Stephen Jackson didn’t give me the exclusive exit interview he promised. But he did talk to the Charlotte Observer before tonight’s game against Orlando:
Happy about the trade?
JACKSON: “I’m happy because it gives me a chance to compete, it gives me a chance to be where I want to be and that’s the playoffs where I belong. I don’t belong being at home at the end of April, watching the playoffs. I belong in the playoffs and I have a good chance here with a great team, a team that competes, and the type of coach I like — who has your back. If a coach has my back, I don’t mind giving 110 percent for him.”
How badly did you want to be out of Golden State?
“I wanted to be out pretty bad. Things were going bad and I was getting blamed for everything. I wasn’t seeing eye-to-eye with the team. I got fined in preseason for one-hundred-and-some thousand. It was a lot of things that I didn’t agree with going on from when I got there. We made history by beating Dallas in the first round. Then things started getting worse and winning stopped being a priority. Once winning stopped being a priority, I didn’t want to be a part of it.”
Describe the decline of the Warriors
“It started when we got rid of Jason Richardson and then the next thing you know, it was Baron (Davis) And then it was Al Harrington and Matt Barnes. The team that we had when we made that run, that beat Dallas in the first round, went South. Once it started doing that, I didn’t want to be a part of it.
“As great as we played — the Warriors hadn’t been in the playoffs in 13 years — if you want to break that team up, obviously winning is not your priority.”
The Bobcats have never been to the playoffs. Can you handle them not making the playoffs this season?
“Yeah, because I know the effort and attitude is there. Any time you have a guy running the team like Rod Higgins — who I know well, that’s the reason I went to Golden State — those guys are competitors and they want to win. Those are the type of people I want running a team that I play for.”