Saying that Stephen Jackson didn’t enjoy his brief time in Milwaukee a season ago would be an understatement.
He appeared in just 26 games, before a falling out with Bucks head coach Scott Skiles had him riding the bench and not traveling with the team while a trade to send him out of town was being actively pursued.
With his San Antonio Spurs rolling into town on Wednesday, Jackson was asked to revisit the reasons for his discontent.
From Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News:
“I just wanted to be around a positive organization that’s used to winning and plays the game the right way,” Jackson says now. “Milwaukee, they’re not used to winning. I just wasn’t going to go for it at the end of my career.”
“It just wasn’t a good situation for me,” said Jackson, who still keeps in touch with former Bucks teammates Drew Gooden and Brandon Jennings. “I didn’t want to be a part of no rebuilding team.”
The old guy in me says that Jackson, then in his 12th NBA season, should have handled this more professionally, and could have used the opportunity to mentor some of the younger players and help create the winning attitude and atmosphere he claimed was missing.
Then again, you can’t fault the guy for being honest in wanting to play for a winner at this late stage of his career — even if the way he went about leaving might not have been the most amicable for both parties.
Everything LeBron James does and says gets magnified and scrutinized.
So when he put out this photo on Instagram standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Tristan Thompson and the caption “get it done” it seemed a message to the Cavaliers.
LeBron clarified that on Sunday, saying this has become a distraction, and the message was for both sides to bend, as reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN and Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer.
When Thompson didn’t sign the qualifying offer he surrendered a lot of leverage, the Cavaliers don’t have to raise their five-year, $80 million offer — but reportedly they still would, a little. Thompson and his agent Rich Paul have pushed for a max contract, but that’s not happening.
At some point, the two sides will come to an agreement. For the Cavaliers, this is a distraction, their star is unhappy with that, and ultimately if they are going to make a title run they need the energy and rebounding Thompson brings (even if it is just off the bench). For Thompson, he can’t make up a year of lost salary, he has to come in and start getting paid at some point.
The two sides will get it done. Eventually. Likely before the season tips off.
China has secured the ninth and final Olympic men’s basketball berth awarded this year.
China earned the bid to the 2016 Rio Games with a 78-67 win over the Philippines. 2016 first-round draft prospect Qi Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds, setting up the Olympics to be his big introduction to American fans.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian won tournament MVP by averaging 16.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 blocks per game.
This will be China’s ninth straight Olympic appearance.
The Philippines, who got 17 points from Andray Blatche in the final, will still go to an Olympic Qualifying Tournament next summer with a chance to reach Rio.