When Stephen Jackson was traded to Charlotte, it made all the sense in the world from a basketball standpoint. Jackson can fill up a stat sheet, has shown the ability to make big shots throughout his career, and he can create match-up problems because of his combination of size, speed, athleticism, and ball-handling skills. The biggest concern when it comes to Captain Jack is his off-the-court baggage and the headaches that he has caused some of his former franchises. So far, that has not been an issue at all in Charlotte. Jackson has gelled very well with his team, has kept his mouth shut for the most part, has stayed out of the spotlight, and the Bobcats are in line for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Not to mention, the one-two punch of S-Jack and Gerald Wallace has been extremely productive for the Bobcats. I’m not saying that Charlotte is a legitimate contender. I think they still need some help from the rest of their supporting cast, especially the bigs, but with some big wins over some of the top teams, the Bobcats continue to gain confidence and are no longer a team that can be overlooked on a nightly basis.
Stephen Jackson joined WFNZ in Charlotte with the Mac Attack to talk about how he feels to be in Charlotte, the negative perception of him around the NBA, the differences between Larry Brown and Don Nelson, and why he compares free throw shooting to making love with his wife.
On why the team is so good at home as opposed to on the road:
“Just playing at home is similar to sleeping in your own bed, there’s nothing like it. You feel comfortable, you’re more confident, you have your fans and your family there. Just the home atmosphere makes you go out there with more confidence and we just gotta continue to keep that and bring it on the road.”
On what he said about going to the free throw line the other night:
“It’s just something that I kinda came up with. Everybody wants to do their best when making love. I feel like when I go to the free throw line I’m making love to my wife. I concentrate, just stay focused on what I’m doing. At the end of the game, I want the ball anyway. I wanna be the guy to take the shot. I feel just as confident in my teammates to make the shot, but I wanna be the guy to go up there, step up and take that pressure on because I love it.”
On how he feels about being in Charlotte now when he initially might not have been happy about it:
“The thing is what a lot of people don’t know is that I was more excited than people know. In the situation at Golden State, it was rotten for me. The organization wasn’t going in a winning direction; they were going in a younger direction. I’m 31 so I’m at the best of my game right now and I wanna use it for a reason. Coming here was a blessing in disguise. I got a great coach in Larry Brown who is similar to Mike Brown, Greg Popovich, and Don Nelson. Also I’m with some guys that are a player or two away and a team that wants to win. I tell people now that I’ve never seen anyone play harder than Gerald Wallace. The confidence that Raymond Felton has, this is something that I wanted to be a part of in Golden State that they didn’t have. This is a blessing in disguise for me and I’m happy to be here, definitely.”
Who he models his game after:
“I tried to pattern my game after Grant Hill and Scottie Pippen. They used to call me young Magic (Johnson) when I was like eight or nine years old because I passed the ball so well, but as I was growing up, I used to watch Scottie Pippen and Grant Hill cause those were tall guys that could handle the ball, play defense and make plays. That’s what I pattern my game after.”
On people being skeptical of him in Charlotte because of his baggage:
“That’s only human that people look at the negative but at the same time the situation in Indiana was four or five years ago. The situation in Golden State, yeah I’m a man and I speak my mind but I went out there and played basketball every day. Even when I wanted to get traded I still went out there still getting 20 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. I was still doing my job. I don’t let things off the court affect my ability to go out there and play basketball because I owe that to my organization, my fans and my teammates. At the same time, I’m here now, a place where I want to be, an organization that wants to win so there is no need for me to be unhappy because I’m definitely comfortable right now.”