Moron. Imbecile. Liar.
Any of these words could be used to describe a plethora of pro athletes, but nowhere is the issue more succinctly summed up than with the case of the Warriors’ Stephen Jackson. In case you aren’t up to speed with the goings on of the NBA here is what has transpired.
2004: Jackson was involved in the infamous Pacers/Pistons brawl that spilled into the seats and involves fans.
2006: He was charged with criminal recklessness for discharging a firearm during an altercation at a strip club.
2007: The Warriors believe they can change the man and acquire him from the Pacers. The Warriors went on to make the playoffs and advance to the second round. Named captain of the club – i.e. “Captain Jack.”
2008: Set a career-high with a 20.7 point per game mark while pulling down 5.1 boards and handing out 6.5 assists in his best all-around season.
In November he signed a 3-year contract extension for $28 million giving him four years at about $35 million when you add in the last year of his previous deal.
2009: Shortly after signing that massive extension he answered a question about the outlook of the Warriors saying, and I’m paraphrasing, that because the team didn’t bring anyone “big” in to help the cause, and because he is all about winning, that he wanted out.
A couple of days ago he has been stripped of his captaincy.
He played a preseason game in which he committed five fouls and got a technical in less than a quarter of action.
He was been suspended and fined $139,000 for conduct detrimental to the team.
He then went on to reiterate his stance that he wants no part of the Warriors even going so far as to say that if the Warriors want to send him home, as long as they keep paying him, he is fine with that.
Being a lifetime Warriors fan I’m hardly surprised at this as somehow the Warriors always seem like the last people on the planet to know that they have a problem. Think of it – they named a guy their captain who has had multiple suspensions, trouble with the law, and one who is as likely to go postal on a ref as is he to hit a game winning shot. In addition, they lavished $28 million dollars on that same guy despite knowing everything that he was about. Therefore, there is no way I’m absolving the Warriors of blame here as what they did wasn’t only ill-informed, it was flat out comical in its profound stupidity.
But I lay this one at the feet of Mr. Jackson. Never met the man, don’t know a thing about him other than what I read in the paper, but this is the height of divaism (if that is even a word). A mere 11 months, less than a calendar year, after telling the Warriors that he was in it to win it leading the club to lavish him with that massive contract, he has bailed on the team. If there was every a more obvious money grab in the history of the world I’d like to see it. The fact that he is trying to spin it now saying things like it’s the teams fault since they didn’t bring other players in to help him win is pathetic. Mr. Jackson, the club hasn’t played a single game this season. Yes the club certainly has shortcomings, no one can dispute that fact, but at the same time the “captain” of the club is supposed to be the leader, not the first guy jumping off ship. What would Captain Bligh think (that was a Mutiny on the Bounty reference for those of you who didn’t pick it up)?
This is just another reason why the average person despises pro athletes, and honestly, I think a lot of people in these times of a massive unemployment, rising healthcare costs and the mortgage crisis are stating to get pretty angry about yet another multi-million dollar diva whining because he didn’t get his way. When a man, and that’s what these athletes are all about in this day and age (treat me with “respect”) tells you to your face that he is your man causing you to lavish him with more money than he could spend in a lifetime, and then at first chance not only bails on you but sticks the knife full on into your back – well you know where the animosity is coming from when the majority of us barely make enough money to provide for our families. Mr. Jackson might want to remember that the next time he complains about being mistreated by someone or trying to make himself out the victim. You aren’t the victim Mr. Jackson, you are the problem.
By Ray Flowers
Tags: Stephen Jackson