It's easy to dislike Stephen Jackson. The quick shots. The bad on-court attitude. The inconsistent shot. Shoot, even those godawful cornrows.
And, of course, those infamous haymakers he threw at the Detroit debacle.
But the real reason that Jack is bad for this team is this: We're far deep enough to get by -- get by much better -- without him.
I'll concede this: On a team with less depth, Jack could be a catalyst to motivate lesser-talented players to elevate their games. In a way, he's a jump-shooting, finesse-playing version of old Charles Oakley. He speaks his mind. He plays the game he wants to play. He displays admirable toughness.
But there's two reasons we don't have a need for Jackson:
1. Despite his tough attitude, Jack really isn't THAT tough. He isn't a board banger or a disruptive defensive force like Oakley was. He's a fair-to-middling shooter who doesn't slash nearly as often as he should. And unlike Oakley, he totally lets his emotions dictate his shot selection. And also unlike Oakley, he plays next to no inside game.
Additionally: If you weren't appalled at the way he so enthusiastically popped into the stands last season to drop blows on much smaller, far less physically gifted fans -- if you couldn't see the pure SATISFACTION he got out of it -- then you've got blinders on.
2. Jackson's obviously the biggest chemistry problem on the team. Look, he didn't throw a punch at JO. That's bunk info. But that whole fiasco last season when he whined about the team turning on him, and his general me-against-the-world attitude whenever things aren't working the way he'd prefer they work -- it's an incredibly tired routine. He's basically a slightly less talented Allen Houston with much, much more baggage.
I personally would trade Jackson for nothing -- less than nothing -- and be happy with it. I truly believe we'd be a better team without him.
To those Jackson fans out there, I know what you like about the guy. He is passionate. He says what he thinks. On most nights, he's clearly driven to prove something. But sometimes that chip on a player's shoulder gets so big that it becomes a weight, a distraction, and yes, a cancer. I believe that is the case with Jackson. Trade him, I say. And the sooner the better.