Stephen Jackson is not a Warrior.

by RT

The day of reckoning has finally come and the Warriors get a B+ for how they handled the Stephen Jackson situation. As I have written in the past, the Warriors should have told Jackson he was not welcome at practice or at games and told him that he would not be traded. Simply put – “you can come out of your room when you are ready to play nice.” Of course, the only team to actually go through with such a threat was the Denver Broncos this last summer with Brandon Marshall. Amazingly enough, Marshall is headed for the Pro Bowl as a Bronco and not a Charger or Cowboy. Of course, there was no guarantee this strategy would have worked with Jackson.
When Al Harrington got traded this time last year, the event was permanently etched in the head of Jackson and his agent. While Captain Jack gave the Warriors everything they wanted and more, the team continued to lose and he had to start thinking – “I am stuck with this team that will not be a winner for at least another two years.” The reality is that most NBA players want to win unless they are living in New York, LA or Miami. The New York Knicks have been terrible over the past 7 season and the only player that has requested a trade was Starbury, who is at least 30 cards short of a full deck. So while Al Harrington is eating steak at Angelo and Maxie’s with super models, Jackson is stuck in Oakland going nowhere fast. For the Warriors, the Al Harrington trade was a disaster because he got exactly what he wanted while the Warriors got nothing in return. The Warriors were not about to let a player get exactly what he wanted again.

Over the past couple of weeks, the Warriors must have narrowed their trade partners down to all the terrible teams in the league and the teams that do not play in the above-mentioned cities. This list of teams was short to say the least. As any good trader knows, the best trade is often the one you didn’t make. With that thinking in mind, the GM of the Bucks, T-wolves, Pacers, Jazz, Grizzles and Kings need to be given a lot of credit for not getting involved in the Stephen Jackson trade talks. However, the Bobcats, a train wreck of a franchise in their own right, could not stay away.

In a lot of respects, this trade was a huge in for the Warriors.

* They get a significant amount (~$21 mm) in savings over the next 3 years.

* Monta Ellis now has to take the team seriously when they tell him – “If you don’t want to stay, your options are Utah, Sacramento or Minnesota.”

* The Warriors have not righted the ship, not even close, but the die-hard fans now know that the Warriors realize how poorly they handled the Harrington trade last year.

The only real negative in all of this is that the Cavs were likely offering two expiring contracts for Jackson which would have been nice trade chips later this winter. However, most fans don’t understand the mutiny which would have occurred if Jackson would have ended up in Cleveland. Think about it – one guy gets to play in the best city in the world and the other guy gets to play with the best player in world. If I was a janitor at Oracle, I would have asked for a trade to the Staples Center because there was no reason to believe I wouldn’t get it.

Finally, I think I speak for most Warriors fans when I say that Stephen Jackson still has some good basketball in him. He is a very unique player that can not only guard the best players in the world but he can also score from about anywhere on the court. However, his best Warriors days were behind him. He needed to be a mentor to the younger players on an off the court. He needed to play the point forward that looked to create mismatches on the offensive end. He needed to teach this team how winning in the NBA is about sacrificing for the good of the team. The bottom line is that the Warriors needed him and he didn’t want them. It was time for him to go.

And yes, there is such a thing as addition by subtraction.

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