Stephen Jackson plays with emotion, that is one of the reasons he is the Charlotte Bobcats leading scorer. But those emotions have gotten the better of him a few times too.
Like last Saturday, when he got ejected for arguing a call. Which led to a suspension.
Jackson is sorry — and he wrote and open letter to Bobcats fans to let them know.
People do not like to admit they are wrong, but my actions in Milwaukee last week resulted in an ejection and ultimately an NBA suspension for the next game. As a result, I let myself, my teammates and my coaches down, but more importantly, I let our fans down. In my heart, I know I have to adjust my emotions on the floor and I vow to work harder than ever to not put myself or this team in that situation again.
I understand the rules that the NBA has established to govern players’ behavior on the floor and I respect the job the officials have each night. NBA players are bigger, faster and more athletic than ever, so being able to call a perfect game each night and see every foul is tough, and I have to take that into consideration.
I play this game with all the passion, love and respect of those who came before me. It’s a privilege to play professional basketball and I have been blessed with the talent and opportunity to play this game at a high level. In order for me to display those gifts, I have to be on the floor with my teammates. As a co-captain, I have to lead by example and I feel it’s my obligation and commitment to this team to carry out those responsibilities.
I’m back tonight as we take on the New Jersey Nets, and I hope to continue bringing you memorable moments on the court and not for my behavior.
Public relations move? Certainly. But one he could mean and try to live up to. We shall see. Larry Brown, for one, is not convinced.
There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.
The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.
Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via CSNBayArea.com.
– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”
Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.
If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.
They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.
All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.