Stack Jack Is Back

January 29

I’ll be heading out to Oracle Arena tonight to see the show. Not the Warriors vs. the Bobcats, but the Return of Stack Jack. Warriors fans will have their lungs ready.

It would be funny if he got a standing ovation.

I’ll be there as a professional but if I was a fan, I probably wouldn’t boo. However, I don’t blame fans who do. No, of course it won’t make any difference. Jackson has said as much, and he’s used to being booed. In fact, he might incite a crowd reaction tonight. It won’t change how much money he gets paid, either.

But fans don’t have any other outlets. I have pointed out in the past the folly of booing, but in this case, they need to vent their frustration, for whatever it’s worth. Jackson spat on the franchise and the fan base, and he is recalcitrant today.

When he signed his too-generous contract extension in November of 2008, I’m not sure what the Warriors told him — whether they were going to get a star player or whether they would try to get a star player — or perhaps they made no promises at all. Maybe they really did try to get a star player, and the right deal couldn’t be struck. Jackson claimed the Warriors betrayed him because they didn’t get help, but the last time I checked he was still getting paid.

So Jackson proceeded to invoke an NBA fine by publicly demanding a trade in August, then got suspended by Don Nelson for two games in October. He thumbed his nose at a city and franchise that resurrected his career. He certainly participated in that resurrection, but wiped that pleasant memory away with his conduct in the final months.

Jackson talks about what he did for the Warriors in the “We Believe” season, but credit should also go to Baron Davis. Coach Don Nelson says he still loves Jackson, despite his up-and-down antics, but he blew up the season before it began. I’m with the fans who boo him roundly. There are times when a player needs to know he is not bigger than the game or a team.

Of course, the way the Warriors are going, the boo-birds could be beaten down by the fourth quarter as Jackson buries a dagger three from the wing. He’s flying high now and is a solid citizen again, while the Warriors are in tatters. Some wonder how long he’ll be in coach Larry Brown’s good graces, but let’s face it: Brown probably won’t be around long enough to reach that boiling point.

The Warriors should be boo’d for giving Jackson the contract extension in the first place, but that’s another story for another time. Fans are dreaming of a Larry Ellison takeover, mainly because he is not Chris Cohan, but I have known people who worked under Ellison at Oracle and I have this warning: be careful what you wish for. He is no guarantee against more front-office drama.

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