Out in the Bay Area, Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News has been all over this story from the start, and he wonders whether this latest catastrophe might finally coax Golden State’s dysfunctional ownership to sell the team:
My guess is Cohan knows that the sales price is plunging–his own fault plus the economy–and in typical Warriors-fashion, he’s just holding on, pretending that things will get better despite all signs that they will not.
The cover-up is always the Warriors’ option of choice.
Maybe the Warriors get off to a 6-2 start in the easy early schedule, and their shills will bellow about the obvious greatness of this team and Cohan will think he can get $450M for this team. He can’t. He won’t.
And then the Warriors will tank when they start playing the meat of their schedule, SJax will go ballistic, and Cohan and Rowell once again will have totally misread the situation, to their own and to Warriors’ fans great detriment.
Nelson will be guffawing the whole way, because he just doesn’t care much any more.
Later, he explains the predicament currently facing the Warriors. Namely, that the only people that like Stephen Jackson less than Golden State are the other 29 teams in the NBA. That makes him—and his $35 million in salary—a bit difficult to trade:
They can try to trade Stephen Jackson to Dallas for junk and problems. Or to Cleveland for other problems and other junk.
If the Warriors can’t do either, then waive him, send him home or buy him out entirely.
Those are the last viable options for the Warriors and Jackson, who have 35.5 million reasons to wonder what the hell they have gotten themselves into here.
It’s the immovable contract meeting the irresistible farce.
Basically: How can the Warriors trade Jackson if they’re the only team gullible enough to commit so much money to such a flammable player?
In other words, this is a hopeless situation for Warriors fans. The team likely won’t be able to trade Stephen Jackson, but more to the point, the Jackson predicament is a product of much deeper dysfunction in the Golden State organization. Jackson’s mercurial behavior toward the team was entirely predictable to any NBA observer worth his salt. That would exclude the Golden State ownership, of course, who went behind their general manager’s back to sign him to a $35 million dollar extension, thus handicapping the team’s ability to trade him when said scenario (inevitably) arrived.
Well, the scenario has arrived, and the ownership is handicapped, as they scurry to paint Jackson as the scapegoat for what’s in fact a function of far more fundamental issues plaguing the organization. Namely, they don’t know what the hell they’re doing, they haven't for a while, and Jackson's only the latest example. Here's to hoping, for the fans' sake, that this forces them to sell.
(Also, if you haven't already seen it, check out Golden State of Mind's illuminating 4-part interview with Kawakami, as they mull over all aspects of the madness currently facing the Warriors. Part 1 is here, and you can go from there.)