An ode to Stephen Jackson

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A Pounder reminisces about the career of the man known as "Captain Jack".

I remember.

I remember when the San Antonio Spurs took in a young swingman named Stephen Jackson from the New Jersey Nets, fresh off him feuding with then-coach Byron Scott.

I remember when Jackson eventually took the starting shooting guard spot, and rained down 3 after 3 on Scott's Nets, allowing Finals MVP Tim Duncan to finish with 21 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists, and 8 blocks in a dominant victory.

I don't quite remember when Jackson left for the opportunity of more money, joining a Hawks team that frankly was headed nowhere.

I do remember the year he joined the Pacers, though, and when he infamously involved himself in the Brawl that would change the landscape of the National Basketball Association.

I also remember him being traded to the Warriors. They had formed a motley roster, with fellows with bad reputations like Matt Barnes, with young prep-to-pros like Monta Ellis, with an injury-prone point guard in Baron Davis, and yet having no big men.

Their making the playoffs was a surprise. Everybody expected them to simply be fodder for a Mavericks team that won 67 games in the regular season, including 17 wins in a row, and one expected to return to the Finals.

Nobody BELIEVED that they would pull off one of the greatest upsets in playoff history.

I remember when the Warriors won more games the next season... but failed to make the playoffs.

I remember when yet another contract dispute forced Warriors management to trade him... to the Bobcats, the last expansion team thus far and one that never had a winning season.

But then that team, with Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Raymond Felton, and coached by Larry Brown, rode their league best defense to the first winning record and first playoff berth in franchise history.

I remember them being swept by the Dwight Howard-led (then again, can we call the man a leader?) Orlando Magic at the height of its power.

I remember when Captain Jack was traded to the Bucks as the 'Cats decided on a rebuild. There he feuded with the coach again, this time with Scott Skiles, who frankly never got any of his squads to buy-in long term despite a fearsome defensive reputation.

So the Bucks benched him, and in an all-in move near the deadline, was traded to Golden State with Andrew Bogut for Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh.

And so Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford swooped in. Jackson was not returning to Oakland.

He was heading back to the place where he established himself as an NBA player. San Antonio.

I remember when shortly after suiting up once more in Silver and Black, he was a key part of a squad that won 20 straight games into the playoffs.

I remember him making 6 out of 7 treys to keep the flagging Spurs in it against the young, athletic Thunder.

I remember him getting a technical foul simply for staring at the Thunder bench, a sign that the Spurs had to help themselves as far as officiating went.

I remember him struggling this season, but still trying to make an impact.

Till next time, Captain Jack.

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