CHICAGO -- Stephen Jackson accepts the one-game suspension the Indiana Pacers imposed on him Sunday.
That doesn't mean he agrees with it.
Jackson was suspended by the franchise for tonight's game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center over his bench confrontation with coach Rick Carlisle in the second period of Saturday's loss at Cleveland.
Carlisle sent Jackson to the locker room after Jackson objected to being benched late in the first half, by which time the Pacers were trailing by 24 points.
He remained in the locker room for the second half as the Pacers suffered their worst defeat of the season, 107-75.
Sunday, while the team took a day off in Chicago, Jackson explained his side of the story.
"I'm going to take it, because anything that happens to me I stand up and take it," he said. "If I'm wrong for anything, I'm wrong for challenging (Carlisle's) authority to take me out. Rick and (CEO Donnie Walsh) have always supported me 100 percent and I have great respect for them, but at the same time I don't think I should be the target when the team is playing bad."
Carlisle indicated following Saturday's game that Jackson would play tonight. Sunday, however, in what Carlisle termed a franchise decision, a one-game suspension was levied.
Carlisle and Walsh declined further comment.
Jackson had re-entered Saturday's game with 6:04 remaining in the second quarter, but LeBron James proceeded to scored nine of Cleveland's next 11 points, seven of them against Jackson.
Jackson, who was pulled with 2:46 left, said he did not raise his voice to Carlisle as he walked off the court, but asked why he was being taken out. He said Carlisle told him he wanted to make a substitution, at which point Jackson muttered something under his breath that might have been overheard. Carlisle then stood and told him to go to the locker room.
Carlisle did not elaborate on the exchange, other than to say he considered Jackson's comments to be "inappropriate and detrimental."
Jackson came under fire last season for complaining excessively over officials' calls and when removed from games. He had vowed in the preseason to be less emotional, while Carlisle indicated he would be stricter.
Jackson's reputation took another hit during the first week of training camp when he fired shots into the air during an incident in a strip club parking lot in Indianapolis.
He faces a court appearance in Michigan on Jan. 26 to determine if his actions violated the conditions of his probation related to his involvement in the brawl at the Palace of Auburn Hills two years ago during the Pacers' game at Detroit.
"I don't want people to lump this with other things that have happened," Jackson said. "I think this has been blown out of proportion."
Jackson said he gets upset over being removed because he doesn't get tired and believes he can help the team win.
"Inside I feel everybody should get mad about losing," he said. "We make too much money not to go out and play hard and not care about wins and losses. The fans don't pay to see us come to lose.
"Sometimes my emotions flare in a game, but how can you play in a big-time game like this without emotion? I just want to win."
Jermaine O'Neal had said he would play tonight, but the Pacers are doubtful.
O'Neal strained his left hamstring at Seattle on Dec. 1, and aggravated it in last week's game against Orlando. He has missed the previous two games.
"He wants to play and he feels like he could go, but we need to make sure we assess the risk factors before we send him out there," Carlisle said.
Carlisle added the MRI of O'Neal's injury shows a problem area
I've highlighted the above because that is down right hilarious.
I can close my eyes & envision it now.
Jackson: Sir, I am sorry to question you on this but was I taken out of the game because of poor play? I only want to know so that I can go over here & examine my actions to see where I may improve.
Carlisle: Oh heavens no, I only wished to make a substituion so that you could regather yourself for longer term durability.
Jackson: Thank you sir for the respite I will redouble my efforts & will return all the more refreshed & ready to help the team.
As he moves away to sit on the bench he hits his knee on a chair
Jackson: Gosh darn (muttered under his breath)