Stephen Jackson was ejected from a Charlotte Bobcats' game in Milwaukee last week after ringing up two technical fouls for complaints lobbed at the referees. The NBA decided to also suspend Jackson for the Bobcats' next game, likely owing to the fact that the league already fined Jackson $50,000 after he allegedly berated an official after a game in which Charlotte lost at home to a crummy Pistons team, thanks in part to a huge free throw disparity favoring Detroit.
Jackson has been on his worst behavior in terms of treating the officials like co-people (with seven techs to show for it), and the NBA has cracked down on him thusly. Would you expect Jackson to double-down on his barking, or retreat and regroup? Because he tells Bobcats fans in a letter (via John Schuhmann) that he's retreating and regrouping.
People do not like to admit they are wrong, but my actions in Milwaukee last week resulted in an
ejection and ultimately an NBA suspension for the next game. As a result, I let myself, my teammates
and my coaches down, but more importantly, I let our fans down. In my heart, I know I have to adjust
my emotions on the floor and I vow to work harder than ever to not put myself or this team in that
The problem with Captain Jack's vow, of course, is that his passion is what makes him a worthwhile player. If he's not screaming and glowering, he's not having fun out there. He has a certain edge best seen in Allen Iverson's work -- a brand of self-certitude and constant aggression that inflates his on-court mythos to something greater than his tools should allow. And that mythos is effective, because it (to some levels) psychs out opponents and, in some cases, referees too lily-livered to punk him down.
To win, the Bobcats need STEPHEN JACKSON on the court. If the new complaint rule and Jackson's lack of adjustment result in a less aggro player, then it's not going to mean a bit of help for Charlotte anyway. Which is to say, is Stephen Jackson the first real victim of the league's crackdown?