There are a lot of things that Stephen Jackson is good at on a basketball court. He’s good on defense. He’s good to very good on offense. He’s widely regarded as a great teammate. He’s one of the league’s best at wearing a headband, rocking the terry cloth for eight straight years, by my count. All things considered, Stephen Jackson is a good basketball player.
But there is one thing he is awesome at when it comes to hoops. One thing that he is among the best in the league at — besides the headband wearing — and that’s getting technicals. He is so, so good at that. A regular Rasheed Wallace, only 95 percent as big.
And when you’re one of the best in the league at anything, you don’t want to change. Even if that skill costs you wallets full of money, it’s good to still have a calling card. Stephen Jackson gets that, and that’s why he’s not shutting up. From the AP:
“I get techs because I want to. I don’t care,” Jackson said Sunday. “I’m not getting techs for no reason. It happens.” [..]
“Obviously, I don’t want to be suspended and miss a game, but I’m out there trying to win,” Jackson said. “I’m going to go out there and be me. If me speaking my mind gets me a tech, hey.”
Hey (been trying to meet you), Stephen Jackson’s just trying to speak his mind about the injustices that are happening on the court, if that gets him a technical foul, then hey (said the man to the lady). Back off, man. This is just a guy who wants to be heard, no matter the cost.
And the cost? Yikes. Very costly. Very CostCo. We’re talking $172,000 in technical fines so far this season, plus he served a game suspension with no pay and paid another $50,000 for criticizing an official. That’s a grand total of $325,088 over the course of 50 games. That’s just about 4 percent of Jackson’s annual salary that he’s had to give up because he wants to speak his mind. I am for free speech, but that’s hardly free. Enjoy that homonym zing, Jonesers.
Not to mention, Jackson’s racked up 11 techs so far this year, good for third in the league behind noted whiners Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemire. Another five and he’s suspended a game, with each two techs after that costing Jackson another game. Considering the Bobcats’ perilous standing in the Eastern Conference — 21-29, a game out of the last playoff spot — Charlotte probably doesn’t want their best player missing games here and there during the season’s stretch run. He’s a big part of the team, no doy, and him not being able to play is Bad News Bobcats. No doy, again.
But hey (must be a devil between us), Stephen Jackson is a grown-up living in America. He can say whatever he wants to whomever he wants whenever he wants. And even though it’s going to be very expensive for him to do so, I’d imagine that he’ll stay the course. After all, he wants to get the techs. Good luck trying to tell a grown man he can’t have what he wants.