OAKLAND -- Less than 10 hours before the Warriors and Denver Nuggets were to do battle in Game 6 of their opening-round NBA playoff series, coaches Mark Jackson and George Karl were still going at it verbally, with Jackson taking exception to Karl's assessment of rookie center Festus Ezeli.
Asked about Ezeli's improvement Wednesday, Karl said that had "blossomed into an elbow and asshole 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."
In response to Faried receiving a humanitarian award Wednesday, Jackson added, "Congratulations to him. Well deserved. I will not allow one action or one moment to define who he is as a person or a basketball player. I will not call one of his players an elbow-throwing blank. That won't happen."