By: Zachariah Blott
Oh Stephen Jackson, why must you talk? The public opinion on the talented swingman is absolute trash, with most fans seeing him as a thug with a slew of criminal charges and misdemeanors, including assault and multiple counts of battery. As most people knew before Golden State’s media day on Monday, he was recently trying to strong arm Golden State into trading him one year after signing a three-year extension.
He is the captain of the team and has called the Bay Area his “second home.” At the time of the extension signing last November, Jackson said, “This organization has put me in a position to succeed and, for that, I will be forever grateful.”
Well, he wisely decided not to say anything else about his trade request on Monday. Instead he had such gems as “I respect the game” and “I’m not stupid.” I’d like to point out that Jackson was Exhibit 1b in the infamous Pistons-Pacers brawl of 2004 with regards to unbelievably stupid and disrespectful behavior. After Ron Artest ran into the stands to attack a fan for throwing a plastic cup (a fan who still had a plastic cup in his hands – hopefully not Artest’s best detective work), Jackson chased after him.
To stop the insanity? To pull Artest back to the court? No, to throw more punches at more fans in a hostile environment. He watched sheer lunacy break out in front of him and didn’t hesitate for a second to replicate it. I understand that Jackson is beloved by teammates and he now participates in a lot of charitable causes, but the only way he could respect the game would be to join the Grizzlies and convince them to disband from the NBA.
The excitement at the Warriors’ media day didn’t end with Jackson. Teammate Monta Ellis was asked about playing in the backcourt with rookie Stephen Curry, something coach Don Nelson has been mentioning for a few months. Ellis reportedly responded, “Us together? No.” When pushed for details, he added, “Can’t”, “We just can’t”, “Just can’t”, and “I just want to win. Not going to win that way.”
More on the Warriors, LeBron James, and Lamar Odom after the break….
Team president Robert Rowell said “I’d rather have people who speak their mind than people who don’t” about the Jackson situation, but I’ll go out on a limb here and guess he would like to snip the vocal cords of the entire team. You may remember Ellis as the guy whose one true asset as a player is his amazing speed, which he nearly ruined last summer when he tore up his ankle in a moped accident, which he is strictly forbidden to be riding per his contract. I’ll go ahead and place him in the not-too-bright pile.
– Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov agreed to buy the Nets last week, which probably makes them the #1 destination for LeBron James next summer. Prokhorov is something of a hip, rich dude who can’t wait to get the Nets into Brooklyn ASAP. He’s worth just about the same amount as Blazers’ owner Paul Allen (in case you didn’t know, LeBron loves money and being around people with tons of it. See also: befriending Warren Buffet), the current richest man in basketball, and stands 6-9.
So we got a cool owner who looks like a basketball player who will soon move a team that will be way under the cap and has a point guard with far more skill than Mo Williams into the most happening part of the most happening city in the US. Let’s try to handicap the James sweepstakes of 2010: I give the Nets a 45% chance of landing him, the Knicks about 30%, the Cavaliers 20%, and everyone else can split the last nickel.
– Lamar Odom was married on Sunday to reality personality Khloe Kardashian. She’s the less-famous of her sisters, who are famous for… well let’s just say they’re well-known to high-school students. For the record, Odom met Khloe at the end of August—yes, 2009. Again, that’s met. This news coupled with his candy fetish makes me wonder if Odom is in 9th grade.
Zachariah Blott is a teacher in Portland, not an Amish Charles Dickens character.
Stephen Jackson Photo Credit: Icon SMI