Warriors Morning Report: The (Belated) End Of The Stephen Jackson Era
By Geoff Lepper
I know it’s way late, but I did want to collate the collective analysis of the end of the Stephen Jackson Era in Oakland and have it in one handy place.
I never did get a chance to write any lengthy analysis, but I think, from listening to all of Larry Riley’s comments on Monday, that Jackson finally broke the Warriors’ back with his quotes after the Brandon Jennings Explosion™ on Saturday.
It was a bad enough look when Jack praised himself for not getting T’d up during the Clippers’ road beatdown of the Warriors, which made it clear that he cared not one iota for what happened to the team on the floor.
But in the aftermath of the Bucks’ 129-125 win, Jackson let loose with both barrels.
First up was coach Don Nelson’s decision at the end of the game to call a play that involved Anthony Morrow, Corey Maggette and Monta Ellis all as options as the Warriors looked to tie the score. It wasn’t flat-out insubordinate, but it was sure coming close: “All I know is that I’m one of the best scorers on the team, and I was taking the ball out. That’s all I know. My job was to pass the ball inbounds. When you’re in the huddle at the end of the game, you pay attention to what you’re supposed to do. You don’t want to be the one who messes up. My job was to get the ball inbounds, and I did a great job.”
Then came what was, IMHO, the final straw — throwing his teammates under the bus for Jennings’ double-nickel performance: “Nobody has ever given me 55 points, and I didn’t get 55 points scored on me,” Jackson said. “Somebody has got to man up and take that 55, and I’m not going to take it. I wasn’t guarding him.”
That quote had to be especially galling because the Warriors have spent the better part of the last two years preaching about rotations and second and third efforts and all those team principles that Nelson and Keith Smart feel a team needs to become a good defensive unit. And Jackson, knowing all of that, just hung the young kids out to dry.
To me, that was the breaking point.
From a short-term perspective, this deal is nothing but terrible: The Warriors lose the best player in the deal and the better player on their end was knowingly damaged goods. Vladimir Radmanovic is a “classic” Nellie 4, and while there is a need for your power forward to shoot the 3-ball if you’re looking to generate matchup problem, the gaping holes in his game with regard to rebounding and defense ought to make him no more than a bench presence.
The Warriors did a better job of dealing with Jackson’s trade demand than they did with Al Harrington’s similar move in November 2008, when Golden State flubbed the handling of things, then wound up taking on a longer, more bloated contract for the privilege of housing a worse (or at best, equivalent) player in the form of Jamal Crawford.
Other than that, however, it was another asset walking out the door for no value at all.
ESPN.com (John Hollinger): Hollinger argues that the Warriors should have gotten more for Jackson, citing league sources who said the Cavaliers were willing to give up Delonte West (whose deal for 2010-11 can be bought out for $500,000) and would-be signee Wally Szczerbiak (whose deal wouldn’t be guaranteed beyond this season).
That would have given the Warriors full relief from the $27.8 million of Jackson’s extension and (depending on how much Szczerbiak would have signed for, might have saved the Warriors cash in the short term as well (instead, Golden State will be spending an extra $1.5 million, approximately, on Bell and Radmanovic for the rest of this season).
I see Hollinger’s point, but I think he glosses over reporting from Marcus Thompson II that the Cavs were demanding a No. 1 pick in addition to Jackson in order to get the non-guaranteed deals of West and Szczerbiak.
ESPN.com (Henry Abbott): A blueprint for how the Stephen Jackson-Larry Brown pairing could make Charlotte better.
(If that actually succeeds, Henry should expect to get a call from TLC looking to use his services as a marriage counselor for Jon and Kate Gosselin.)
Yahoo! Sports (Adrian Wojnarowski): An anonymous Western Conference executive gives voice to pretty much everyone who are not named “Henry Abbott”: “I give those two less than a month before it goes bad.”
Yahoo! Sports (Kelly Dwyer): Kelly feels bad for Bell landing in the Warriors’ zone of toxicity, but couldn’t be happier that Stephen Jackson will be going from one non-contender to another.
Basketball Prospectus (Kevin Pelton): With this trade, the Bobcats seem to be settling for just sneaking into the playoffs as a No. 8 seed being a good enough goal for the season.
Contra Costa Times (Cam Inman): Cam’s just waiting for both Monta Ellis and Don Nelson to hit the bricks.
(By the way, and I know I’ve been as guilty of this as anybody in the Bay Area sportswriting community, but this piece officially marks the “jump the shark” moment for writers using the “Can’t. Just can’t.” construction in stories about Monta Ellis.)
San Francisco Chronicle (Bruce Jenkins): I would give Bruce full credit for nailing it in his lead – “It shouldn’t be long before Warriors fans grasp the truth about Monday’s trade, that it won’t get them even an inch closer to the fringe of playoff contention. The Stephen Jackson deal was about saving money, and it was about revenge. The fact that it’s being celebrated, a job well done, says all you need to know about this desperate franchise.” – except for the fact that it underestimates the savvy of Warriors fans. Trust me, Bruce, they knew it as soon as the paperwork was filed.
Talking Points/San Jose Mercury News (Tim Kawakami): Tim gives credit where it’s due to the Warriors, for getting out from under the Jackson extension, but accurately points out that, without the $27.8M millstone, Golden State could have received so much more.
Fast Break/San Jose Mercury News (Adam Lauridsen): As the title of the post reads: “Addition By Subtraction.”
One Response to “Warriors Morning Report: The (Belated) End Of The Stephen Jackson Era”
Hey Geoff - what do you think about the whole “Monta Ellis is next to go” line of thought? Any truth to that?
Also - is there any chance Cohan and Rowell fire Nellie and Riley regardless of how much $ is left on Nellie’s contract?
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