Stephen Jackson: “I know I’m not being put in the best situations where I’m at my best. That’s obvious”February 13, 2012 – 9:15 am by Chris Fedor
After an excellent two-year stint with the Charlotte Bobcats, Stephen Jackson came to Milwaukee this offseason. The young up-and-coming Bucks were hoping the veteran would add an offensive scoring punch to a team that was hurting for players that could put the ball in the basket. That plan has yet to come to fruition. Jackson’s points per game are the lowest since the 2002-2003 season and his frustration is growing. Captain Jack’s been benched a few times, he has seen his minutes decrease, he has dealt with suspensions, and he just can’t seem to get out of Scott Skiles’ doghouse. Perhaps Skiles thinks his team is better without Jackson. Or maybe he is trying to send a message to his young team. But the Bucks are one of a handful of teams fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and if they want things to stay that way, they will need Jackson to be the player he was the past two seasons before he got to Milwaukee. For that to happen, he needs playing time.
Stephen Jackson joined ESPN Milwaukee on the Game with Steve Haywood to talk about whether or not the message is being communicated to him personally what the team needs to do on a nightly basis, on people considering him a cancer, if he would like a trade, what he can do to better his own situation, and the idea that he is a bad influence on Brandon Jennings.
Whether or not the message is being communicated to him personally what the team needs to do on a nightly basis:
“I think the preparation is there you know. I can’t coach so all I can do is worry about what I can control and that’s going out there and playing when I’m able to. I know I’m not being put in the best situations where I’m at my best. That’s obvious.”
On people considering him a cancer:
“They try to downplay my worth probably so I can be stuck here. I don’t know. People like to make excuses for people when things aren’t going good. Everybody knows I can play. I’ve been in this league a long time and I know when they’re trying to downplay guys and kill their worth. At the end of the day, like you say, Tim Duncan and everybody knows I’ve been a great teammate, never been a cancer to anybody, and everybody is their own man, but at the end of the day I’m one of those guys that never settles for not playing. I know I can play, everybody in this league knows I can play and it’s just a sad situation that I’m sitting on the bench on this team and not being able to play the minutes I know I’ve earned in my 12-year career.”
If he would like a trade:
“I’m just going to see how it plays out. I mean I’ve got to be professional and obviously I can’t say I want to be traded. No one can say that and I’m not saying that but we’ll see what happens. I would like to be in a better situation if it’s here or somewhere else but my situation has to get better.”
What he can do to make his situation better:
“All I can do is worry about what I can control and that’s coming to practice every day and working, making sure I’m ready to play when I do get a chance or if I’m somewhere else I’m ready to play. That’s all I can do at this point. I can’t coach the team, I can’t tell coaches what to do or what not to do, all I can do is continue to work on my game and make sure I’m ready to play when it’s my time.”
Are you seeing the right types of things from players in the locker room to be winning team?
“I think we’ve got to care a little bit more. We’re really non-chalant after we lose games like it doesn’t matter and I’ve never seen that before. I just think we need to be more professional after we lose and care a little bit more. Be more on the same page on the court.”
On the idea that he is a bad influence on Brandon Jennings:
“Brandon is a grown man. They can blame me all they want but Brandon is his own man, he speaks his own mind. I don’t tell Brandon what to say and I don’t tell his family what to say. Brandon is his own man and can feel how he wants to feel. I’m only going to speak for me and myself and I know a lot of people might say that because I’m a guy that has always spoke my mind and I tell people what is real. At the end of the day Brandon is his own man and speaks his own mind.”