You could automatically say, “What about his teammate Baron Davis?” Second place maybe. This because of the baggage Jackson has had to shed.
Against the backdrop of being only the third eight seed ever to best a top seed, the Warriors ran down the Dallas Maverick’s gut to win the series against the 67 regular season game winning Mavericks.
Before this series, Jackson was known more for being a bad boy than he was as a clutch pro basketball player.
In 2004 while part of the Indiana Pacers, Jackson was one of the main participants in the unfortunate brawl with spectators in the Palace of Auburn Hills during a game against the Detroit Pistons for which he served a 30 game suspension.
The beginning of this season found Jackson in danger of violating his probation stemming from the Palace brawl when he was involved in a fracas in a strip club where he was alleged to have fired shots.
In January of this year he was part of a blockbuster 8 player trade between the Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors spent the rest of the season pulling their new nucleus together in Don Nelson’s run and gun scheme. They had to fight themselves into the 8th seed for the privilege of what most thought was to get spanked by the NBA best Mavericks.
The playoffs found Stephen Jackson getting tossed from two games, getting fined by both the NBA and his own coach after the first ejection.
Tonight’s 6th and clinching game had Jackson serving the Mavericks and their cadre of superstar players by scoring 33 points including going 7 for 8 three pointers and maintaining pressure on the Mavs when Baron Davis went out of the game temporarily with hammy problems.
Let’s hope Stephen Jackson can be known for his ball skills from here on out.