Stephen Jackson: “There is no crying in basketball.”

March 9, 2011 – 10:10 am by timgunter

Emotions often run high in sports, and that passion can lead to tears, which is often more accepted when it is on display by high school or collegiate athletes.  But is it really that different for the pros?  Just because they make millions, does that change their perspective?  No matter what level you play on sports is very emotional because athletes have sacrificed so much to get where they are by giving it their all and leaving everything on the field each practice, and each game.  Some players cry out of disappointment, some cry out of frustration, and some cry because they are happy.

By now you have heard about the two Miami Heat players crying in the locker room after Sunday’s loss to the Bulls.  That weeping in the locker room was not tears of joy because they have struggled in close games against the NBA’s elite.  The Heat are 1-9 against the NBA’s top five teams, shooting a miserable 1-for-19 in crunch time.  But for some athletes that’s still not enough for tears because crying is never allowed in sports, especially on the professional level.

Stephen Jackson joined WFNZ in Charlotte to talk about how he foresees his future in Charlotte, whether there is any crying in basketball, and who the best team is in the Eastern Conference.

What his reaction was when he first heard Gerald Wallace, the original Bobcat, was traded:

“I could not believe it.  I could not believe it considering everything we had done in a half a year together to make the playoffs.  Now, to him not being here it was kind of frustrating, but I still have a job to do, I still have to lead these guys and that is what I am focused on doing.”

How he foresees his future in Charlotte:

“Well you know that is hard to say.  Obviously that is one of those situations where I don’t really worry about it that much because I can’t control it, but at the end of the day I know I am going to be playing basketball anywhere.  I know I am one of the best players in this game, and if it is here, I would love for it to be here because I love the situation I am in.  I have the utmost respect for Rod, and of course Jordan.  It is a great situation, I know that I am the type of player that can go and help any team that is one player away from the Finals or a championship, and if that opportunity comes I will be happy to take that too.”

Whether they have had a team meeting regarding they are only out of the playoffs by one game:

“Oh no question, definitely!  I think coach reminds of that daily about how close we are, how we are one game out and we can’t start letting this losing be contagious and think the season is going downhill.  We have a great chance to reach our goal, which is the playoffs, as long as we keep that in mind and continue to play with a sense of urgency because the seventh, eighth, and ninth spots are so close we got to pay attention to detail and try to win now and not try to get down after one loss.”

How the franchise can market itself and attract big market players to Charlotte:

“Well I think MJ can sell it himself, you know.  He is the best player to have played the game, and obviously, if you are involved with him or anything he wants to win.  He is a competitor, so by MJ being here you know that the team will come out here and compete, you know he is going to put a team together to be in a playoff spot and hopefully a future championship, and you have got to understand that and know that is what he is focused on doing.”

Whether there is any crying in basketball:

“There is no crying in basketball.  I will tell you what, I am glad you asked me that.  When you are in high school or maybe even in middle school and you lose a state championship game then maybe a tear or two is ok.  But in the NBA, when you are third in the Eastern Conference, and you have two of the best players that play the game right now, it’s no need to be crying.  That is terrible.”

On the notion that the crying Heat player was paid a lot of money and now he is going to cry about a game in March:

“That is totally blown out of proportion and I think that is another Hollywood move from Miami.  I don’t understand, no one should have a reason to cry.  Especially, like you said, all of this money we gave ya’ll.  It is their fault.  They should not have had an NBA championship celebration before those guys even practiced.  I agree with Van Gundy.  I agree with him 100%”

Who the best team is in the Eastern Conference:

“Miami is pretty good but you can’t take it away from Boston.  They have been holding it down for a while.  They even added some young pieces to the team now with Jeff Green now, so I think Boston is still the team to beat.  I think Chicago is real close but I think Boston is still holding that title.”

Stephen Jackson on WFNZ in Charlotte on the Drive (the interview starts at the 7:13 mark)

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