Stephen Jackson has no regrets about missing Finals after release by Spurs
Which member of the Spurs will get the unenviable task of defending Heat forward LeBron James during the 2013 Finals? Kawhi Leonard? Danny Green?
One player who will not be going head-to-head against the reigning MVP: Stephen Jackson. He was released by San Antonio back in April after he and coach Gregg Popovich didn’t see eye-to-eye about his role on the team.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that Jackson is traveling to Miami to take in the Finals and that the veteran forward has no second thoughts about his abrupt departure from the Spurs.
Any regrets, he was asked?
“Nope,” he said. “Got my money.”
He later said Popovich knows him well, and that the release “was best for me so I wouldn’t go crazy.”
Or, as Jackson said Tuesday, again smiling, “I wouldn’t want me on the team, either.”
The 13-year veteran, who won a ring with the Spurs in 2003 and averaged 8.3 points and 2 rebounds during last year’s playoffs, took his release in stride, even though it occurred just days before the start of the postseason.
“I ain’t tripping at all,” Jackson wrote on Twitter back in April. “No worries. Don’t worry about what [you] can’t control. Breathe easy.”
Shortly after releasing Jackson, the Spurs signed free-agent forward Tracy McGrady to fill his roster spot. McGrady, 34, has seen only spot minutes and has yet to score in four postseason appearances.
Jackson, 35, averaged 6.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 19.5 minutes in 55 games this season. He earned more than $10 million in 2012-13, the last season of his contract, and drew headlines when he disputed his placement on Forbes‘ “Most Overpaid” list.
“I’ve been underpaid my whole career,” he said, smiling. “You do the math. It’s adding up. Who cares? Whether they think that or not, I’m still getting paid almost $10 million this year.”
Jackson has earned more than $68 million in salary.
“Captain Jack” was also fined $25,000 by the NBA in December for threatening Thunder forward Serge Ibaka on Twitter.
Game 1 of the Finals is set for Miami’s American Airlines Arena on Thursday night.