Stephen Jackson says disagreement with Popovich over how good a player S-Jax is

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You’ve seen the Spurs play and you know how it works — everyone fits in their role on the team. Even Tim Duncan and Tony Parker — they have a bigger role with more touches but it is still a role, a cog in the machine.

Stephen Jackson was not fitting that role so he was jettisoned from the Spurs right before the playoffs started (and replaced by Tracy McGrady).

Jackson spoke to S2Smagazine.com about it and basically admitted he didn’t think he was just another cog, he just said it from his perspective.

“We had a disagreement,” Stephen told Sister 2 Sister about his most recent coach Gregg Popovich. “He wanted me to agree to players being better than me, and I didn’t agree. I’ve been in the NBA a long time, so it’s just something I didn’t agree with and something I have no control over. He’s the coach. He controls who plays, and he controls the team, which I do respect. At the same time, I know what I can do and what I been doing my whole career, and I’m far from ready to hang it up. So, I can’t let one person tell me where I’m at 35-years-old. To me, it just didn’t make no sense…

“I don’t want to be a guy who’s just sitting on the bench stealing money,” he said.

Jackson wanted a bigger role, he wasn’t going to get it, and here we are.

This issue was not something new, there was talk of moving Jackson at the trade deadline, then they held on to him past the deadline where he could be waived and still be on another team’s playoff roster.

“It was talked about before the all-star break, before the trade deadline…about me not wanting to be here and me going to other teams, but they wouldn’t do it then,” Stephen explained. “If they would have done it then, I would be on another team right now.”

Popovich always seemed to get the best out of Jackson, but there was clearly some friction there that smoldered and eventually caught fire. That happens. I just don’t think the timing was fair to Jackson. Of course, the business of basketball is rarely fair.