If you want any indication as to how chippy the Nuggets-Warriors series has evolved into, look no further than the aftermath of Game 5 Tuesday night, when each side essentially accused the other of playing dirty.
Tensions remained high Wednesday as George Karl said Mark Jackson was “watching a different movie” when he said the Nuggets sent “hit men” after Stephen Curry.
He also referred to Festus Ezeli as an “elbow and asshole guy.” Asked about the Warriors rookie center’s role in this series, Karl said Ezeli has “blossomed into an elbow and asshole guy,” or, in other words, a hustler.
In all its vulgarity, Karl was probably issuing a compliment to Ezeli. Not in pious assessment of Pastor Mark Jackson, however. Jackson, who refrains from such salty language and who apparently doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase, took offense to Karl’s remark, and he expressed that Thursday morning at shootaround:
“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.”
So, pretty much this: Game 6 is going to be fun.