The troubled journeyman is breathing that Texas air again. Stephen Jackson spent the start of last season with the Milwaukee Bucks before being sent to the Golden State Warriors and then to the San Antonio Spurs.
Time with the Bucks: Jackson was awful. Not only did he shoot poorly, he shot often, attempting 10.5 shots a game and only connecting on 35.7 percent of them. Ouch. And once it was clear that the Bucks wouldn’t contend for a playoff spot Jackson pretty much packed his bags and counted down to the trade deadline.
Return to the Spurs: The Warriors wanted nothing to do with Jackson again so much so that they shipped him to San Antonio for Richard Jefferson and a second round pick. I’m pretty sure both general manager RC Buford and head coach Gregg Popovich high-fived each other when they hung up the phone.
Jackson came off the bench as a back-up small-forward and was solid, but unspectacular averaging 8.9 points. He picked up his defensive effort, but smaller and quicker guards gave him trouble. But his length and physicality allowed him to be largely effective when he played the small-ball power-forward.
Expiring Contract: If the Spurs wanted to work out a trade by the deadline,Jackson’s expiring $10 million contract could become a valuable asset. The Spurs worked so hard to get Jackson back in the black and silver last year that I doubt they move him. But this is something to keep your eye, Jackson has been adamant about receiving a contract extension. If the Spurs don’t want to give to him, they might consider trading him.
The Anti-Jefferson Effect: I’m pretty sure everyone has already touched on this, but it bears repeating. Jackson’s intangibles are off the charts. The energy and emotion brought to the team. the physical tone he sets, his willingness to take the biggest shots of the game. You could tell the Spurs never lost confidence. Why? They knew they are going to war with a guy who would fight to his very last breath.
The complete opposite of Richard Jefferson
What to expect this season: For all of you hip hop fans out there (except Metta World Peace),Jackson has a rap album coming out this month. On the court, Jackson will remain the back-up small-forward. His regular season numbers won’t wow you but don’t be surprised if goes gangbusters in the postseason.