This is my first post, but this is something that as a long-time Warrior fan has bothered me all of this season and off-season. Most Warrior fans and pundits love Stephen Jackson. As Captain Jack, he has been the emotional spark-plug for the team, as well as its best perimeter defender. But there is an important question that needs to be asked: Has Jackson's perceived value and the Warriors' emotional attachment to him out-weighed his actual value?
Warrior Nation, in general, has nothing but good memories about Jackson. He was a large component of the deal that made the team relevant again. But even in that magical year with Baron Davis still on the team, the Warriors lived and died by Stack Jack. I remember his awful play in the Jazz series that year, including a 1-12 game I believe the Warriors lost by 2. He also played terribly at the end of the '07-'08 season, shooting 33.9 percent from the floor over the final month, essentially handing the 8th seed to the Nuggets. Watching the games, for every highlight play he makes, there seems to always be a bad decision to go along with it. It boggles the mind how many times I've seen him do something like make a brilliant no-look pass for a dunk, then on the next possession pull up for an off-balance trey four seconds into the shot clock. His Player Efficiency Rating was atrocious this year, ranking 100th in the league, as a result of his turnovers per game, FG and 3PT percentages. I understand that he was asked to play outside of his role last year, but his 4 TO per game, 41% FG, and 34% 3PT are all completely unacceptable. His holy triumvirate statistics are completely inflated by Nellie-ball, as his 20-5-6.5 line from last year would very likely look more like 15-5-3.5 on any other team.
On top of his negative impact on the court, the team's handling of his contract extension was a perfect example of how screwy the Warrior's front office was this past year. Mullin told him they'd talk about the extension in the off-season. Stack Jack went to Robert Rowell, over Mullin's head, and got his extension. Why even bother having a GM at that point? Not to mention that with that three year, 28 million dollar extension, Jackson became virtually untradeable, as every front office executive not named Rowell considers him a middle-tier talent. The Warriors need a coach who can rein him in, but instead they have a coach and front office that have turned the keys of the franchise over to him. If the Warriors continue to live and die by Stack Jack, they will be a consistent disappointment. But because of his contract situation and the franchise's unequivocal and irrational loyalty to him, he's not going anywhere. So what's to be done?