With the Golden State Warriors not planning to amnesty anyone - as many fans had hoped - one task of the new coaching staff will be to "rekindle the flame" in center Andris Biedrins, according the new head coach Mark Jackson. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.
Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson talked with The Razor and Mr. T on KNBR yesterday about free agency and the upcoming season and Sports Radio Interviews has a brief overview of the main points covered in the interview that was just over 20 minutes long (if you haven't listened to it already).
Most of the interview was pretty much similar to what we've already heard or might expect. And with the Warriors looking to be "very aggressive" in free agency to add depth and size in the frontcourt, he shared his thoughts on two frontcourt players currently on the roster: Andris Biedrins and Ekpe Udoh.
Jackson on Andris Biedrins
Andris Biedrins has been a subject of discussion all summer in connection with the amnesty clause due to the combination of an expensive contract and a subpar 2010-11 campaign. However, Marcus Thompson II reported on Wednesday that the Latvian big man is "a distant second" in the Warriors' thinking about who they might use that clause on, if they use it at all.
With it becoming more and more likely that Biedrins will be on the roster this season despite some fans' preference to the contrary, Jackson talked briefly about how he might approach trying to bring the best out of Biedrins.
He's a guy where I feel he had a dominant stretch being a dominant big man: rebounding the ball, altering shots, and also finishing at the rim. The main thing you gotta do is let him know, 'Hey - it doesn't matter what took place last year. I really can care less - I know what you're capable of doing and you're going to have an opportunity to go out and get the job done.' And I believe he's more than capable of getting the job done. So I believe it's going to be up to him to come in here and rekindle the flame and get back to where he once was.
Jackson on Ekpe Udoh
One player that appears to need no help with finding a flame is Ekpe Udoh, who always seems to be going hard. Jackson also spoke briefly about the second-year player's coachability and what he sees him bringing to the team.
He seems very coachable - actually had a chance to talk with him during the NBA Finals when I was in Dallas and very impressive young man. I think he can do some things on the basketball floor that he was not asked to do in the past. I think he's a guy that can knock down the mid-range jump shot. Love his energy on the floor. So he's going to have an opportunity to play minutes for us and I like his passion, commitment and how hard he works on the court.
In addition to all the other things on this roster that the new coaching staff will have to manage, the development of players like Udoh and Jeremy Tyler in the frontcourt will be interesting to watch.
For the entire interview, check out the SRI summary.