Pop addresses Stephen Jackson’s departure

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AT&T CENTER — After the San Antonio Spurs announced that the team had placed Stephen Jackson on waivers, less than a week before the regular season was set to conclude, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich addressed the media before the team’s game against the Sacramento Kings.

“We’re getting ready for playoffs and putting our team together, what we want to do and who we want to do it with, and we thought that making this decision with Jack was best for the group,” Pop said. “Tough decision because on a personal basis, I’ve known him a long time and I enjoy him very much. You gotta make decisions that are tough sometimes and we thought this was best for our group.”

Pop went on to say that Jack didn’t violate any team rules leading to his release and said that Jack was “classy” in how he handled the decision.

Classy it may be, you have to wonder if this is the last we’ve seen of Stephen Jackson in the NBA. Gregg Popovich has long been one of the only coaches in the league capable of controlling Jack’s personality and the team culture added to that. Few franchises around the league boast that combination. If the Spurs cut him just days before the playoffs start because they think they’re better off without him, what team is going to take a chance on Jack again?

Pop admitted that waiving Jack, along with Boris Diaw’s back surgery, leaves the team with some questions when it comes to depth.

“We probably look a little thin, but life goes on,” Pop said. “Nobody knew that it was going to be two or three weeks for Boris, but the two events are basically mutually exclusive in the sense that what had to be done.”

More than anything on the court, I think everyone is going to miss the personality that Stephen Jackson brought to the San Antonio Spurs. He was a fan favorite in his first go around with the team and did nothing to tarnish that feeling in his second. There will be plenty of disappointment about his exile, but in the mind of Gregg Popovich, the Spurs did what they felt was best for the franchise going forward.

#earlyvacationletsgo

  • Bankshot21

    Bull crap! That mans defense and toughness is exactly what this team needed. Bury him on the bench. Don’t cause such a distraction prior to what will undoubtedly be a tough first round.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000113089142 David Salazar

    sorry to say that jacks attitude had a lot to do with the decision.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I CAN’T STAND POP! Jack was the only one who could man up and hit the lane when it was needed not to mention his defense. If it was personal between those two its not like pop has to seep with the guy.
    Shit man!

  • Racsh

    Give more Kwahi Some Touches!

  • Titletown99030507d

    He should have waived Bonner or Blair or both.

  • Titletown99030507d

    What? He’s going to waive Tiago next? What a Dbag.

  • RG

    meh, jackson has done nothing all season and I’m not convinced he was going to pull any Robert Horry moments out in the playoffs either. He must’ve really done something wrong to get released like this.

  • neverthehero

    on a side note, could have traded him along with a few other pieces perhaps for a real back up pg.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=173600134 Ryan McShane

    My guess is that this was a “my contract ____” or bust situation for Jack. And the Spurs had to make a decision before the summer started.

  • Spurs fan in Australia

    From what I have read it sounds like a decision that was forced on the Spurs/Popovich and not a decision about personnel or playoff rotations.

  • Graham

    Makes you wonder what Jack really did to force this decision. Gonna miss him but I have no doubt this was a necessary decision.

    On the flipside, 40+ minutes of Kawhi is never a bad thing. Let’s hope this forces his game to step up yet another level.

  • Graham

    Don’t go slinging mud around with only half a story. Who knows what forced this issue, Give it a few days and the truth will probably come out.

  • C

    Unless it was more of a distraction to have him on the bench! Pop knows what he is doing and I am sure this was more than a coach’s decision… Chemistry is what the Spurs are known for. Except for his 5 fouls to give, Jack will not be missed. If you are a Spurs fan, just hope he is picked up off waivers quickly so the Spurs don’t eat his salary going forward.

  • rj

    any chance blair will donate some minutes at sf?

  • assistman

    4 games worth of salary is all. NBD.

  • assistman

    ZERO chance.

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  • mivanov

    Damn this sucks… Remember when everybody was all excited one year ago?? I sure was.. but an un-Spurs-like decision like this must indicate that differences were insurmountable. Probably means we’re going to see a lot of Gary Neal at the 2 and Danny Green at the 3 .. or Kawhi is going to play 40+ min a lot..i think I prefer the latter