Hello everybody, this be my first FanPost. These are my thoughts on Stephen Jackson and Don Nelson (from here on out "Nellie") and why Stephen Jackson should have nothing against Nellie. I'm not an "insider" so I'm not privy to any information other than what's available to us via media, so my thoughts are based on that premise. I have been hearing and reading a lot criticisms of Nellie stemming from the recent Stephen Jackson debacle, but feel there is no real basis to these criticisms other than giving fans a chance to complain about the Most Interesting Man in the NBA.
I just read Rusty Simmon's blog on SF Gate: Warriors fire back at Jack
It was paraphrasing much of Nellie's session on Warriors Weekly on KNBR saying he still loves Stephen Jackson and doesn't understand why he could be so unhappy being paid 9M a year. In typical Nellie fashion, he's taking the logical route (i.e. money) as the reason why Stephen Jackson should basically STFU and play.
"When you love somebody, you don't fall out of love," Nelson said. "If you have problems, you try to find a way to deal with the problems. I don't fall out of love with people. I understand that people get divorced and everything else, but, if you have affection for people, I think it lasts a lifetime. I feel that way about Jack. I really do feel that way about him. I thought I helped his life. At least that's what I tried to do. I thought we were fairly close, and he doesn't feel that way now. That's OK. He doesn't have to like me. I can like him. All he has to do is play for me, do what I tell him to do, play hard and play to win. We'll get along fine."
As much as we criticize Nellie for obscuring the underlying issue(s), among other things, he does have his moments of telling it like it is. There's no denying when he says things like this that he's being sincere. He's bringing all the Stephen Jackson issues to the forefront: the money he's being paid, his emotional issues, his desire to be on a winning team, etc. He's not hiding anything here.
I've been a Nellie fan most of the time he's been with the team (for both stints), but I'm not always a supporter of his methods. I certainly try not to be a Nellie apologist, but I do think he is the Most Interesting Man in the NBA. Let's face it, he's been very successful in the league, in pretty much all capacities. He's also been very unsuccessful and he's burned a lot of bridges. But, like most successful businessmen (if we're measuring success by paycheck), that's inevitable. He's cashed in on his opportunities, often times at the expense of others. Again, what successful businessman doesn't do this? Nellie walks the fine line of business, coaching, and ethics very roughly.
While most would shrivel up and die in this toxic environment, Nellie thrives in it. Yes, I think he is partly responsible for the dysfunction; I think Stephen Jackson quickly learned from Nellie that in this franchise, you need to "get yours" and get out (or stay and laugh at the Man all while skipping to the bank). So in essence, Stephen Jackson should thank Nellie for that valuable life lesson. Sucks for the fans, but you can't possibly pin the contract on Nellie; we all know that the contract ultimately gets traced back to Rowell - what idiot would do this? Sometimes I think that Rowell has more psychological issues than Stephen Jackson.
Again, Nellie is partly responsible for the dysfunction and but I do not think he is the root of any real problems the Warriors are facing, and more specifically, he is not the root of the Stephen Jackson issue. I think all the criticisms for Nellie are merely just a reflection of the problems. When the Warriors had their run in 07, all the players were doing well and thus, Nellie was doing well. It's not like he needs dysfunction to function. He does quite well in a healthy environment. It just so happens he does quite well in an unhealthy environment as well, albeit only for himself.
We can talk about player development, like Adrian Woj does here:
In a lot of ways, Nelson set him up to fail. This way, it would be easy for Nelson to shirk his own responsibilities of lording over this young team. From Brandan Wright to Marco Belinelli, it’s fair to wonder: Where’s the player development come under Nellie? What young guys are getting better?
And we can talk about personnel moves, but all of these are inconsequential in the big picture. Nellie is merely a reflection of what's wrong with the Warriors, just as Stephen Jackson is; while we shouldn't excuse their negative actions, we also shouldn't be wasting our time thinking of solutions to fix them as once they're fixed, another problem will take their place in no time.
In a weak attempt to try to circle back to my main premise: Why Stephen Jackson should have nothing against Nellie, I will conclude by saying, Stephen Jackson should have nothing against Nellie unless otherwise proven. What happened to the "Billy" that called into Warriors Roundtable last Feb when he asked coach, "what do you think of Stephen Jackson? He's looking like Magic Johnson out there?"