview with former NBA player and current OKC analyst Michael Cage.

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‘Warriors WrapUp’: Draymond Green scores 4 points but gets historic triple-double; Warriors beat Grizzlies for first time this year 122-107; Iguodala shines in key second-quarter run

There would be no comeback on this night.

The Warriors played one of their best games of the season on Friday night in Memphis, getting ahead of the Grizzlies and staying ahead of the Grizzlies. All night long. The Warriors led by 13 points at halftime and 21 points after three quarters, then kept their foot on the pedal, winding up with a dominant 122-107 win.

It wasn’t long ago — Jan. 6 — when the Grizzlies rallied from a 24-point, second half deficit and 19-point deficit to start the fourth quarter on their way to a stunning 128-119 win in overtime against the Warriors at Oracle Arena. But the Warriors made sure there would be dramatics — ripping off the first five points of the fourth quarter to take a 103-77, which would be all she wrote. Draymond Green made certain of that.

We’ll link to “Warriors WrapUp,” the postgame show on 95.7-FM The Game when it becomes available.

It was a significant win for the Warriors because Golden State entered having lost both games this year to Memphis — once at Oracle and once in Memphis. But this one was all Warriors from the get-go and it was Green who set the tone. And he did it despite scoring just four points.

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‘Beyond the Numbers’: Kevin Durant’s return to Oklahoma City; tricky road trip overall for Warriors, more

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