Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Stephen Jackson, Gary Neal

Stephen Jackson wants a contract extension. In related news, sky is blue, water wet, gravity works.

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Stephen Jackson’s last contract with Golden State was a killer. They were forced to dump it to Charlotte, who was desperate for anyone who could play (and that decision helped lead them to, you know, last year). Then Charlotte had to get rid of it by dropping it to Milwaukee. Milwaukee was able to handle the money, but he and Skiles clashed so back to Golden State he went! For like an hour. Then the Spurs gambled on him and it worked out well.

Now, he wants another one. Jackson made a huge deal about being traded to San Antonio, essentially likening it to being saved. He publicly made a lot of noise about his relationship with Popovich and Tim Duncan. But of course, his contract, at $10 million a year for an aging bench shooter and defensive presence, is expiring. And naturally, Jackson is shopping for that extension. And he’s not doing it quietly. From the San Antonio Express-News:

Only one thing could make Jackson’s professional life better: An extension of his contract, worth $10 million in its final season.

“I want it, but I can’t control it,” Jackson said, toweling sweat off his face after Tuesday’s practice. “Every day when I walk in here I’m hoping they’ll call me in and say, ‘Jack, here’s your extension.’

“I think I deserve it, but at the end of the day I’m still happy to be here and all I can worry about is what I can control, and that’s my play.”

via Spurs Nation » ‘Jack’ happy with role, wishing for new deal.

Jackson’s probably not shopping for huge money, but make no mistake. Jackson is as real about his background as it gets, and in the article linked above is publicly promoting his rap album out October 30th. He makes no apologies for who he is or how he lives his life. But part of that honesty is that he’s going to look out for himself financially. This isn’t anything new, players do it all the time, but often they let their agent handle most of that. Jackson  will publicly feed this fire, while never allowing it to disrupt his commitment to the team or his play. He’s authentic, and the guy you want on your side in a game, a fight, in life. He’s a mentor for young players and never tries to get in the way of his teammates’ success. But he wants his reward for his play and loyalty.

The Spurs, however, are no the sentimental type of organization. They’ll get the deal they want, or they’ll let him walk. It’s going to come down to whether or not Jackson is able to keep a realistic view of what he’s worth to a winning organization.

Glenn Robinson III does his best to salvage Dunk Contest, gets victory in process

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NEW ORLEANS — This year’s NBA All-Star Dunk Contest was doomed to disappoint, it was never going to match last year’s epic battle. It started in a hole.

It never climbed out. Don’t take my word for it, check out what JaVale McGee thought.

Saturday was an underwhelming night of dunks punctuated by a couple of moments of brilliance.

The Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III had the most of those moments — which is why he won the event. His strong night started with his first dunk, which may well have been the best of the contest.

The final one from Robinson, the one that sealed the victory, may be the other best dunk of the competition — dunking over Paul George, the Pacers mascot, and a Pacers dancer.

“I originally planned for it just to be PG (Paul George),” Robinson said afterward. “I knew I had to bring out something special. We added the mascot and the cheerleader. I really just wanted to get up high and dunk that thing hard, man. My adrenaline was going. It felt like I was looking at the rim. All I knew was the crowd go crazy. I pointed like this because, man, everybody seemed to sleep on me, didn’t really think I was going to win this thing.”

Event favorite Aaron Gordon, who should have won a year ago, opened the contest with an innovative idea — a drone dunk — but he couldn’t execute it and there were a few attempts before he nailed it.

Gordon didn’t advance out of the first round, and his first dunk summed up the 2017 Dunk Contest — interesting ideas that didn’t quite pan out like planned. (To be fair, Gordon has been battling injuries recently, that may have thrown him off).

If it wasn’t going to be Gordon, a lot of people expected it to be the bouncy Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr. who won, and he reached the Finals in part thanks to this spectacular dunk that woke the Smoothie King Center up.

DeAndre Jordan was okay, but without Chris Paul throwing him lobs it didn’t quite feel the same. Jordan can dunk with such power in game, but we didn’t see that Saturday.

In the end, it was Gordon who was making the plays.

“I’m not really a known dunker,” Robinson said. “I practiced. I prepared. I know I’m a jumper. And like I said, I’m a guy that stays out of the way. But when it’s time to shine, that’s my thing. That’s what I wanted to do. I knew all along I had some things planned, and I just wanted to show the world.”

Glenn Robinson III wins underwhelming dunk contest on over-people, below-rim dunk (video)

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NEW ORLEANS — Glenn Robinson III won the dunk contest with the second-best dunk of the night, going over a few people and under the rim — a narrow path to slamming victory.

It would’ve rated as the event’s best dunk if he were truly under the rim rather than somewhat in front of it. And he did have the best body of work to win the contest.

But the best single dunk was still by runner-up Derrick Jones Jr., who went between the legs on a pass off the side of the backboard.

NBA stars shoot threes to raise $500,000 for Sager Strong Foundation in touching moment

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NEW ORLEANS — The spirit of Craig Sager is strong during All-Star weekend in The Big Easy and he’s going to get a spot in the Hall of Fame, deservedly so.

After Eric Gordon won the Three-Point Contest, he and the other finalists Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker stayed on the court to shoot threes to raise money for the Sager Strong Foundation — they would shoot threes for a minute and for each make the foundation would get $10,000. Then they brought out help — Reggie Miller, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, DJ Khaled, and others to knock down shots. That raised $130,000.

Stephen Curry tried to push that to $500,000, but it was Sager’s son that actually did it (with an assist from Shaquille O’Neal).

It was a touching moment for a great cause.

Derrick Jones Jr. catches pass off side of backboard, jams between-legs dunk (video)

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NEW ORLEANS — With defending runner-up Aaron Gordon eliminated in the first round, Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr. might be our best hope to save the dunk contest.