Stephen Jackson’s release by the San Antonio Spurs last week came as a shock to many. Nobody saw it coming, and many people were led to believe that Jackson was happy being part of the San Antonio organization. That clearly was not the case — at least not recently.
The day he was released, Jackson hinted at a possible conflict with coach Gregg Popovich.
“I would never say a player is better than me when I know their not. Not for no one,” Jackson wrote on Instagram.
He then tagged his note with a hashtag saying you and I know what’s really going on.
Jackson made it pretty obvious that he was dissatisfied with being behind players on the depth chart whom he thinks he’s better than. He elaborated on that thought in an interview with Sister 2 Sister Magazine.
“We had a disagreement,” Jackson said in reference to Coach Popovich. “He wanted me to agree to players being better than me, and I didn’t agree. I’ve been in the NBA a long time, so it’s just something I didn’t agree with and something I have no control over. He’s the coach. He controls who plays, and he controls the team, which I do respect. At the same time, I know what I can do and what I been doing my whole career, and I’m far from ready to hang it up. So, I can’t let one person tell me where I’m at 35-years-old. To me, it just didn’t make no sense.”
Jackson also says he expressed his unhappiness with his role on the team prior to the trade deadline and all-star break, and that he wishes they would have released him sooner so he could have joined another team.
I’m not 100 percent sure about whom Jackson is referring, but I’m guessing it’s Kawhi Leonard. Leonard was the team’s first-round pick in 2011 and has seen a big minutes boost this season. He’s also played well for San Antonio, and you cannot really disagree with the results; the Spurs secured the second seed in the Western Conference.
Who can really be surprised about Jackson having an issue with the team? He’s had problems everywhere he’s played, so it was only a matter of time before he had an issue with the Spurs. I’m honestly shocked he went this long without really having a big disagreement with the team.