A lot of attention has been focused on Stephen Jackson, and for good reason, but to be honest, I'm more upset with Pacers management over everything that's happened.
Because I wasn't expecting betrayal and backtracking from them. And now that this has turned into a public relations nightmare, I'm even more upset.
Everyone has heard the comments from Larry, Donnie, and Rick since the end of last season. They've promised more discipline. They've talked about taking charge. They got in front of television cameras and made a promise to the community to do the right things on and off the court.
Fast forward to Friday. No comment from management. Ads are pulled on television stations and websites.
Saturday. No comment.
Sunday. Management acknowledges, after leaving fans in suspense for 48 hours, that a player makes a lapse in judgement. Yet no punishment is offered.
Monday. Jackson is allowed to return to the practice court on Sunday for non-contact drills, and comes back again on Monday.
Tuesday. Jackson practices, and is allowed to address the media. Then Larry offers reason as to why they've been silent. "As an organization we can't have a lot of comments about what happened because we don't know what happened," Bird said. "We don't know the full story."
Media and city responds. Stephen is projected to play in Saturday's game. Even Kravitz writes an article urging us to move on.
Wednesday. Police report becomes public, Jackson admits to kicking a disabled man, is involved in fight (not avoiding), and flashes gun well before shooting it. Now he's being charged and is getting arrested.
Why do I have a problem with this? Because management allowed Jackson to come back to practice, after admittingly not knowing the full story. After no punishment. After allowing other players to publicly support him.
And on top of that, they allowed Jackson to address the media. And now a lot of us are feeling really stupid.
To me, the biggest offense has come from our trusty management team. They have not only repeatedly backfired on their word, but they allowed for this situation to get much messier than it should have, and they've taken the team and city's reputation to the guillotine. Now there's little they can do, and nothing will likely be satisfactory.