I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to write about Stephen Jackson two years in a row. Before we get into what he did last year, let me pull a few thoughts from my article a year ago.
He was a big part of the whole Ron Artest ordeal and best known for firing a gun outside of an Indiana strip club. He had a ring with the Spurs, but who really cared when he first came to the bay? Looked like a troubled soul and a guy that just needed to get his head up out of his you know what. Expectations were low - the hope was that he just wouldn't screw things up too much. We had DUNLEAVY before him, how much worse could it get?
Before we dive into where SJax is now with the organization and before you drop ANY comments at the bottom do me (and yourself) a favor. Answer that question - "We had DUNLEAVY before him, how much worse could it get?"
He was a huge component of our 07 playoff run, in fact, Game 6 of the Mavs series was all him. Nothing, and i do mean NOTHING, will ever amount to the energy and passion that he brought to that game, that series, and the end of that season. As Warriors fans, we will always be in debt to this man for helping revive our lowly franchise and bringing life back to the basketball in the Bay.
Try to deny that.
Webster's dictionary defines captain as "a person of importance or influence in a field." Remember that 7 game suspension at the beginning of the season? How many of those games did we win? 1? THAT'S the kind of impact he had with the team.
I'll get into that more later.
What's even more worth noting about Stephen Jackson was his growth as more than a player in the league. After winning the NBA Community Assist Award for the month of March, I was pretty impressed to see his resume of community service for the work. He participated in the Silence the Violence rally where he spoke at Oakland Tech about the challenges he faced growing up, and teamed up with John Legend to bring us a LEGENDARY GSoM Night 4 as he showcased the Show Me Campaign to raise $50,000 for the organization. To end the month, he teamed up with Good Tidings Foundation to build a basketball court for the Omega Boys Club in San Francisco. Not enough? He finished the year by receiving Eighth Annual Angela and Chris Cohan Community Service Award.
That game (GSoM Night 4) was by far one of the best times I had at the Roaracle. Not only was the game great because I got to chill with my crew, not only was John Legend bringing the house down with his hits, but I was in an arena that was contributing to something great. Captain Jack promised to donate $1,000 dollars per point he scored, and with the emotional support in the arena, he brought down 20.
This man is our team now. With Baron gone, like it or not, he'll bring the leadership to the table. He's got a fiery soul, and yes, at times he'll be out of control, but as long as he only manages to pull 1 tech a game (he plays better with one in him anyway) he won't be a threat. Let's keep in mind that he's been shooting out of his mind this preseason, and he's still got the hot hand. I really like what he brings to his position (SF, no wait, SG, or maybe PG? Who really knows what he'll be playing come game time) but he's going to bring passion every time he steps on the court.
Ya, I guess I'll have to speak that more.
I really don't care what kind of numbers he puts up (as long as it's not double digit turnovers) as long as he plays with his heart every game. This season might not end with another playoff run, but whatever. I'm just happy to have this guy on the team and I'm excited to see what kind of work he accomplishes within the community this season.
Rewinding 2008-2009: Stephen Jackson
Let's face some facts.
1. Stephen Jackson at PG didn't quite work out - way too many turnovers.
2. Stephen Jackson is a very emotional player that pulls in way too many techs. He was suspended once during the year because it.
Be real, the team was better with SJax on the court. Sure, he was emotional, put up dumb 3's, and had a poor shot choice, but by all means, a young team needs leader. Many of those guys - Anthony Morrow and Anthony Randolph - credited their development through the year to SJax and his ability to teach. Mad props.
3. Stephen Jackson had too many great pictures last year.
Don Nelson: Man, Jax is great at his James Brown impression.
SJax: White guys can't block me! Tim Ducan..that's another story.
Anderson Varejao - I miss you man!
Stephen Jackson: Ronny! Good news, I'm not getting fined this offseason! I swear!Suns? On it.
SJax: Nellie won't let me play OR get Garlic Fries? This is getting out of hand...
"We're making progress, and that's really all you can ask for right now," said Jackson, who's on a statistical roll over the past four games. "We're right in every game. We have a chance to win every game. If we can continue to do that on the road, and protect our home, we're doing what we're supposed to do."
And...my fondest memory of last season.
The highlight of the game was unfortunately when both Stephen Jackson and Coach Nelson received technical fouls and were ejected 11 seconds apart in the 3rd quarter. The comic panels says it all. Just coming home from the game and reading about everyone's reactions, folks were either bitter or happy they got ejected. As soon as Keith Smart took over, it wasn't enough for the W's to stage a comeback.
You remind me of Donald Duck.
4. Stephen Jackson was putting up unbelievable stats in January and February.
You know it, you can't deny it. Say whatever you want about the guy, but there was a reason we almost won 30 games last season. I'll give you a hint - it wasn't Monta Ellis. Jackson pulled in his first career triple double last year and had 3+ games where he almost reached that stat. Before he was pulled out for the season due to toe injury, he was playing out of his mind. No denying that.
|2008 - Stephen Jackson||20.7||5.1||6.5|
Enough of the past.
Present Day 2009: Stephen Jackson
In case you've been living under a rock and you haven't been paying attention to the Warriors the last few weeks, I'll sum it all up for ya with a few links.
GSOM Night Tickets Are On Sale (Cheap advertisement)
No, things aren't good in Warrior Land. No denying that. They say pictures tell a 1,000 words. Take what you from this.
Jack wants one thing, and one thing only - to win. He wants another championship or at the very least playoffs. He knows its not guaranteed here, so he wants out. Is that so bad?
Don't we all want a championship? Don't we all want to see our team make the playoffs? Be honest with yourself - aren't you a little sick of this "rebuilding" business?
Think want you want about that potential Amar'e trade, but bringing him in almost guarantees to be close to those goals. Right now, we're staring at POTENTIAL - we have no idea whats Randolph, Wright, Curry and Morrow are going to develop. Amar'e was an All Star - that's for sure.
Let me get this right, you're going to get mad at the guy for the extension he signed? That's not his stupidity, that's Rowell's. As Jack said the other day,
Well, who's going to turn down that money? It's only right. I'm not stupid. I mean, I didn't go to college but I've got a lot of common sense. I'm not going to turn down that money.
I'm 31 years old now. My 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 anybody else does. I think it was the right decision for me and my family.
I'm definitely appreciative of it. But at the same time, I've got to look out for myself, because nobody else will.
It's not his fault he got offered a ton of money. He signed it sure, but that didn't mean he couldn't demand a trade afterwards. It's called being a business man.
One last thing - that fine for saying he wanted to get traded? That was basically the most unfair fine ever. Anyone want to help me write a letter to Commissioner Stern asking why he didn't fine Kobe when he demanded a trade? So far I have,
"Dear Commissioner Stern,
Why do you hate the Warriors so? Why did you fine Stephen Jackson? Why didn't you fine Kobe Bryant? Is it because of the brawl? Is it because of the tats? Or is it because you hate the Warriors and everyone involved with them?
I hope you enjoyed those Nike LeBron-Kobe Puppet commercials. That NBA Finals series worked out really well, didn't?
Predicting 2009-2010: Stephen Jackson
Peace out Cap'n Jack.
I don't want to dive too much into this quite yet, but it looks like the inevitable is about to happen.
You ever been in a relationship, a friendship, or a partnership of some sort and know that it's about to end? Ever have that feeling? You want it to change, you want to do something, and you're willing to try anything. But you know you have no control. It's like the Sopranos - it's over.
Losing your favorite player on your team is just about the hardest thing in the world. Let's just say I'm not taking all this Stephen Jackson very well.
I'll save the memories and the emo moments til I write the piece when he leaves, but let me go on record by saying this.
I'm going to miss you on the Warriors Stephen Jackson.
I'll leave you with some Walt Whitman
O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
2009-2010 Golden State Warriors Preview
- Anthony Morrow: Ammo + Chocolate Rain
- Stephen Jackson
- Speedy Claxton/ Devean George, Acie Law
- Stephen Curry
- Monta Ellis
- Kelenna Azubuike
- Corey Maggette
- Andris Biedrins
- Anthony Randolph
- Ronny Turiaf
- C.J. Watson
- Brandan Wright
- Mikki Moore
Coming 10.26.09 to a web browser near you...