Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jackson Still Team Captain, Riley makes move with Nets

The Stephen Jackson trade comments are still an unsolved mystery, or unresolved mystery to Bay Area fans. His request could not have been more clear, but everyone in the Warriors organization adheres to the mafia code of omerta. Don Nelson is more like Don Corleone, with an invisible influence of silence, carried out by his consigliere Larry Riley. (Since I am on a roll with Godfather references)

"Jackson will report to training camp and he is still the team's captain," says Riley. What the people want to know is: Will the Warriors move Jackson? Would they be better off without him? Acting like nothing ever happened is totally condescending to the fans and a testament to the wimpy West coast media.

No, the Warriors will not move Jackson before the season starts and yes the Warriors are better without him. They would be worse this season, but it would pay off in the future by forcing Nelson to play Stephen Curry. I have a feeling Curry is going to make an immediate impact.

I jest the Warriors for the silence on the Jackson "non-issue", out of frustration. There is no other way to handle a potentially volatile player like Jack. If the Warriors front office decided to be more aggressive in punishing Jackson's lip slip, like the way Robert Rowell handled the Monta Ellis scooter accident incident, Jack may have thrown a full blown hissy. (Skipping training camp, stirring up dissension in the locker room, and all kinds of flagrant Terrel Owens behavior that ruins teams)

Unlike the harsh and very public way the Warriors reprimanded a young Ellis, handling a veteran who acts like a petulant rookie is quite different. Think Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny: "Be vewy, vewy quiet...I'm hunting wabbit." If Riley decided to move Jackson, it would be done in mafia-esque, tip-toe secrecy. Jackson is tradable, but not a target commodity, like Biedrins, Ellis, or Curry. He would be a great fit on a contending team, a team that doesn't mind taking on a 31 year old with four years and $35 million on his contract. Ridding the roster of Stephen Jackson will be about as pleasant as burying a dead body.

Briefly: Russia's richest man, Mikhail Prokhorov, has agreed to buy 80 percent of the New Jersey Nets franchise and will finance half of the project to move the team to Brooklyn. Speaking of the Nets, Larry Riley made a deal with New Jersey to delay the compensation of a first round pick to 2012, a deal made in the acquisition of Marcus Williams. This move is rumored to leave room for making a deal this season, possibly a ploy to move Stephen Jackson.

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