Here’s the second half of Stephen Jackson’s 20-minute talk with the Bay Area sports journalism community on Monday at the Warriors’ Media Day festivities.
Q: Stephen, given the fact that you are the captain, might you have considered making your feelings known privately before they went public? Or do you have any regret about that?
SJ: I don’t have a regret about anything I’ve done. I don’t have a regret about going into the stands with Ron Artest. I don’t have a regret about anything, because that was the way it was supposed to be handled. It had to come out some way. I mean, I took the fine for it, I paid my penalty for it. $25,000, which I thought was too much. But I paid the penalty for it. So I mean, it is what it is. It was said and done. Oh well.
Q: You don’t think it undermines your leadership role or your commitment to the team or your perception among your teammates?
SJ: No. If you know me, and if anybody that I’ve played with knows me, I say what I want to say when I feel like it, regardless of the consequences. That’s just always been me. And like I said, I’m 31 years old. I pay my own bills, I do everything for myself, so I’m going to speak my mind. If people don’t like it, then handle it how they want to handle it, but I’m going to say what I want to say, regardless of who don’t like it.
Q: Do you feel you’re in a no-win situation, in a way?
SJ: I’m not trying to win, because you can never win against the NBA. I’m not trying to win. I’m not even fighting that battle. That’s a battle that you can’t win. But at the same time, I’m going to be a man about what goes on in my life and how I control my life. No one controls my life. I control my life and what I say. And at the same time, it’s not a battle because you have to respect the NBA. They’re my employers, so I’m not trying to fight against them. You can’t win that. I’m just going to continue to speak my mind.
Q: What ingredients would the Warriors need to be a real contender and where you would like them to be?
SJ: I don’t know, man. I’ve got to let Larry (Warriors general manager Larry Riley) and the owners and them handle that. I spoke my mind on that. Like I said, if we would have got another big name in here, I would have been fine with that. But the team we have is what we’re gonna roll with. I don’t think no deals are gonna be made, and obviously guys — Amar’e and other guys — say they didn’t want to come here now. So I don’t think there’s nothing I can say that’s going to get that done or even to what can help the team. I think now I just have to roll with what we have and try to get it done.
Q: When you talk about getting another big name in here — what do you think of the Stephen Curry addition?
SJ: I haven’t seen him. Today is my first day meeting him. He was a great college player. I know he can shoot. I know he’s a good kid. That’s all I can go off of right now, but for the organization to pick him, I guess they feel that he can help this team, so we’ll see what happens.
Q: You mentioned Amar’e not wanting to be here, and obviously you. Baron left, and Al …
SJ: Jason, Matt (Barnes), (Mickael) Pietrus, keep going.
Q: Is there a problem here? A bigger problem?
SJ: I don’t know. I have no idea what the problem is, but that’s another issue that I can’t control. Obviously, we all know the team that we had when we beat Dallas in the playoffs was a team that had a lot of upside. We could have did better things the previous year, but it didn’t happen, so …
Q: Does (former executive vice president Chris) Mullin count in there, too?
SJ: I have nothing bad to say about Chris. Chris got me here. I respect Chris just like I respected him before I even got traded here. That’s a different situation I don’t even know about. But like I said, the team we had is not here now, so I’ve got to try to figure out, how can we get back to that level with the team we have now?
Q: Do you think by 2010 the Warriors can do something, with all these free agents available? Are you holding out hope for that?
SJ: I don’t know. I can’t really say that I hope they’re going to do something, because I hoped that the year after we beat Dallas that the team was going to stay the same, so I really don’t know. That’s us to them. The position they’re putting themselves in right now, maybe they’re trying to do that or maybe not. I don’t know. As you know, this organization is very unpredictable. Very unpredictable.
Q: Is there any reason for any optimism, in your mind?
SJ: Yeah. I do.
SJ: Because, I hope things get better because I want to win. I mean, I don’t want to continue to be through playing basketball at the beginning of April, the end of April. I want to be in the playoffs. I’m made for the playoffs. I’m made for the playoffs and the championships. That’s what I play for. I’m Big Shot Jack. That’s what I do. I don’t want to be at home in April, sitting at home, watching the playoffs, saying, “I should be there.” I don’t want to do that. I want to be in the playoffs.
Q: Is this team made for the playoffs?
SJ: I hope so. I’m not gonna count my eggs before they hatch. I hope so.
Q: You’re saying, “We’ll see”?
SJ: We’ll see because — do we still have the youngest team in the league? Close to it, right? So that’s a big if. Name a young team, name a team that’s been one of the youngest teams the last four or five years that just had a breakout season and made it to the second or third round: None of ‘em. So we’ll have to see how things work out. I mean, I’m dealing with reality here. I’m dealing with what I know and what I’ve learned being in the game going on 10 years. So I’m not going to make promises and say we’re going to be a great young team, we’ve got a lot of energy. Yeah, we might be. But that’s not going to promise us getting to the ultimate goal, and that’s winning the championship.
Q: When you said you’re going to put this out of your mind when you hit the court, how do you do that when all these things are bugging you?
SJ: Easy — by not answering y’all’s questions.
Q: But can you go out there and forget about all this?
SJ: Yeah. Of course. Just like the last few years I went out there and played without thinking about my broken toe. Same way.
Q: Can you do it come January when you are hurt and the record isn’t as good?
SJ: Yeah. I mean, I did it the last few years. I mean, I have to. I have to just continue to play. I’m healthy now, so if I can just go out there and play and not (have to) play with a broken toe, I can go out there and not think about this, because I don’t have any control over it.
Q: Have you talked to Bobby (Rowell, Warriors team president) in the last few days?
SJ: Yeah, we spoke today.
Q: Generally OK?
SJ: I mean, I’ve gotta work for him. I’ve got to respect him, but at the same time, I don’t think any conversations are going to be had without my agent (Mark Stevens) being here. Them days are over. If we gonna talk, we gonna talk with my agent there, and we gonna do it right. But all the other stuff, all the talks just to have casual talks, I don’t think that’s necessary, because I’m not going to be fake. Naaaaaah, none of that.
Q: Could you see how some people might say that’s an incongruity, because you did deal with Bobby last year specifically without an agent.
SJ: Right. And that’s the business. That’s the business. Just like Bobby wants to look out for the organization, Steve has to look out for Steve.
Q: Do you feel like your relationship has changed with Bobby?
SJ: I think it has. I think it has. Because, for example, what you might not know is, when I got fined, the NBA didn’t have no way to get in contact with me, so they had to go through the Warriors to contact me to fine me. Y’all didn’t know that.
Q: What’s that mean?
SJ: Meaning, for them to even talk to me about the article, or get in touch with me to tell me that they’re fining me, they had to call here to get my info. I changed my (phone) number after I got married so (the Warriors) were the only ones that had it.
Q: Did the Warriors try to get you to back off this? Did they try to get you to say, “I didn’t really mean it”?
SJ: If they was, I wasn’t gonna say it. I’m not no puppet. That’s one thing I didn’t want to do. That’s why I showed up at the last minute to get here, because I didn’t want nobody to throw no piece of paper in my face and say, “you need to say this to save face.” No, I’m not doing that. That’s not me. That’d be going against all the stuff I stand for and why people respect me in this league, and why people say I’m the ultimate teammate. Because if I got up here and read something somebody wrote for me, that’s not me being me. That’s not me, and I’m never gonna do that, for no one.
Q: What’s the reaction you’ve gotten from colleagues around the league?
SJ: All the colleagues I’ve known around the league are talking about coming and playing with them. They all want me on the team. But my teammates, I really haven’t had a chance to talk to them, because during the summer Monta is probably the only one I really talked to. I actually talked to Rony a lot this summer. Everybody wished me the best, everybody knows that in order for me to say that, there has to be something that I’m not happy about. Everybody knows when I step out on this court, I’ma respect them and give them 110 percent, whether I’m hurt or not. So they know that. But at the same time, people know that I’m going to speak my mind. That’s why I’m respected. I’ve never been somebody to say something I don’t mean.
Q: What kind of reaction do you think you’ll get from Warrior fans?
SJ: It might be mixed emotions. But if they understand this, they look at it like this: It’s not personal to them. They should understand that what I’ve done, when I came here, I came here as a winner. I want to always be a winner. And I think winning is what they respect. So if they respect me wanting to win, they shouldn’t have mixed emotions, they should understand that he’s all about winning. That’s what everybody in this game should be about and not be about money and fame. I think they should look at it like that, and not make it personal. Because I think other people are making it personal.
Q: Can you see why some people might think it’s disloyal to the Warriors when they gave you a chance?
SJ: Everybody gave me a chance. San Antonio gave me a chance, and I don’t think no one else is bitter. It’s all about winning. We won with Baron Davis and they shipped Baron Davis off. They should be bitter about that. Ya dig?
3 Responses to “Stephen Jackson takes the microphone (part 2 of 2)”
I know it ain’t basketball.
kangham September 28th, 2009 at 8:18 pm
great questions, geoff. thanks for putting out this full transcript. where to begin with this clown. he keeps claiming he’s a winner… one rookie season? didn’t he implode alongside everyone else against Utah? the warriors didn’t trade baron. this guy is going to hear the fury of the fans. dunleavy will seem like his airness compared to the reception this guy is going to receive from the very best fans in the league. jack likes to call himself big shot jack, point out that he played with a broken toe, etc. what about the turnovers? bad shots? complaining to refs? this was all so unnecessary. Baron left the organization with class, and Jack disclosed some crap and made Baron’s life worse with Clippers fans. The ultimate teammate? Why cuz he likes to beat on fans that didn’t do anything? Or, because he doesn’t think they have a chance to win/compete. Yeah, I’m Randolph or Morrow and think Jack is the ultimate teammate, right.
Not Kangham September 29th, 2009 at 1:54 pm
Kangham, how can you take the side of the Warriors front office? How? Cohan manages the longest playoff drought in NBA history, then the drought is ended by a miracle trade pulled off by Mullin (who has since been replaced.) Finally the Warriors resemble a winning basketball team and it didn’t even last until draft day. From that playoff team we have Monta, Jackson, Bookie and Biedrins left and now two of them want out. Can you believe dismantling an entire playoff-caliber team in two years?! Now we’re back to the NBA cellar.
Please tell me you can see the evidence of a dysfunctional organization. No All-Star in their right mind would ever want to end up with the Warriors and as you stated we have great fans, so what do you think the problem could be? Even Stephen Curry didn’t want to end up with us. CJ Watson would rather be paid less and receive less job security than stay with the Warriors beyond this season! He’s taking a HUGE career risk to get out of here!
I thought it was great to see Jackson and Ellis make this point public so that change can be made, but if all Warrior fans see the situation like Kangham we’re in for not just a long season, but a long 13 seasons…
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