Stephen Jackson Not Happy With Direction of Warriors
It was a month ago when Jackson told a gathering in New York that "I don't think I'll be a Warrior next year," and that "I'm looking to leave."
For that, the NBA fined Jackson $25,000, something, by the way, he's none too pleased about. But the real issue is how it affects his standing on the Warriors and what it means to have the team's biggest personality and perhaps its best player disgruntled. Because he is.
But the closest Jackson came to repeating his demand was this: "What I said is how I feel. Point blank. That's not going to change."
The long and short of it seems to be that Jackson is unhappy with the direction of the team since its first-round playoff upset of the Dallas Mavericks in 2007.
"It doesn't feel good to me that ever since I've been here I know I had a big part of getting this organization back to a winning attitude," Jackson said. "Not the biggest part. But every year I've lost somebody who helped me get to that. Baron (Davis), Jason (Richardson), Al (Harrington). It felt like I'm next."We've been taking steps back ever since that year we beat Dallas. I don't think we're making any progress. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion and that's my opinion. I'm not always right, I'm just speaking my mind."
"We're not getting better. No disrespect to the guys on the team. I love the guys on the team. And I'm not saying that the job can't get done with them. At the same time, I came to this game a winner and I want to continue to be a winner."
Jackson said he thought the Warriors had the makings of a pretty good team moving forward from that 2006-07 season, only to see it broken up. Richardson was traded after that playoff season.
The Warriors didn't re-sign Davis after the 2007-08 season, and Harrington was traded last season. And then there's even Matt Barnes and Mickael Pietrus, whom Jackson mentioned.
"We've been taking steps back ever since that year we beat Dallas," Jackson said. "I don't think we're making any progress. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion and that's my opinion. I'm not always right, I'm just speaking my mind."
Of course, it must be pointed out that Jackson received a three-year contract extension early last season worth approximately $27 million. So, there are two things going on here: first, the perception that Jackson got over on the organization and now wants out; and, second, the irony that signing that contract extension makes it harder for the Warriors to move him.
When it was suggested to Jackson that he appeared ungrateful less than a year after getting that extension, he said: "That's business. ... Who's going to turn down that money? I'm not stupid. I didn't go to college but I've got a lot of common sense. I'm not going to turn money down.
"I'm 31 years old and the contract will be up when I'm 35. So that was a good position for me. I've got to look out for myself before anyone else does. It was the right decision for me and my family. I'm appreciative of that, but at the same time I've got to look out for myself because nobody else is going to."
Interestingly, Jackson negotiated his contract extension last year without an agent and directly through Warriors' president Robert Rowell. Now, Jackson says there will be no talks with Rowell unless his new agent, Mark Stevens, is present.
"I've got to work for him," Jackson said, referring to Rowell. "I've got to respect him. At the same time there's no conversation that's going to be held without my agent being there. Those days are over. We're going to talk, my agent's going to be there and we're going to do it right. All that other stuff, just to have casual talks, I don't think that's necessary. Because I'm not going to be fake. None of that."
When reminded that not having an agent last year likely enhanced his chances at that extension, he responded: "That's the business. Just like Bobby is going to look out for the organization, Steve has to look out for Steve."
Jackson did make it clear that he was disappointed that the NBA chose to fine him for his trade request of a month ago. Jackson said he remembered Kobe Bryant making a trade request a few years back and he wasn't fined.
"Coach (Don Nelson) said the same thing to me about getting that fine (that it was ridiculous)," Jackson said. "But we're not going to beat a dead horse. They know they were wrong. I've got to deal with it. I can't beat the NBA so I've got to roll with it."
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