The Morning Report: Stephen Jackson — cracking under pressure, or just ramping it up on the Warriors?
By Geoff Lepper
And so begins the great Stephen Jackson exodus from Warrior land.
How else to interpret the scene Friday night at the Forum during the first quarter of the Warriors’ 110-91 win over the Lakers, where Jackson allowed his physical battles with Kobe Bryant to turn into a five-foul, one-technical, banished-to-the-locker-room-by-the-coach, all-in-the-space-of-nine-minutes meltdown?
I’ve joked to a few people in the weeks since Jackson’s trade demand that no one’s going to be able to tell if he’s tanking it. After all, this is a guy who hoists up 3-pointers with 18 seconds left on the shot clock three or four times a game — and that’s when he’s playing at the TOP of his game.
But after last night . . . well, that’s certainly one way to make it clear you don’t want to be around.
The Warriors face a dilemma heading into tonight’s outdoor exhibition game against the Phoenix Suns: What to do in response to Jackson’s actions?
Simply ignoring the outburst runs the risk of giving Jackson carte blanche to run roughshod over the Warriors. It’s one thing to pout your way out of a meaningless exhibition game in a long-abandoned former NBA arena. It’s quite another to do that on Oct. 28 against Houston when the regular season begins.
Jilted fans who feel Jackson has stabbed them in the back with the very pen he used to ink his three-year, $28 million extension would love to see him suspended, but that would almost certainly turn this into an open war that makes the Al Harrington break-up look like an amicable divorce and rivals the insanity that was Stephon Marbury’s final season in New York.
(On the plus side, an all-out Jackson vs. Don Nelson and Bobby Rowell conflagration would probably set a new standard by which all NBA player relations will be judged. Ten years from now, you could hear fans saying, “I hear Ricky Rubio went off after Mike D’Antoni yanked him in the Knicks game last night.” “Yeah, but it was only a 6 on the StackJack scale.”)
It’s up to Nelson to find the middle way. Good luck to him with that.
(As for the Jackson-to-Cleveland rumor that seemed to die almost as soon as it was born, it speaks volumes that the Warriors are simply looking for any retiring player — given that Ilgauskas is now talking about hanging it up at the end of the season — to rid themselves of Jackson and his albatross of a deal.)
In any case, on to the roundup:
Inside the Warriors/Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II): MT2 buries the lead, which is Nelson’s non-comment on Jackson’s tantrum, but almost makes up for it by cracking on the fabulousness of the faded, old Forum. Also, the genesis for the Jackson-Big Z trade rumors.
Talking Points/San Jose Mercury News (Tim Kawakami): Musing on the chances of the Kings coming to San Jose, and the importance of the Jackson repercussions. Tim also points out an interesting nugget: That Jackson’s new agent, Mark Stevens, is already working with new Cavs center Shaquille O’Neal on an entertainment production company. Hmmmmmm.
TrueHoop/ESPN.com (Marc Stein): Marc’s not buying the idea that Jackson will open the season in anything other than blue, orange and yellow, although that was before last night.
Golden State Warriors/San Francisco Chronicle (Rusty Simmons): Stephen Curry gives thanks to the folks at Davidson who helped him become an NBA player.
Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II): Curry on the Warriors’ outdoor game in Indian Wells tonight: “I grew up in the suburbs. We really didn’t do the blacktop thing.” Late on this, I know, but it’s still a quality piece on Anthony Randolph’s progression.
Warriors.com: Highlight package
3 Responses to “The Morning Report: Stephen Jackson — cracking under pressure, or just ramping it up on the Warriors?”
“What to do in response to Jackson’s actions?
Simply ignoring the outburst runs the risk of giving Jackson carte blanche to run roughshod over the Warriors. ”
1. Send him home. Bulls did this with Larry Hughes and Tim Thomas. Stephen can’t poison the team and being away minimizes outbursts that lower his trade value.
2. Keep him and wait until he does something over the top and is suspended without pay. Most probable since it requires no spine in the front office and let’s them blame Jackson and save money.
3. Buy him out. Not-gonna-happen.
commish October 10th, 2009 at 5:12 pm
Whatever is going to happen, may it please happen sooner than later. I hated Jackson play over the last two years while others raved about his leadership and toughness. To me it was always just about him, especially after Baron got dumped on. Anyway, it really doesn’t matter about the past. Rowell and Jax should both be terminated in a timely manner–like immediately. They both are disgraces to the an otherwise disgraceful organization.
feltbot October 11th, 2009 at 9:22 am
Stephen Jackson is a volatile man. But for all his travails, he’s always been known as a good teammate. Unlike guys like Artest and Rodman, and even Kobe.
I’m still hopeful he’s settles down to play some basketball. I don’t think he’s the type to tank it on his teammates. A lot of players have had some great seasons while playing for management they hated. Including Jordan and Pippen.
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