By Geoff Lepper
If the Warriors were hoping that Tuesday’s return of Stephen Jackson would be the end of the now-ex-Captain Jack saga, they were sorely disappointed.
Just like “The Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series, there are still plenty of sequels that lie in wait for Golden State.
Jackson reported back to the team after a two-game suspension and left no doubt with his quotes that the status is still very much quo: He wants to be dealt, he wants to be dealt now, and he won’t be doing anything above and beyond fulfilling the bare minimums required by his contract.
That whole listening to Don Nelson thing once the game is over? Yeah, you can forget about that. Oh, and your captaincy? Thanks but no thanks.
Scott Ostler said in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that Jackson’s complaining had drastically decreased his trade value, but he already had no trade value — that evaporated the moment he was handed the $27.8 million extension.
Since that deal makes him prohibitively expensive for contending teams that would have been calling after his services, Jackson has been trying to apply pressure on the other end. He wants to make the Warriors so uncomfortable that they feel like they have to deal him, even if it is for a fraction of his worth — i.e., a player of far lesser skill with a similarly outsized contract.
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.
Dec29Filed under: Commentary; Tagged as: Al Harrington, Allen Iverson, Andre Miller, Barack Obama, Baron Davis, Barry Bonds, Chris Kaman, Clay Bennett, Corey Maggette, Dennis Rodman, Derrick Rose, Dikembe Mutombo, Eric Gordon, Erick Dampier, George Bush, Gilbert Arenas, Gregg Popovich, Jamal Crawford, Jose Calderon, Kerri Walsh, Kevin Garnett, Kevin McHale, Kobe Bryant, Larry Brown, Marc Gasol, Marcus Camby, Marcus Thompson, Mark Cuban, Misty May-Treanor, Pau Gasol, Robert Rowell, Ron Artest, Sean May, Shaquille O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, Stephon Marbury, Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Zach Randolph
By Geoff Lepper
By now, you’ve undoubtedly read Marcus Thompson’s blog item regarding the report from Stephen Jackson that Baron Davis wants to be traded back to the Bay less than six months after bolting to go back home.
Aside from the usual eye-rolling that comes with most Baron pronouncements, there’s a very specific and immoveable obstacle to this scenario: BD can’t seriously think that the Warriors (i.e., team president Robert Rowell) — who didn’t want to be on the hook for four fully guaranteed years because of concerns about Davis’ health and motivation — are suddenly going to be willing to pay for FIVE seasons.
Here, then, is a helpful guide to 30 things more likely to happen than Baron Davis coming back to the Bay:
1) Barack Obama arrives at the White House on the afternoon of Jan. 20, spots George Bush ducking out the back door, tosses him the keys and says, “You can keep it. I just got Hank Paulson’s last report, and I’m outta here.”
2) Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter each play 82 games — in the same season.
3) Clay Bennett goes bankrupt and the City of Seattle picks up the Thunder for $42,598 plus court costs in an Oklahoma City repo auction.
4) Warrior fans make it through a broadcast without being reminded that they’re missing (insert number here) points per game.
5) Larry Brown quits the Bobcats out of sheer frustration with Sean May.
(Wait, that one could actually happen.)
6) The L wakes up to the fact that Kevin Garnett has crossed the line from “hard-nosed” to “wantonly overaggressive” and finally takes some punitive action.
7) Allen Iverson takes two weeks off from the Pistons, undergoes 274 laser treatments and comes back without any tattoos.
8 ) Jose Calderon misses a free throw. But only one.
9) Gilbert Arenas announces that he’s quitting the NBA to switch to blogging full-time.
10) Jamal Crawford starts to play lockdown defense.
11) Barry Bonds is named the San Francisco Giants’ new strength and conditioning coach.
12) Kobe Bryant drops 71 on the Suns, then tells a live ABC audience: “Shaq, your ass taste like chicken. At least, that’s what Steve Nash said.”
13) Al Harrington tells Jackson that he’d like to come back to the Warriors, too.
14) Erick Dampier acknowledges that he hasn’t played up to the seven-year, $73 million deal he signed in 2004 and gives Mark Cuban an oversized posterboard check for $30 million in a halftime ceremony at a Mavericks home game.
15) Cuban’s attorneys immediately take half as a retainer.
16) The San Jose Sharks…
(aka How To Lose Fake Money And Real Credibility, Part 35, today’s installment of your faithful reporter’s quest to prognosticate all 1,230 NBA regular-season games this season)
As usual, TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott was first on the scene this morning, putting together a list of potential landing spots for Stephon Marbury, assuming he and the Knicks agree to stand down from their current Defcon-1 status.
Personally, I like three options the best:
1) Miami. I am not really sold on Mario Chalmers/Chris Quinn combo at the point, and Dwyane Wade is certainly going to be able to keep any ego outburst in check.
2) Orlando. To me, the Magic are a little too vanilla. It’s one thing to be even-keeled, but if you don’t mix that with a killer instinct (i.e., Tim Duncan and the Spurs) you get a team that’s just not tough enough. I think here, Marbury might bring some swagger with him that rubs off on the club, similar to Stephen Jackson’s effect on the Warriors, or what Ron Artest has brought to the Rockets this season.
3) Philadelphia. If the 76ers aren’t freaking out, they ought to be. They’re 7-10, and three of those wins came at home against the Thunder, the Clippers and the Warriors. They’ve got a brutal roadie coming up before and after New Year’s (Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Dallas and San Antonio, with the Clippers being the only thing standing between them and an 0-5 spot), Louis Williams was MIA for a good three weeks, Elton Brand still isn’t getting shots where he’s most comfortable, and Andre Miller will have to spend the rest of the season living down this:
For what it’s worth, I think the Warriors can safely be judged a Marbury-free zone now that they’ve traded for Jamal Crawford. Even if it would be on a minimum-wage pro-rated deal for the rest of the year, there is still only one ball in use at a time, right?
Onto the picks, and let’s not discuss my record, because I don’t want to jinx anything:
Heat (8-9) at Warriors (5-12), 7:35 p.m.
Pick: Heat -1.5
I don’t think the Warriors are as bad as they seemed on that road trip. I don’t think they’re good enough to win here, however.
Timberwolves (4-11) at Bobcats (5-11), 4:05 p.m.
Pick: Bobcats -3.5
One of the league’s worst offenses (Charlotte) against a weak defense (Minnesota) that just got worse with Corey Brewer’s injury.
Magic (13-4) at Celtics (16-2), 4:35 p.m.
Warriors forward Al Harrington is finally telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, apparently.
After claiming early Tuesday afternoon that he “wasn’t at that point” of demanding a trade, Harrington hours later did in fact march into executive vice president Chris Mullin’s office to demand a trade, according to his own testimony in other outlets.
Not much I can add to that. Obviously, my earlier report — while accurate in terms of quoting Harrington — was proven inaccurate because of the underlying deceit. Mea culpa.
One thing I will be asking Al later this morning is why he didn’t go public over the summer to try to force the Warriors’ hand. Doing it the day before the season makes him come off as the bad guy, his team-first claims notwithstanding; a concerted effort in June and July would have allowed him to hold the upper hand in the PR war at this point.
Until then, here are some possible trade partners and targets for the Warriors:
CHICAGO: Kirk Hinrich
He’s a superfluous hybrid guard on a team that also has Larry Hughes, Ben Gordon and No. 1 overall pick Derrick Rose. Of course, he’s also got $36.5 million remaining on a deal that runs through 2011-12, and a defensive pairing with Monta Ellis would be akin in some ways to laying a welcome mat to the hoop.
MEMPHIS: Javaris Crittenton
Long of arm but short on accomplishments, Crittendon is probably the biggest reach in this group, although there are other bonuses to be had: Because the Grizzlies have so much room under the salary cap, the cost-conscious Warriors don’t have to take any other contracts back, although Memphis will presumably try to foist a Marko Jaric or Greg Buckner on them.
CHARLOTTE: Raymond Felton
This might be the best fit of these choices. Not only is Felton available because of the presence of D.J. Augustin, but the Bobcats are desperate for frontcourt help because they chose Augustin over Brook Lopez, and don’t want to play Emeka Okafor out of position at power forward.
OKLAHOMA CITY: Earl Watson
Another situation where a highly touted rookie (Russell Westbrook) has been brought onboard, making Watson more sellable. With the addition of a second player to balance out the salaries, longtime potential Warrior Chris Wilcox could also be discussed.
ATLANTA: Speedy Claxton
When Josh Childress was still in the fold, there wasn’t that much need for Harrington in Atlanta. With Childress plying his trade in…
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TagsAcie Law Al Harrington Allen Iverson Andris Biedrins Anthony Morrow Anthony Randolph Baron Davis Brandan Wright C.J. Watson Chris Cohan Chris Hunter Chris Mullin Corey Maggette Dan Dickau DeMarcus Nelson Devean George Don Nelson Gilbert Arenas Jamal Crawford Jason Richardson Jeff Fried Jermareo Davidson Keith Smart Kelenna Azubuike Kevin Durant Kevin Garnett Kobe Bryant Larry Riley Marco Belinelli Marcus Williams Matt Barnes Mickael Pietrus Mikki Moore Monta Ellis Patrick O'Bryant Richard Hendrix Robert Rowell Rob Kurz Ronny Turiaf Stephen Curry Stephen Jackson Stephon Marbury Steve Nash Troy Murphy Vladimir Radmanovic
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