“They know how I feel,” repeated Stephen Jackson over and over again after the game against the Pistons. On who “they” were, Jackson would not elaborate, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that he’s talking about John Hammond, Scott Skiles and the Bucks organization at large.
The Bucks are 3-0 without Jackson. Against New York, he was suspended for missing shootaround because he overslept. He was suspended for the Lakers game because he was verbally abusing refs while playing the Bulls. Skiles chose not to play him against the Pistons. According to Jackson, this was the first time that he’s never played in an NBA game he was available to play in.
Without Jackson, the passing looks crisper and the offense looks better. Possessions aren’t wasted on Jackson heat checks. Delfino is playing better perimeter defense. And the team is stocked with better scorers, shooters and distributors. “Scott is right. We are playing well without me in the lineup,” said Jackson. “The rotation is great and as long as we’re winning. There’s nothing for nobody to complain about.”
Jackson isn’t playing well, but he isn’t a locker room cancer. The other players generally adore him. He’s the first one off the bench to high-five everyone during time-outs. He’s around and not playing well, but he’s not undermining any efforts to win. “My situation is going to get better soon,” Jackson said, “Until then, I’m going to support these guys and continue to collect my check.”
Hoopsworld recently ran a report stating the Bucks were looking to ship Jackson.