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Mark Jackson not happy with George Karl over ‘disrespectful’ comment he made about Festus Ezeli

May 2, 2013, 3:13 PM EDT

The war of words between Mark Jackson and George Karl is heating up in advance of Thursday night’s Game 6 between the Nuggets and the Warriors.

The entire series has been a physical one, with players on both sides getting in their fair share of shots. But Jackson took exception to the way Denver defended Stephen Curry in holding him to a series low 15 points, and (as seen in the video clip above) made his feelings known publicly afterward.

“There were some dirty plays early,” Jackson said. “It’s playoff basketball. That’s alright. We own it. But make no mistake about it, we went up 3-1 playing hard, physical, clean basketball, not trying to hurt anybody.”

“The screen on Curry by the foul line is a shot at his ankle, clearly,” Jackson said. “That can’t be debated. I’ve got inside information that some people don’t like that brand of basketball, and they clearly didn’t co-sign it. So they wanted to let me know that they had no parts in what was taking place.”

Somewhat predictably, George Karl didn’t exactly see it that way.

“I’m just trying to figure out what movie he’s watching,” Karl said. “Because it’s not the one I’m watching.”

But Karl also used a phrase to describe Warriors big man Festus Ezeli that Jackson took exception to.

From Carl Steward of the San Jose Mercury News:

Asked about Ezeli’s improvement Wednesday, Karl said that had “blossomed into an elbow and a–hole guy,” a common expression about players who create havoc in the key. Jackson didn’t like it, though, and said so at the team’s shootaround Thursday morning.

“That statement is disrespectful,” said the Warriors coach. “I’ve got a lot of respect for George Karl, the job that he’s done and who he is. But that statement is disrespectful. I wonder what he thinks of his players — Kenyon Martin, Kenneth Faried, JaVale McGee, (Kosta) Koufos. I wonder what he thinks of those guys.”

Karl’s comments can be seen and heard here.

Both Jackson and Karl are trying to make sure that their players are protected, but they’re also doing some public lobbying to the officials in hopes that their respective team is the one receiving the benefit of the whistles in a critical Game 6.

  1. dirtydavis - May 2, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Playoffs suck without Kobe

    • nineroutsider - May 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

      Nothing against Kobe, but I can hardly watch any Lakers games at the end of the game (before he got hurt)…anytime he breathes on a defender a foul is called on that defender. The 2nd to last game they played against the Warriors was a joke…the refs were inventing foul calls for Kobe.

      This series has been one of the better ones; if you don’t like it do don’t like hoops.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 2, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      Not really. The Lakers weren’t going anywhere with Kobe healthy. They may have stolen a game against the Spurs, but that’s about it. Besides, there have been some great games so far! That Bulls/Nets triple OT was a blast to watch! And the Nuggets/Warriors is a great series, too.

    • rushbacker - May 2, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      Yea, right. Because the world revolves around LA and Laker fans. LOL!

    • billybobyall - May 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      Don’t worry, he’ll be raping soon enough. The league was so desperate to have la in the playoffs they had their refs purposely win their game vs GSW! Karma had it’s say as poor kobe tore his Achilles…. wah!

    • andrewproughcfe - May 2, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      Kobe who?

      He hasn’t been on my TV screen, and these playoffs are highly watchable so far. Looking forward to another night of nailbiters with Nets-Bulls and Warriors-Nuggets. Hoping for a full slate of game 7’s on Sunday.

      And one word about Shaq – he’s surprised me – he’s made the TNT show even better than it already was. Barkley, Kenny, and Ernie were the best in the biz without him, and he’s brought even more goofiness to the show. Thumbs up to the TNT crew.

    • honestybro - May 2, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. It’s just not right.

      There’s no player that draws more adrenaline I don’t want to watch basketball where a guy has a scoreless 4th quarter. I don’t want to watch an NFL linebacker dunk on everyone and show his dominance over a pathetic team. Without Kobe, this has been one of the worst first rounds ever (Boston is doing its best to stop that from happening).

      Oh man, I miss that assassin. Prayers for a quick recovery. I need to see some big shots and that flair, that attitude that only one player has ever brought and that’s Kobe.

  2. bayrich - May 2, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Dubs fan and I love psychical play but that shot on curry was clearly aimed at his ankle curry is gonna wet up oracle tonight Bay Area stand up!!!!

  3. Mr. Wright 212 - May 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    George Karl is a hack of a coach. Yet ANOTHER one of his teams is choking yet again.

    • 4thquartermagic - May 2, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Go Knicks!! Wait wrong post. go back to slurping on Melo MrWrightNow

      • Mr. Wright 212 - May 2, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        Grow up sonny boy.

  4. 4thquartermagic - May 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Bet Mark Jackson wishes he could lace ‘em up and play tonight.

    Oh wait, the game is much too physical compared to when he played.

    Your making yourself look silly now Mark.

    Can’t wait to see what he says at the Game 6 post game-press conference.

    • tigershark49 - May 2, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Ask barkley, oakley and mahorn if the game was less physical then. Pay attention, moron!

      • 4thquartermagic - May 2, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        Uhh understand sarcasm much?

        Re-read my post (don’t hurt yourself) and see that you sir, are in fact the moron.

      • denverhoopdreams - May 2, 2013 at 9:54 PM

        Okay… I know this is the internet and all….. But the sarcasm in his post was blatantly obvious, and 10-11 people thumbs upped your post?

        This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • nogoodtomedead - May 2, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Wait…….. so you think pro basketball is more physical then it USED to be?!

      • denverhoopdreams - May 2, 2013 at 9:55 PM

        You too?

        LOL. Dude, seriously… it’s not hard to even tell he was being sarcastic!!!!! #Facepalm.

  5. eagles512 - May 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Jackson is turning me into a nuggets fan.

  6. timunga - May 2, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Mark Jackson is a cry baby as a coach, just like when he was a player. More concerned about lobbying the refs and the league than worrying about the facts of the game. Could it be that he didnt like the fact that his “star” only had single digits at half? And you want to talk about dirty, look at Bogut and his play this series.

  7. katra2logic - May 2, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    The downside to a day between each game is having to listen to the drivel from the coaches and media. Cheers :-)

  8. rushbacker - May 2, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    Oh look, the Cheatin’ Preacher runnin’ his yap again.

    • jcmeyer10 - May 2, 2013 at 7:27 PM

      “Momma look at that man complain about the refs”

  9. bluburt - May 2, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    C’mon now fellas, whining by coaches about so called rough play and calling out things for the refs to see is as much a part of basketball as the rims, backboards and nets.

    It’s called defending your players and Mark Jackson is just following in the footsteps of many coaches who have done the same thing… For Pete’s sake, Phil Jackson was the king of this crap…

    • 4thquartermagic - May 2, 2013 at 4:12 PM

      Your point of gamesmanship to get the refs attention is a valid one. However Jackson went well beyond that.

      Mark accusing George Karl of sending out hit man and having an “informant” on the Nuggets team telling him there game plan was to play dirty is pretty far out there.

      Unbiased knowledgeable analysts (Shaq, Barkley, Kenny Smith, Van Gundy) have all mocked Jackson for his tactics.

  10. acanniv - May 2, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Ok, so I guess calling the Nuggs dirty hit men and insinuating (falsely, I’m sure) that there is a mole on the team is totally respectful.

    Also, @ bayrich, take off the gold sunglasses and look at the tape again. Faried wasn’t even looking at Curry and didn’t move his foot at all to “target the ankle.” It was hip to hip contact. My lord, the Dubs are a bunch of whiners.

  11. billybobyall - May 2, 2013 at 4:21 PM

    Don’t worry, he’ll be raping soon enough. The league was so desperate to have la in the playoffs they had their refs purposely win their game vs GSW! Karma had it’s say as poor kobe tore his Achilles…. wah!

  12. mogogo1 - May 2, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    Griping about the defense on Curry might be a ploy to get better calls, so I don’t fault him for that. But the Ezeli comments make Jackson sound weak and like a crybaby. Toughen up.

  13. bblvrdean - May 3, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I am sick of Mark Jackson, grow up, Curry your a whining little creep, and Bogut I hope someone knocks you out!! I will enjoy watching your team get kicked out of the next round in 4 straight!!!

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