Apr 1, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and small forward Stephen Jackson (3) talk during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
News broke yesterday that on the eve of the playoffs the San Antonio Spurs have waived veteran forward Stephen Jackson. The move comes as a surprise despite Jackson’s steep decline in minutes due to the timing of the announcement. NBA rules stipulate that no player signed beyond March 1st can participate in the Playoffs, which means the neither anyone the Spurs sign in Jackson’s place or the man himself, can play beyond the last few games left in the regular season.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told local reporters, via ESPN, Friday night that it was a,
“tough decision because, on a personal basis, I’ve known (Jackson) a long time and I enjoy him very much.”
“But you’ve got to make decisions that are tough sometimes,” Popovich said, describing it as both “a basketball decision and a family decision.”
With no knowledge of the locker room situation for San Antonio, we have to take a coach as respected and successful as Gregg Popovich at his word. The man knows how to win championships and he runs a very tight ship. Waiving a reserve who eats up too much of the salary cap is an easily defendable decision, but waiving a reserve who unsettles and divides an entire locker room is a no brainer.
Jackson won a title with San Antonio in 2003 before bouncing around the league for a variety of disciplinary issues before returning in a mid-season trade with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2012. He averaged 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists this season in 19.5 minutes per contest.
A student hailing from Melbourne, Australia - the city better known for producing Andrew Bogut and Olivia Newton-John. I write for the FanSided National site and Saving The Skyhook, while also finding time to be a professional Patty Mills tracker and amateur coffee critic. I'm always accessible via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @ReeceJHooker.
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