When fan-favorite Stephen Jackson was released by the San Antonio Spurs last week, it was a shock to many throughout the NBA.
Many were scratching their heads wondering why would the Spurs do this roster move now with the playoffs days away? What did he do? Was it because of his lack of production?
Head coach Gregg Popovich called it a tough decision done in the best interest of the team and saying Jackson took it in stride while Jackson took to social media to thank the fans while explaining he would not admit another player is better than him.
It has been a few days since the move and with the Spurs signing Tracy MGrady and the dust settled, Jackson spoke on what happened between him and the Spurs.
In an interview with Sister 2 Sister Magazine, Jackson said it came down to a disagreement between him and Coach Pop.
“We had a disagreement,” Stephen told Sister 2 Sister about his most recent coach Gregg Popovich. “He wanted me to agree to players being better than me, and I didn’t agree. I’ve been in the NBA a long time, so it’s just something I didn’t agree with and something I have no control over. He’s the coach. He controls who plays, and he controls the team, which I do respect. At the same time, I know what I can do and what I been doing my whole career, and I’m far from ready to hang it up. So, I can’t let one person tell me where I’m at 35-years-old. To me, it just didn’t make no sense.”
Jackson went on to verify there was discussion before the All-Star break of the team releasing him but according to him, the Spurs wouldn't do it.
“It was talked about before the all-star break, before the trade deadline…about me not wanting to be here and me going to other teams, but they wouldn’t do it then,” Stephen explained. “If they would have done it then, I would be on another team right now.”
Jackson went on to say he didn't want to ride the bench and "steal" money. In other words, he did want more playing time. However, with the rise of Kawhi Leonard and Jackson's less-than-stellar stats this season, it was clear why he didn't get more action on the court.
If this disagreement was becoming more of a distraction for the team and with the playoffs nearing, one can see why San Antonio released him. It was bad enough the team was dealing with injuries to key players and the last thing they needed was internal issues to compound things heading into the postseason.
Jackson did state he is far from retiring and still has much to contribute to another team.