Dec 18, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT
The Spurs released Stephen Jackson just before last season’s playoffs, reportedly, because Jackson had been feuding with Gregg Popovich.
If nothing else, Jackson tells it like it is. If he resented Popovich and the Spurs, he would have said so.
There’s still good feelings between Jackson and Popovich, and that was on fully display after the Clippers beat the Spurs on Monday.
Popovich is joking around here, right? Right? He doesn’t typically act this way publically, so I’m a bit confused.
He flicks the headband at Jackson, who goes to hug Tim Duncan rather than embrace Popovich. That doesn’t scream warm. I can’t imagine Popovich snatching Jackson’s headband to be a jerk, though.
So, this has to be cordial. Right?
I’ll go with yes, but only because Popovich’s pregame thoughts on Jackson back that up.
Announcement: Pro Basketball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $85,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Wednesday night’s games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Wednesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Popovich, via Dan McCarney of Spurs Nation:
“This will sound crazy because I booted him before the playoffs,” Popovich said, “but I love the guy. He lives in my neighborhood. He’s a great guy. He’s one of those guys who’s got a great sense of humor. He’s got a great heart.“He’s got a few idiosyncrasies I might not buy now and then, but he’s a great kid, and he gives an edge to your basketball team. He’s getting older, and all players when they get older have to face certain situations and change roles. He’s got an opportunity to do that here with Doc (Rivers), and, hopefully, he will. I wish him nothing but great success.”
I think Popovich shares the same mindset as me. The NBA is a more intriguing place when Jackson is in the league, but he’s easier to appreciate when he’s not on your team.
- Report: LeBron ‘will look at’ Knicks in free agency now that Phil Jackson is in place 49
- Nets announce signing of Jason Collins for remainder of the season 11
- Phil Jackson to Knicks could work. It probably won’t, but it could. 30
- Pau Gasol says Kobe was right to rip Lakers front office 41
- It’s confirmed: Phil Jackson returns to Knicks to head up front office, revive franchise 33