Jackson Doesn’t See a Future in Milwaukee
Stephen Jackson’s stint with the Milwaukee Bucks hasn’t gone quite as planned. Less than halfway through his first season in Milwaukee, Jackson is already tired of the organization and wants a trade. He’s not hiding his frustration and admits that he wants to be dealt before the trade deadline.
The Bucks acquired Jackson on the night of the 2011 NBA Draft and hoped that he would provide leadership and take the team to the next level. Instead, he has been moved to the end of the bench and feuded with Bucks head coach Scott Skiles.
When asked if he has a future in Milwaukee, Jackson shook his head.
“Not at all,” Jackson told HOOPSWORLD. “It’s obvious, you can see that. I’m just waiting until my situation is different. I’m coming to work every day and keeping myself prepared so that when my situation does get better, I’m ready to go.”
Jackson is frustrated with his diminished role and doesn’t understand why he’s not playing more. Over the last two seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats, the 12-year NBA veteran averaged 19.8 points and 37.3 minutes. This month, he’s averaging 21.3 minutes per game and has been benched altogether for five games.
“It’s very difficult,” Jackson said. “I’m going from playing 38 minutes each game and being one of the top guys in minutes played over the last five years to not playing at all. It’s tough. The only thing that I can do is worry about what I can control and that’s trying to be a professional and keep supporting the young guys. It’s tough though, with how much I love the game. I know I have a lot of basketball left in me. It’s tough not being out there and not being able to contribute.”
Jackson says that his relationship with Bucks head coach Scott Skiles is irreparable. He doesn’t appreciate the way that Skiles has handled this situation, describing his benching as disrespectful.
“I’ve worked hard for many years to be that player that guys want to play with,” Jackson said. “To not be playing, and not have any reasons behind it, it’s kind of disrespectful. At the end of the day, I’m 33 years old. I’m not a 22-year-old guy that you’re coaching. I’m a grown man who’s probably done more than a lot of people in this locker room in this league, including coaches. Like I said, I can’t put myself in the game and I can’t do anything except support my teammates and be ready for when I do play.”
Skiles has not met with Jackson to discuss the situation, according to the small forward.
“No, there’s really nothing you can say,” Jackson said. “There’s no excuse for it.”
On Friday, the Bucks faced off against the Orlando Magic. After the game, Jackson said he would love to join the Magic and play alongside his good friend Dwight Howard.
“I would love to [play in Orlando],” Jackson said. “Dwight has said a couple of times that he wants me to be with him. When you get a compliment like that from a big man like Dwight, it means a lot. Tim Duncan always steps up for me and says I’m the ultimate teammate too. When I have guys like that speaking up for me, I must have been doing something right throughout my whole career. I know my situation is going to get better eventually and I’m just going to keep being professional and keep my mouth closed.”
While Jackson has become somewhat of a distraction, he insists that he’s trying to keep his teammates out of the line of fire. Many of Jackson’s teammates love him and a lot of the young players in the locker room look up to him. He hopes his situation gets resolved, but he doesn’t want them to be dragged into his drama.
“I really don’t want them to get involved in it,” Jackson said. “I want them to continue to play and worry about winning games. I can handle my own situation. I’ve been a great professional, one of the top players in this league for a long time, and my play will speak for itself.”
The NBA’s trade deadline is on March 15 and Jackson is definitely someone who could be on the move.