Warriors with Stephen Jackson: 9-2
Warriors without Stephen Jackson: 1-6.
He's putting up 22 points a game, and if the Warriors get home floor advantage in the West, I believe he deserves MVP consideration. Yet you wouldn't know it from the media coverage. Take this ESPN column by JA Adande, for example.
The article's second paragraph reads, in part, "In the mixed-up Warrior World, one-on-four pull-up jump shots are encouraged, not punished; a player who has been suspended six times is a source of inspiration and stability; and guys called Mully and Nellie are considered the masterminds of the operation."
That player who was suspended 6 times is Stephen Jackson. Adande further piles on by stating that "He was the biggest question mark on the San Antonio Spurs' championship squad in 2003. You never knew if you would get a 3-pointer or a turnover from him." Well, maybe that was because Stephen Jackson was a near-rookie with only 100 games of experience before that season! Of course he looked like the question-mark, compared to Duncan and Robinson; it's an unfair comparison. How about instead noting that he was the starter on a championship team? Eventually, at the very end of the article, after talking about the fans and courtside entertainment, Adande grudgingly gives Stephen Jackson credit. Adande, I'm no Sherlock Holmes, but, you know, 1-6 without Stephen Jackson and 9-2 with may mean that Stephen Jackson is the clue to the Warrior's success.
But no, instead its Mully and Nellie, masterminds. Masterminds?! Don Nelson's coaching record for this year, is 10-8. He's barely above .500 in coaching the Warriors. Nelson's run-and-gun schemes are utterly worthless without the big man that plays like a shorter player. That was true whether it was Nowitski in Dallas (where Nelson would have been fired if Dirk's emergence did not occur), or Stephen Jackson today. Chris Mullins was a terrible GM for the last few years, signing guys like Derek Fisher to mega-deals and not finding a veteran coach early on. And now, they're getting all the credit?
Rarely do I take on a mainstream journalism article, because I don't think it's fair to attack guys for one bad day's work. But this is easy, and don't think I'm just picking on Adande. I have yet to see one article in any publication giving Stephen Jackson the credit he deserves. Why not?