Others might recall only the ugly end of Stephen Jackson’s two-plus seasons with the Pacers, but the Spurs swingman swears his time in Indiana was among the most important of his career.
Jackson, who scored 12 points in the Spurs’ 101-79 victory over the Pacers at the AT&T Center, was traded to the Warriors midway through the 2006-07 season after an incident at an Indianapolis area strip club and a subsequent in-game confrontation with then-Pacers coach Rick Carlisle.
He calls it one of the most important times of his career.
“I think those two incidents I had in Indiana kind of made me grow up faster and get back to being a humble Jack and appreciate the game more,” Jackson said. “I think a little bit more now before I react, when I’m on and off the court, from being there.
“But I think I learned my worth there. Going there and getting my first big contract taught me a lot about getting the confidence to be a good player and the guy I am on the court.”
Jackson earned two technical fouls in the first three games but insisted he had not forgotten to think before reacting in those instances.
“I thought about those techs,” he said. “I got fouled the second time (against Utah) and the other time, (Oklahoma City’s Serge) Ibaka was running his mouth a little too much. I will never get disrespected by nobody. I’m going to go out a man. If I get disrespected, I’m going to get a tech. Point-blank.”
Though NBA fines start at $2,000, Jackson isn’t concerned.
“I’ve saved up a lot of money the last 13 years,” he said. “I’m good. I’m a man first. Before you disrespect me, I’m going to spend some money. I ain’t tripping on that. But you’re going to respect me.”
Manu feeling better: Though he made only 1 of 4 shots and committed four turnovers in 17 minutes against the Pacers, guard Manu Ginobili was delighted at how good he felt in his second game of the season. He had missed the first two games with back spasms.
“I felt better today than the previous game, physically,” he said. “My back’s not hurting, feeling better.
“I’m still out of rhythm. I haven’t practiced with the guys in over two weeks. I need to play, to dribble, to pass. I feel inconsistent, not confident yet. That’s the least concern right now. It’s the fourth game of the season. We’ve got 78 ahead of us. My main concern now is being happy, and that’s fine.”