Regardless who the Golden State Warriors sign from free agency one thing is clear; Stephen Jackson will be the leader of the team. Many think with Baron Davis’ departure that the team will be handed over to phenom in the making Monta Ellis. Ellis may get the keys to the team for the future but Captain Jack is without a doubt the leader.
Jackson is not the best player on the Golden State Warriors roster, that’s Ellis. But Jackson has intangibles that Ellis has yet to grasp being only 22 years old. Jackson is coming off a career year in which he was a solid citizen and team leader. Jackson is not only a team leader he is a “glue guy”, he helped bring all the pieces put together mesh in their 2007 playoff run.
In 2008 the Warriors started the season off 0-6 without Jackson as he was serving time for a suspension. When Jackson returned the Warriors were a completely different team, his defensive presence, versatility, and leadership helped the Warriors to one of the best records in the NBA minus the games he missed. Unfortunately it was too little too late, but this year Jackson shouldn’t be missing those first crucial games.
With Jackson’s checkered past it was obvious that during his tenure with the Warriors he has begun to find himself. He is the ultimate teammate; his defense is contagious as is his desire to win. He was the Warriors’ best defender most of the time and hit more than a handful of big shots during the course of the past season-and-a-half.
Jackson doesn’t need to step up and take all the shots for the Warriors this upcoming season, he needs to be the guy to help show the younger Warriors how to handle themselves in pressure situations, how to be a model citizen, and what it takes to play in the NBA.
With the departure of Baron Davis, Jackson will more than ever be put on the pedestal to lead this team. The Warriors will again be one of the youngest teams in the league but with a leader like Stephen Jackson the Warriors will have one of the best Captain’s leading the way.