After Stephen Jackson returned to the Warriors yesterday and both sides had a chance to sit down, talk, and assess the situation, naturally, they then spoke to the media about everything. From Marcus Thompson of the Contra-Costa Times comes Nellie's side of the story, with some excerpts from yesterday's press conference:
The prodigal son has returned. It’s good to have Jack back. We’re going to keep him in the same position, as far as my starting (small forward). He is concerned. We met this morning. What went on the meeting will remain private, in house. He served his suspension and we’re ready to roll.
You said you would try to accommodate. Would you be more likely to do that now?
Nothing’s changed. We’re still going to try to accommodate him. But it’s not that easty to do.
Jackson said the staff didn’t support him in that Lakers game. Do you feel that way?
Well it got heated between he and Kobe, and those things happen during the course of a game. He picked up some fouls and, I don’t know, it was a physical encounter as far as I concerned.
You said you can coach Jack and he wouldn’t be a problem. Did that change?
No, I think he’s going to be the same guy. We’re not asking him to be somebody different than he is. To be jack out there. He’s a good player. He played well for us. As long as he’s here. And like I said, if we get a chance to move him and its good for the organization, we will do that.
You’re OK with him being the same guy off the court?
I’m never going to ask a guy to change. He’s gotta do that himself if he wants to. It’s just like anything else, from stopping to smoke cigarettes or drugs or anything else. If you don’t want to do it yourself, nobody can do it for you. That’s up to him. He’s 31 years old, or will be this year. He’s an adult and he needs to make that decision.
While Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News sums up Jackson's side of things:
Can you tell us about this morning’s meeting with Nelson and Riley?
I mean, it was a meeting. No different than any other meeting. I go in, listen to what they’ve got to say and come back and play basketball. Whether I pay attention to it or not, that depends on me.
But I had to show up. I showed up.
Still looking to get traded?
You know I can’t answer that question. If you all don’t want me to get fined, don’t ask me those types of questions.
Did you think about appealing your suspension?
No, I mean, it is what it is. It ain’t the first time I lost money. I lost $3 million on the fight. So it is what it is.
I didn’t agree with it, if that’s what you want to hear. I definitely didn’t agree with it. If anybody saw the game, you saw how I got handled out there. I got treated wrong, no question. But it is what it is.
I can’t force them to give me money back or get the two games back, so I’m going to deal with it.
Has your relationship with Nelson changed?
Of course. Any time somebody takes a 100-something, 150 thousand dollars, of course it’s going to change, no matter who it is. If my mom took some money, I’d still love her to death but I’d still be upset about it.
And he’s not my mom. So you can imagine how I feel.
Note: The Golden State Warriors are officially approaching Oakland Raiders territory, and it's only partially related to the Jackson situation. In fact, with hilarious quotes like "I lost $3 million on the fight. It is what it is," Jackson might be considered a bright spot for the Warriors. Elsewhere, you have a team that's been building without a clear blueprint for at least the past three years, and operates according to the dueling and often times divergent whims of GM Larry Riley and Coach Don Nelson. That's not good.
When Monta Ellis is your franchise player, Monta Ellis is your franchise player. Not fun. And factor in Don Nelson's puzzling refusal to play to intriguing rookie Anthony Randolph last year--when the Warriors were on their way to losing 53 games and finishing near the bottom of the league--and you get a sense for the stubborness that Warriors fans have endured at the hands of the current regime.
Oh, and did we mention that Monta Ellis has openly questioned the addition of Stephen Curry? This is a toxic situation, with or without Jackson. Captain Jack just makes it more entertaining. Ex: "Anytime someone takes a 100-something, 150 thousand dollars ... it's going to change. And he's not my mom." The only thing missing here is Don Nelson cold-cocking an assistant, and then we'd have the perfect level of Bay Area dysfunction.
And really, don't get confused: Nelson's not innocent, here. In fact, perhaps more than anything else, the following tweet from Golden State beat writer Thompson (above) crystallizes the status quo in Golden State:
Yeah... It's that kind of atmosphere in Golden State. Chaos reigns, and despite appearances, Don Nelson is very much the ring leader.