Guard Jarrett Jack was on the verge of tears as he stood at his locker. He couldn’t find the words to truly express what he was feeling, so he let his attire do the talking for him.
JACK: “Usually before I would do any media, I would make sure I was dressed a certain way. I brought one of my best suits. But looking down at this jersey, it’s just a sense of pride I don’t think I’ve ever felt as a professional. … Nothing in my closet is better than what I have on now.”
Perhaps it was the disappointing end to a magical run. Perhaps reality had hit him that he may have spent his last minutes in a Warriors uniform. And he didn’t want to take it off.
When the final horn had sounded, the Warriors shook hands with the Spurs and headed to the locker room. But Jack remained. He circled the court, a towel over his head, clapping with the fans. Before long, his teammates and coaches returned. They all took a bow at midcourt before guard Stephen Curry took the microphone and thanks the thousands of fans in yellow shirts remaining.
His future with the Warriors is uncertain. Jack, who made $5 million this season, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. He played a pivotal role in the Warriors’ success as the back-up point guard and the late-game ball-handler. So much so, Golden State reached out for extension talks back in January, but Jack declined before talks could get going so he could focus on the season.
Based on his performance with the Warriors, Jack is expected to get several opportunities and lots of money on the free agent market. Also complicating matters is the rise of rookie Harrison Barnes. An increased role for the starting small forward could mean a reduced role for Jack.
Whether he takes the more lucrative offer else where, or whether the Warriors make a competitive offer to keep him in the Bay Area, that will all be figured out this summer. But Jack was never more clear about for whom he wants to play: Golden State.
JACK: “I hope so, man. Obviously there are other things that go into seeing if that works — we all know this is a business at the end of the day. If I could do it, if I could rearrange it, I would definitely be back at this same locker.”