The free agent signing of Stephen Jackson could give the Clippers some of the toughness they’ve been missing.
What’s not to love about Captain Jack? He holds no punches, minces no words, and to quote the man himself ‘makes love to pressure’. For a team whose crunch time lineup consists of Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford… and Chris Paul, a proven big game ‘role’ player is much needed. Someone to stand up to opposing players when Blake feels he’s being bullied too much. Someone to slap some sense into DeAndre after he makes another boneheaded goaltend or airballs another freethrow. Someone who can will swing the outcome of at least one significant playoff game come May.
Stephen Jackson was never meant to be a star. He was meant to be the ultimate wild card. Even in his second year, he helped a veteran Spurs team turn a few games on the way to the 2003 title, including playing a vital 4th quarter role in the clinching game.
He helped lead a Warriors team to arguably the biggest upset in playoff history when they knocked off the 67 win Mavs in six games. Jackson in game 6: 33 points (7 three pointers).
Even in 2011, in the eventual Conference Final elimination game, the Spurs may have fallen, but for no fault of Jackson.
Looking at Championship teams and what it takes them to succeed, one thing becomes rather evident:
Paxon. Starks. Cassel. Nick Anderson in 95. Kerr. BIG SHOT ROB!. The Player Formerly Known as Ron Artest. Mike Miller. Jesus Shuttlesworth & the greatest (13-letter expletive) shot in NBA history!
Such players need a system to succeed. But strangely enough, this is the same player that the ultimate ‘system’ team, the Spurs, eventually waived. They felt they were better off without. As for the Clippers, who knows how this finally turns out? This is not ‘the’ championship piece: they still have a lot of issues to address, but it looks like a step in the right direction. And eventually, we can all agree, the league is a better place with ‘Mr. Boutdislife’ in it!