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Rockets Warriors BasketballStephen Jackson used to be a leader for the Warriors. But before this season, he relinquished his captaincy and now appears to be doing everything he can to distance himself from anything that resembles a positive influence on his team.

Jackson’s play on the court has been inconsistent, but that hasn’t been the problem. It has been his comments to the media in which he has shown how much he has truly quit on his coaches and his teammates. I read the following quote from Jackson after Friday’s loss and have been mulling it over in my head since. No matter how I look at it, the only conclusion I come to is that Jackson is such a negative influence on this team that the Warriors need to accelerate the trade process and ship Jackson away as soon as possible.

Here’s the quote in question:

“A lot of things went wrong. I’m going to leave it up to the coaches. I’m not going to stress myself out over this, you know what I mean? I’m not. Just got to go out there and do my job and do my work out there. I’m not going to get beat up by it. I know a couple years ago, when we had Baron and all those guys, I would upset right now losing by 30. Right now, it’s not bothering me. … I leave that up to the people who make the changes. I mean, everybody sees how we’re playing. Everybody sees the team. I’m not the one to make the decisions. Everybody knows how I feel. I’m just going to go out there and do my job, try to be as positive as I can. As I can. And right now I think I’m doing a good job. I don’t have any techs — yet. I’m in a good mood right now after getting beat by 60. So hey, I’m doing good for myself right now.”

Now I’m going to break it up and comment on each piece:

“A lot of things went wrong.”

The first sentence of his quote is the only with which I don’t have a problem. Jackson’s right, a lot of things went wrong in that game.

“I’m going to leave it up to the coaches.”

This is the second time this season Jackson has responded to the Warriors’ ineffective play by calling out the coaches while distancing himself from any responsibility (it is the players who play the game, after all).

“I’m not going to stress myself out over this, you know what I mean? I’m not. Just got to go out there and do my job and do my work out there. I’m not going to get beat up by it. I know a couple years ago, when we had Baron and all those guys, I would be upset right now losing by 30. Right now, it’s not bothering me.”

This is what I mean when I wrote earlier that Jackson is distancing himself from anything resembling a positive influence on this team. Jackson, whether he likes it or not, is a leader in the locker room. The other players on the team understand this and look up to him/defer to him. If he is saying that losing by 30 is no big thing, and he’s not going to stress out about it, what kind of a message is that sending? I understand the concept of moving on from a bad loss and looking towards the next game, but this is different. This is Jackson saying he doesn’t care whether this team wins or loses anymore, because, according to his thinking, none of it is his fault. It’s selfish and bordering on locker room cancer.

“I leave that up to the people who make the changes. I mean everybody sees how we’re playing. Everybody sees the team. I’m not the one to make the decisions. Everybody knows how I feel.”

It’s not even that I disagree with Jackson about the way this team has been built. The roster has some definite question marks. But again, Jackson is excluding himself from any responsibility in the way the Warriors are playing. That is unacceptable. The Warriors invested a lot of money (more than he deserved) in Jackson because of what he had shown he could provide on and off the court. As long as he continues to cash his too-rich paychecks, he needs to care about the way the team is playing, and accept his responsibility to help this team find ways to win. Constantly blaming the coaching staff and upper management accomplishes nothing good.

“I’m just going to go out there and do my job, try to be as positive as I can. As I can. And right now I think I’m doing a good job. I don’t have any techs — yet.”

Jackson has played hard this season, but he hasn’t played well. But I’ve seen little resembling a positive attitude from Jackson in a long time. I don’t understand how he can throw a I’m going to “try and be as positive as I can” comment in there while he’s ripping his coaches, the team management, and in a non-direct way, his current teammates.

“I’m in a good mood right now after getting beat by 60. So hey, I’m doing good for myself right now.”

This closing comment from Jackson sums it up. He was in a good mood after Friday’s loss. He’s doing good for himself right now. That translates to, “I’ve quit on this team, get me out of here.”

The Warriors should grant his wish.

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