NBA fines Jackson for threatening Ibaka, despite apology
By Ben Golliver
Spurs forward Stephen Jackson was in damage control mode two days after threatening violence towards an opposing player on Twitter, but he still paid the price.
The NBA announced Sunday that Jackson had been fined $25,000 for “issuing a hostile statement directed to [Thunder forward] Serge Ibaka in a Twitter message.”
On Friday, Jackson stuck up for former teammate Metta World Peace during a game between the Lakers and Thunder. World Peace and Ibaka locked arms and received double technicals during the fourth quarter of Oklahoma City’s win on Friday. The relatively minor exchange prompted Jackson to threaten Ibaka on his official Twitter account, @DaTrillStak5. All sics are his.
Somebody tel serg Abaka. He aint bout dis life. Next time he run up on me im goin in his mouth. That’s a promise. He doin 2 much.
That message has since been deleted, and Jackson posted an apology for his comments on Sunday.
“I apologize to Serge Ibaka, the NBA, and to all my fans for the comments I made,” Jackson wrote. “It was unprofessional and childish. I’m not a thug just a man who speaks his mind. It was not appropriate. I do apologize. Only a man can admit when he’s wrong.”
Hours later, the fine came down. Yahoo! Sports reported that Spurs GM R.C. Buford issued a statement calling Jackson’s threat “absolutely unacceptable,” and saying that his words “can not be tolerated and do not reflect the standards held by the Spurs.” The San Antonio Express-News reported that the Spurs said they would “consult and coordinate” with the NBA to determine a fine for his “inappropriate public comments.”
It goes without saying that this isn’t the first time that Jackson has gotten into a little hot water standing up for World Peace. Jackson was suspended for thirty games during the 2004-05 season after getting into a fight with fans in the stands during a game against the Pistons after World Peace, then known as Ron Artest, had a drink thrown at him. World Peace received a season-long suspension for his involvement in the incident.
In a recent interview with ESPN.com, Jackson referred to World Peace as his “brother” and said that he didn’t regret his actions during the fight.
So when Ron went into the stands, I didn’t think twice about it because he was my brother. I just went up there.
Do you regret the Palace brawl?
No. Because the idea of Ron laying in the stands unconscious with all his teeth knocked out … no way. That whole arena was against and I didn’t have it in my heart not to do anything.
In addition to his apology to Ibaka, Jackson clarified his stance on the Malice in the Palace.
“Never said punching a fan was cool,” he wrote on Sunday. “If I consider u my brother I’m with U to the end. I don’t own a gun and my love goes out to all who were hurt in the Detroit brawl.”
Jackson, 34, hasn’t played in nearly three weeks because of a finger injury. The Spurs and Thunder faced off in last year’s Western Conference finals, with the Thunder advancing.