Jackson, Warriors play losing game
That was the
Relocation demands happen to most every team. Venting in a moment of frustration over wanting a championship that's in the squinting distance happens to most every team. And bad contracts happen to most every team. But this was different because it was Jackson and because it was the Warriors.
First, Jackson. He owed them more. Golden State -- the people and coach
Some payback, his Friday in New York. Jackson was asked by an emcee at the shoe event whether Golden State would make the playoffs, the sort of underhand-softball question common at such gatherings to get the celebs chatting with fans without having to break a sweat. According to
But thanks for the three-year extension on the books for $8.45 million in '10-11, $9.26 million in '11-12 and $10.06 million in '12-13. Suckers.
The Warriors had previously spent foolishly for
All of which would have been bad enough if former personnel boss
Next thing you know, they extended Jackson's contract. That was Rowell's move while Mullin was relegated to a figurehead in '08-09. In the press release announcing the deal, Jackson was quoted as saying, "This organization has put me in a position to succeed and, for that, I will be forever grateful."
Forever, nine months. Same thing.
Bad decision on top of bad decision on top of bad decision. With the Jackson deal, though, the blame couldn't be assigned to Mullin or successor
Rowell declined an interview request. The Warriors instead released a statement Monday from Riley.
"Stephen Jackson has been a true professional since arriving here three seasons ago, and our expectations of him have not changed despite his recent comments," Riley said. "He's been one of our most consistent and productive players during that time. We expect that same display of professionalism as we begin to prepare for training camp and the start of the upcoming regular season.
"As far as his remarks on playing for a championship ... that's not the first time we've heard it because that's the goal that he sets for himself and his teammates every season. That's the type of confidence that he exudes as a player and the reason that he has endeared himself to our fans. That's who Stephen Jackson is.
"We have always understood his desire to contend with the NBA's best; that's an aspiration that is shared by our entire organization. We will continue in our quest to achieve that goal, and to be aggressive in pursuit of those results."
The best the Warriors can do now is hope Jackson walks his comments back at some point in the very near future, but even that will be too late. Desperate for a drama-free year, they just lost it before the season even started. Training camp will open with questions about his future in Oakland, if he's still there then, to be followed by more questions when the first four-game losing streak comes, to be followed by more questions the first sign that Captain Jack, turnover-prone in his focused moments, has really checked out. If a player is doing a slow burn in late August, imagine the places his mind can go in the heat of the season.
He just took Rowell and the Warriors to the hole. Jackson flirted enough to get the extension, then came clean that he doesn't think they can win. It's not an original thought, but it is an original approach: Just come right out and announce management is to be toyed with.