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.”
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.