On this rainy and dreary day in New York City this afternoon, Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington were at South Street Seaport for a block party put on by their sneaker company Protege. One of the MCs at the event asked Stack Jack in front of the crowd whether he thought the Warriors were going to make the playoffs. Jackson paused then smiled before responding, “Um…I don’t think I’ll be a Warrior next year. I’m looking to leave.”
Harrington, who was standing beside Jackson, was gleaming with joy at this statement. As you all know, the two were teammates with each other for the Warriors and Harrington left on bad terms with the team – particularly Don Nelson. I asked Harrington if Jackson’s statement shocked him. He laughed then responded, “No I wasn’t surprised. We talk all the time so I knew already. Honestly sometimes you need a change and I hope this change is to come out to New York – that would be nice.”
After they posed for pictures with fans, I was able to ask Jackson more about his bold statement.
Dime: You made a big declaration earlier today by saying you wanted out of Golden State. When did you decide this?
Stephen Jackson: It’s not about a decision I made. It’s just things are in the air right now. I really can’t get too much into it right now, but I’m just looking to go somewhere where I can go and win a championship.
Dime: Are the Warriors aware of this?
SJ: Yeah they all know.
Dime: Is there anywhere specifically you want to go?
SJ: Either Cleveland, anywhere in Texas or out here with Al in New York.
Dime: So what have you been up to this offseason?
SJ: I have a foundation. I opened a school, The Stephen Jackson academy in my hometown so that’s the big thing I’ve been doing this summer. I had my second annual foundation banquet. So it’s been a great summer for me, I got married this summer, so God has been good to me.
Dime: You look a lot bigger and stronger. Who’s been training you?
SJ: Well, basically I’ve been playing a lot with Monta Ellis. I just play all year ’round, that’s the biggest thing with me. I really don’t do too much. One-on-one, working out with guys and running up hills, stuff like that I just play basketball. You know and it keeps me in shape. I love the game so I respect it.
Dime: Speaking of Monta, do you think he can play in the same backcourt with Stephen Curry?
SJ: I think so, because Curry’s more of an off guard and Monta is more of a point guard. But the way Don Nelson coaches and that style of play – anybody can fit in. Especially a shooter like Stephen Curry. So he’ll be fine.
Dime: Did you like being in Nellie’s system?
SJ: I loved it. It gave me a chance to show everything I could do on the court. It was great for me, but at this point, I’m 31 years old. I have four or five years left, I want to be in a situation where I can continually be in the playoffs and get another ring. So that’s where my mind is at now.