Stephen Jackson: 'I just want to play, man'

Stephen Jackson: 'I just want to play, man'
March 15, 2012, 5:47 pm
Share This Post

Warriors forward Stephen Jackson is on his way to the BayArea and hes ridiculously excited to be doing so. Which is kind of strangeconsidering the way he left here a few years back forcing his way out notlong after getting a three-year contract extension.I love the Bay Area, Jackson said from Minneapolis, wherehe was waiting on a connecting flight to San Francisco. Ive been talking toAndrew (Bogut) and we didnt get to play together much in Milwaukee. But with anew coach, a new organization thats different, Im looking forward toit.Jackson got into coach Scott Skiles doghouse in Milwaukee,and Skiles doghouses are tough to get out of. Jackson never really did, andthe Bucks were more than happy to part ways with him.
Its not like I was being a jerk in Milwaukee, Jacksonsaid. I was coming to practice, first one in the gym and the last one toleave. I was supporting the team. I respected every decision Scott Skiles madebecause I knew I wanted to play again, Knew I was going to playagain.But who would have thought it would be for the Warriors?Jackson, of course, was a key member of the 2006-07 We Believe playoff team.After that, he started talking contract extension and eventually got one inNovember of 2008: a three-year 27 million extension.A year later, he was traded after making a general nuisanceof himself and making it clear he didnt like the direction the Warriors weregoing in. So, how does Jackson think hell be received by the Bay Areafans?I think it will be mixed emotions from the fans, Jacksonsaid. But you know, Ive never been anywhere where everyone has loved meanyway. But Oaklands got loyal fans and once I start playing and we win somegames, I think theyll support me.Jackson said he watched Wednesday nights Warriors-Celticsgame and liked what he saw. When told that the trade of Monta Ellis for Bogutlikely signified the Warriors were giving up on the playoffs, he wasnt havingit.STEINMETZ: With Bogut a Warrior, Curry's role should change
They can say we wont make the playoffs all they want,Jackson said. Im trying to make a push there. What are they? Two or threegames out? Theyve got some good young guys. I like (rookie Klay) Thompsonsgame and if David Lee keeps playing like he is, we can make a push.I know its a different situation from last time (WeBelieve: 2006-07), but they said we couldnt do it then, either, and we did it.Same thing. It only takes a game or two to put together a winningstreak.Of course, one of the issues in Milwaukee was that Jacksondemanded a contract extension (hes signed through 2012-13) and didnt get one.So, is his contract situation going to be an issue for him with GoldenState?Im going to play this year out, Jackson said. If theywant me for the future, we can talk about an extension this summer. If theydont, we can part ways and then maybe I go to a contender. But I just want toplay. And I can play. I hate that I have to prove again that I can play, but Iknow what I can do. When the situation comes this summer, well figure itout.Jackson said hell wear No. 7, and he hopes to be in uniformfor Fridays game against the Bucks, of all teams.Ill wear Lucky No. 7, Jackson said. See if its lucky forme Its a different situation now than it was back with Baron and that team,but Im willing to play my role and do whatever is asked.You know me, Im the ultimate team player. I know itsStephs (Curry) team and Im willing to do what they want. I just want to play,man.