Spurs turn to Old Jack city for help



Some romances make no sense, in that Sandra Bullock-with-Jesse James, Lisa Marie-and-Michael way. Same with bro-mances, or in the most immediate NBA terms, Stephen Jackson and Gregg Popovich down in San Antonio.

On the surface, these two would seem to have all the compatibility of Deion Sanders and Vince Lombardi, Latrell Sprewell and P.J. Carlesimo. Or rice paper and a thunderstorm. Yet here they are – one of the league’s most incorrigible players and one of its leading practitioners of my-way-or-highway team management – getting together again, reprising a relationship that worked out well enough nine years ago, when Jackson was a valuable 25-year-old contributor (third in scoring, fourth in minutes) on the Spurs’ 2003 championship team.

Jackson has gone on to act out and wear out his welcome at multiple stops since then, while always citing San Antonio as the place where he fit best. The Spurs apparently have long felt that way, too, based on what veteran scribe Mike Monroe wrote for the San Antonio Express-News upon the announcement that Jackson had been acquired on deadline day from Golden State for forward Richard Jefferson, guard T.J. Ford and a future first-round pick with serious protections until 2017:

Spurs general manager R.C. Buford called Thursday’s deal the culmination of several years worth of attempts to get Jackson back with the team. The 33-year-old, who has been with five teams since leaving the Spurs, has remained a favorite of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and is still close with the vital pieces who remain from that 2003 title team: Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

“We’ve had discussion with people about Jack before, just making people aware we had interest and followed him since the time that he left,” Buford said.

Maybe Pop is mellowing in his advancing years. Maybe he’d better be, because that 25-year-old “Captain Jack” soon will turn 34, and he managed to flame out in Milwaukee fast. All it took was for Jackson to show up last summer grousing about his contract – he had yet to play a game for the Bucks – and then to chafe almost immediately with coach Scott Skiles, who ought to have reminded him a little of Popovich.

The swingman with the street cred wasn’t happy with his minutes. He got suspended for a game for missing a shootaround. With center Andrew Bogut absent, Jackson selfishly thinned the Milwaukee roster further by arguing with a referee until he earned a league suspension. Eventually Skiles ignored him and wished him gone, achieved finally in the deal that sent Bogut to Golden State for Monta Ellis, Epke Udoh and Kwame Brown’s contract.

The Warriors, you’ll notice, didn’t stage any warm, fuzzy reunions with Jackson, though he had given a boost in 2007 to their only playoff run in the past 18 years. Now we’re expected to believe that Jackson’s respect for Popovich and friendships with Duncan, Ginobili and Parker will trump his instinctive desire to assert dominance, take offense at younger players’ role and jack up ill-advised shots. Let’s not ignore performance, either: Jackson was shooting a career-worst 35.7 percent, averaging a career-low 13.9 points per 36 minutes with 3.3 turnovers to 3.9 assists.

Maybe it will work. Maybe shedding Jefferson’s remaining salary and a rekindling Jackson connection will pay off, giving the Spurs easy buckets and a tough defender. They should just know that they’re on the clock, until the moment “contract extension” crosses Jackson’s lips.

18 Comments

  1. ldhl89 says:

    RJ choke in playoffs ALWAYS
    S-Jax it’s not going to hesitate about taking the shot or making a dunk

  2. KB24 says:

    You Wish Mate! !!!

  3. fonzy says:

    S.jack was traded to give manu more playing time. i think the spurs should chase nene or javalle mcgee to cover up for tim.

  4. Alan Hollway says:

    Jackson makes more sense than Jefferson, Jackson brings better defence and clutch shooting providing he doesnt melt down. The real issue with the Spurs is lack of a mobile athletic tall centre, aka Dwight Howard. Without a back up to Duncan the Spurs can tinker all they want with their roster but what we need is a twin towers roster back. Howard would win championship number 5 for the spurs no doubt, Jackson may improve us from a 1st round exit to a deep play off run but still no cigar boys!

  5. Wai says:

    I just hope that he doesn’t force bad shots, and that he can recognize at this point in his career that this team belongs to other great All-Star caliber players like Duncan, Parker & Ginobili. Another thing is that the Spurs have developed a very good core of young players that are playing a considerable amount of minutes for Coach Pop, and I’m wondering how will that play out.

    Anyway Go Spurs Go!

    PS. Sad to see RJ go.

  6. SPURSANITY says:

    This move will prove to be a GENIUS trade move by the SPURS !!

    Keep Bonner who helps spread the floor becasue of his 3-point shooting,
    and then go after a true BIG DEFENDER to help Duncan & Splitter.

    OKC & LAKERS won’t be able to sustain our depth, experience and chemistry.

    GO SPURS GO !!!

  7. Louie says:

    I think it is a great move. The spurs are gearing up for a serious run this year and we have to be honest about RJ, it was never going to work out. A very good player that did not fit into the Spurs system. Good luck RJ, he is a good player and carries himself like a great human being. Jackson will bring in yet another defender that knows the system well, three point shooter are always welcome in SA. Now we have to wait and see how he fits in with this bunch…..
    GO SPURS GO!!

  8. hatem says:

    his trade from the spurs in 2003 wasn’t a great move from pop enven though the spurs have won 2 other championships… but it’s so good to bring him back..
    GO SPURS GO

    • lovem says:

      Jackson wasn’t traded, he laft SA to go to Atlanta. The Spurs wanted him to stay, but he actually wound up taking less money in ATL.

  9. dhc says:

    if jackson can play any D,it is a good trade for sas
    they should decide – bonner or blair -take one and trade the other for center

  10. bayron says:

    this is should be the starting line up
    1.tony parker
    2.manu ginobili
    3.stephen jackson
    4.kawhi leonard
    5.tim duncan
    remember leonard has long arms and big hands and a good defender so with these guys we can go far

  11. ChrisTx says:

    It still a good move because we have enought Small Forward that can cover that position if he goes crazy.
    Our big concern should still be a big man that can defend and roll to the basket.

    GO SPURS GO

  12. jason says:

    The Spurs generally had a size in every championship they won. Always had a complimentary 7 footer for Duncan. For defensive purposes. Blair is not big enough Height wise. Robinson, oberto, elson and mohammed. Those guys were legit centers in size. Need a combo of Splitter and Duncan out their. But that would effect depth and rotation. Jackson is an upgrade as a defender. Would have been better if they kept him after 03. Might have gotten another chamionsip or 2 with him at his prime. Might get a rejuvenated Jackson though. Only time will tell.

  13. MR.RAPTOR101 says:

    cap jack back in texas baby

  14. zippy says:

    It’s amazing how long players can trade on their old reputation in the NBA…

    • bam says:

      captain jack is still a solid player he will only help spurs i prefer him over RJ any day

      • Kevin L. says:

        yeah definitely agree…both the same type of player with the exception of the size differential; RJ being a more solid frame. But good pickup nonetheless. They just better hope that S,Jackson doesn’t try to take too many shots–he isn’t used to playing with many other scoring options other than him. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits in with a team in the midst of contention and Western Conf. supremacy. He’ll have to step back and be a role player, which I’m sure Poppavich is confident that he can do. He wouldn’t have picked him up if he doubted that.

  15. michael says:

    it’s a good move also but our main problem now is a big fella who can help duncan and splitter in the middle we are lack in size in terms of protecting the rim, duncan, is limiting of minutes for the playoff, what if he gets injury or even spliter , Blair is small being center nor power forward. Hey guys wake up.