No, not playing in the NBA. That would be weird. I mean he’s insulting Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs.
Jackson, who was let go by the Spurs in the middle of the regular season, previously said that Coach Pop played “mind games.” Now, in an interview on ESPN’s Highly Questionable, Jackson has postulated that Pop only cares about certain players.
“To me, (Gregg Popovich) only cares about three guys, and the rest of the guys just fit in wherever you can,” he conceded on the show (h/t Spurs Nation’s Dan McCarney).
I’ll give you one all-encompassing guess as to who he was talking about.
That’s correct, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Who else?
It surprises me that Jackson seems shocked in any way by this. To an extent, he’s probably inaccurate, but of course Pop cares most deeply for the three players he’s spent the most time with. I’d be concerned about his people skills, more than I already am, if he didn’t.
If anything, Jackson’s comments seem to come out of sheer jealously or lingering resentment. San Antonio did cut ties with him at a time when he was unable to sign with another team and be playoff eligible. That sure seems like cause for him to throw the Spurs under a bus while admitting that by no means is he trying to throw them under the bus.
“When you disrespect me, or I feel like I’m wronged in any type of way, and you feel like I should be the bigger person, I might not be because this is my life and I choose to make the decisions, just the way Pop made the decision to cut me off his team.”
No doubt that Pop was brusque when he sent Jackson packing, but this is probably true of Jackson’s entire stint in San Antonio. Pop isn’t a warm, fun-loving guy.
Somewhere beneath that rugged exterior and penetrating look, that I can only assume sees into the soul of the person he’s conversing with, there beats the heart of a kind, benevolent man. Just not on the basketball court.
Jackson, who has a history of on-court scuffles and a more than checkered past courtesy of his involvement in the Malice at the Palace fiasco, doesn’t seem like a player who would respond well to such stringent tactics.
Then again, he could have a point. I don’t know. I’ve never personally spent ample time playing under Pop.
Maybe he has a softer than soft spot for his Big Three. Maybe they have pillow fights and scarf down mountains of candy and donuts on the sidelines while Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and the rest of the gang run suicides. Who knows?
All I know is that we might not want to take the word of Jackson without further investigation. I don’t doubt there is some truth to his assertions, because I’m sure there is. Believing the Pop maintains a cavalier attitude with and couldn’t give a damn about the rest of the team is hard for me to wrap my head around.
Probably because it isn’t true.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.